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01-02-2011, 01:09 AM
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Briere -

Women outperform men at ultramarathons, and the bone density thing is a myth. Men have greater bone mass on average because they, on average, have larger frames. But when you figure volumetric bone density, it's basically equal, and some studies have shown women have greater volumetric bone density in some areas. They do not have "weaker" bones than men until you start comparing women who have gone through menopause, and that's not applicable to this discussion since we're talking about ages of 5-40ish.

I did err a bit in the endurance thing (though women do regularly beat men at ultramaratons of 50 miles or more), but you are wrong as well. There are several studies out there that show when equalized for height, elite male and female athletes (runners and swimmers) have essentially the same "pace" if you will. The biggest difference is average stride length. A 5-4 man in these study groups, on average, ran at the same pace as a 5-4 woman. That held true to the 6-foot tall men and women. So a 5-10 female hockey player would not be under any physical disadvantage in skating stride when compared to a 5-10 male. How effectively they implement the physical tools is a separate question that comes down to technique and training, not physiology.

The center of gravity thing is well known. Now, how much practical difference does this serve? Probably very little because the issue of overall mass is also at play when it comes to collisions. Pain tolerance is harder to prove. There have been several studies done on hormonal pain receptors, though. And this would be very career-specific when comparing to males, because male professional athletes generally have higher pain tolerances than their couch-bound brethren.

There are physical differences in males and females. The amount of hemoglobin in the blood, for one, and the distribution of muscle mass (proportionally more in the upper bodies of males, proportionally more in the hips/thighs for women) and the difference in angle from hip to knee. But when comparing people of the same height and relative training, these aren't nearly as big of a deal as people make them out to be.

The thing about bench press was responding to the person who claimed NHLer's averaged a 300 pound bench press. That's absolutely untrue.

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