Here's a conversation I overheard at the gym the other day between a twentysomething couple:
Guy and girl are in the weight room preparing to begin their strength workout. Guy is buff, built, burly, big guns. Girl is petite, slender, thin-limbed. Guy looks like he could break girl in half.
Guy: So I was thinking about pumping my chest and triceps, probably gonna spend about an hour on those, then I'll go wail on my abs for another 20 minutes or so.
Girl: That's cool, whatever you're doing is fine.
Girl appears hesitant but allows Guy to select weights for her.
Guy: Why don't we start you off with about 25 pounds on dumbells for some incline presses?
Guy: I'll spot, you got it.
Girl: These are really heavy...I can't...
Guy: Just give me 5, babe, c'mon!
Girl: (grunting noisily) Help!
Guy: I got you, up, UP!
Girl drops weights and collapses with a sob.
Guy: Wanna do some skullcrushers?
Ok, so that was a dramatization. But I see it all too often: big dudes taking their tiny girlfriends through a workout designed with THEIR goals in mind. Odds are that that woman doesn't want to put on 10 pounds of muscle; she wants to tone up and lose a little body fat. Aside from the fact that she doesn't need to lift dangerous amounts of weight, she needs a workout designed for her goals and her body.
A note to the ladies: however much experience your husband or boyfriend or best guy friend has with strength training, it's always wise to get a fitness routine that's customized for your needs. You don't dress like him, use the same grooming products, or eat the same diet (I'm guessing): why would you copy his workout?