So here I sit this gloomy spring day…spring for upstate New York at least. It’s forty degrees, everything is brown and wet…yup spring. I am just back for the gym after what I feel is the best workout both mentally and physically I have had in weeks, eating a bowl of homemade chili. Life is good.
I want to start with a product review and a shout out to Optimum Nutrition for their fantastic Amino Energy. They aren’t a sponsor or anything, but I have been using this stuff for about 3 weeks now, and I really like it for a number of reasons. First it mixes completely, I mean just dissolves into water. No grit, no slime, completely. Second, is flavor. I started with the Orange and it tasted really good. It reminded me of Tang from when I was a kid and actually drank it (or what Tang really should, have tasted like???). Anyway, I really like the orange, but I am going to try the Blue Raspberry next. Next is results. I can actually feel the beta-alinine and caffeine kick in a little when I am doing my warm-up. Most likely this will fade the more I use it, and it is probably because I am not used to using Nitric-oxide boosters and the like. What I have also noticed is better drive and focus going into my workouts, but I heat up quicker and sweat a little more. I think this is actually helping a little with my recovery, but not as much as it could if I did not push so hard some days. Last is price. A tub of this stuff is only 20 bucks! And it is pretty versatile. It says you can use two scoops in water as a morning energy drink. I have tried this instead of coffee with better and more immediate results than a cup of coffee. I still like my coffee though, it’s a taste thing. A word to the wise, don’t take it if you aren’t going to workout, or at least have a period of increased activity level. Unless you like sitting around the house vibrating with excess energy and no purpose.
So my thought for the week is this: Why do more women not weight train? I don’t mean isolation exercise circuits on machines. I mean barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, etc. Is it because weight training is a pretty much individual activity? Weight training basically is, unless you have a friend partnered with you or a coach or trainer. I know you ladies are social creatures, which is why you gravitate to classes, like yoga and zumba, soul cycle, etc. If that is the case, then the gym is just an excuse to hang out with your friends.Are you afraid of getting big? I now that myth is out there. It’s not going to happen. Ask any female body builder, fitness competitor, power lifter or other type of athlete and they will tell you that you don’t accidentally get big. Big isn’t even a side effect of lifting alone. Getting big, putting on bulk takes work.
No comment, other than …nope. No comment. I am refraining from commenting. I think unless you hit the genetic lottery, have Arnold as a trainer and/or consume close to your body weight in whey protein, the results you will see are fat loss, and maybe a little weight gain due to increased lean muscle mass. Yes, the scale may go up a bit but we as a society really need to get past this hangup. Go with how you look, not some number on the floor between your feet.
Weight training will not only help you look better, but it will get rid of that “skinny-fat” cardio bunny look. You know what I mean, skinny yet flabby at the same time. No real strength, no lean mass. Resistance training on machines is a good starting point. But at some point, graduate yourself to the free weights.
You will be surprised how strong you can be. How resilient the human body is. Think of never having to ask your husband/boyfriend to put this on the shelf for you because it’s too heavy. The greatest sight I have ever seen in the gym was the time I saw a guy finish doing a 1 rep max dead lift. And just as he went to put the weights away, a woman told him he could leave it. He gave her a look, she gave him a look back. She tossed some tens on it and proceeded to warm up with it. I can guarantee you that this dude felt so UN-manly and insecure about what just happened, that later on he gave himself a temporary case of scoliosis trying to replicate what she did, just so his bros won’t think less of him.
Lift ladies, lift. Girls, you too. Start young. Don’t fear the weights. I think it would do great things building confidence in young women and girls. Maybe counteract some of the emotional patterning that Cosmo and the fashion industry cause to the female psyche (even though they will deny it and try and make you believe they are selling you empowerment). The weight room isn’t just for boys….or meatheads.
Being strong is healthy. It builds bone density so Sally Fields will stop pitching you medication to combat the loss of bone density, that is pretty much the lifetime result of lack of resistance training and improper diet. You are not frail creatures. You should not break because you are 50 and fall down. A gallon jug of water should not be a challenge.
Things are starting to change. It’s subtle, but most effective and lasting change usually is. Even Vogue is getting on board the “strong is the new sexy” concept.
(O.K. admittedly two-time Crossfit games champion Annie Thorisdottir is an extreme example)
Maybe the times they are a changin???? Maybe. But only women can change them.