Friday, July 17, 2009

Women & Weights

Over at Mark's Daily Apple, he's got an interesting post up about the constant emails or questions from female clients about "not wanting to bulk up" when toning. I've heard this tons of times, just in casual conversation or when reading about general fitness. This idea that if you (women) work out with weights, suddenly you'll become some Soviet-Block Era steroid man-lady. He's lays out some general factoids about toning with weights and how good it is for you--for any HUMAN BEING and he tries to debunk the myths. He even has a video up from the Women's 2007 Weight Lifting Championship which shows some very fit, but not "scary" women lifting lots of weight.

So, why I bring this up is because I'm trying to do more with weights/toning in general because I'm not very strong and as I learned a few months ago, 1lb of muscle burns much more resting than fat--50 calories vs 2. And second, I'm interested in how gender and anxieties about performing gender can get in the way of health. Yes, during the 80's especially, weight lifting women were typed as she-men, Eastern Block, and ugly--and that probably had to do with tons of steroids involved in the sport at the time. Like with many sports, weight lifting has had to clean up its act--see, Baseball. Steroids are bad for your health, so there's no question there. But, muscle is not--muscle is good for your health and muscle accounts for why men get to eat more food than women, even when said man/woman is of equal height. It is just that the male gender is statistically more likely to gain muscle, more easily due to a variety of biological pre-dispositions, but women also need and should work on their muscle development.

We all have human bodies that benefit from muscle, regardless of gender. Yet, women are soooo damn worried about "looking masculine," many are willing to forgo the benefits of a regular toning regime because of a phantom, illusionary fear of becoming a member of the East German Weight Lifting team.

So listen up ladies--TONE YOUR MUSCLES and stop freaking out about how being female equals being dainty and weak. Strength is good.

1 comment:

  1. In my opinnion if you are obsess, who cares if you become a she-man. No one will see it. LOL.

    But for the real, you have to remove the fat before you can see even the muscles in the leg that hall I fat asses around.