I love my muscles
The other day I was working on an online homework assignment for my statistics class. It involved multiple calculations and took me well over an hour. Stretching my legs out in front of me once I was done, I ran a hand down the top of my thigh where I encountered a hard, solid bulge under my pants (hehehehehe.)
“Holy fuck” I thought, “is that my muscle?”
These moments happen a lot now. I took up weight lifting this past July. I never considered myself weak, but my workouts were pretty much all cardio with a few weight machines thrown in. I had read over stumptuous.com a few times, but I found the free weights too intimidating.
However, while looking for things that might be holding back my fitness goals, I did a lot of research on general fitness and wellness. Everyone seemed to agree that weight training had too many benefits to ignore and I decided I just needed to get over my fears.
Now I feel a bit cheated that I haven’t been doing this for years.
Women, for a lot of reasons, don’t take up weights in nearly the same numbers as they hop on elliptical trainers. They’re afraid of becoming unfeminine; too bulky or just too strong. They believe that cardio workouts are the only ‘effective’ workouts. They’re only worried about how many calories they’re burning in a single workout and don’t want to ‘waste’ workout time lifting weights.
Do these fears have any basis? No. Seriously, women do not have the hormonal makeup to gain huge amounts of muscle without chemical assistance. Put it this way, look at fitness models. These women are paid to have lots of muscle and little body fat and they pretty much never manage to look bulky.
And weight lifting is really good for women. It helps with bone density which can prevent osteoporosis. The right weight training can help prevent injury too.
Even if the above weren’t true though, weight lifting would still kick ass. There is something about being strong that just feels empowering. I never feel quite so bad ass as I do in the power cage, a bar slung across my back, feeling the muscles of my body work to keep my balance and to push myself up again and again. And there’s always a sense of growth and accomplishment in the weight room. Did I manage another rep on my dead lift or did I add five pounds to my bench press? WOOT! High fives all around. And the mirrors! Oh, it is hard to be mean to your body when not only is it doing these awesome super strong things, but you have to watch your reflection intently to keep good form.
Too often fitness is portrayed as drudgery, especially where women are concerned. We must be long and lean and we need to spend an hour a day on a cardio machine. Muscles are man territory. Even today, in my gym, the weights area and the cardio machines may as well be segregated by gender. That’s silly. Muscle is a good thing for everyone.
So find someone who knows what they’re doing, find something heavy and pick that shit up.
Then we can meet up somewhere and flex together! :p