Friday, April 23, 2010

Why Women Should Lift Heavy Things

I've been wanting to do a post on why women should lift heavy things for a while. For ideas and research, I googled quite a few different phrases to see what would come up. One of the first searches I did, I noticed there was a blog titled 'Why Women Shouldn't Lift Weights' which I obviously clicked right on to see if this was a joke... but in the first few paragraphs it seemed to be serious. It talked about how in the past, women had to keep their feminine figures to appease their men, and how if women lifted, they'd look more masculine, or that when they did any sort of physical exertion, they'd pass out (not realizing having their body squeezed together by a corset might have some role in that), etc... so I kept reading for a while until I realized where this guy was going. Dale Andrew, who wrote this blog, closes with this:

"Some women let fear stop them from taking action. Other women push through the b.s. and drag others along with them. You are free to think that women shouldn’t lift weights. You are free to choose ignorance over education. You are free to choose your own conception of what it means to be a beautiful woman. But if you don’t, history shows that men will decide it for you."

This statement needs to be tattooed on Tracy Anderson's forehead. She is the personal trainer of Gwyneth Paltrow and some other celebrities. She has an eerily plastic looking face, and is described by Ms. Paltrow as 'the exercise genius of all time.' Paltrow also claims that she 'works. freakin. hard' as she is holding on to two band type thingys moving them up and down (video link here). To work on their arms, Ms. Anderson explains to 'take 3 pound weights, ONLY 3 pound weights, a woman should never lift more then 3 pounds.' It seems to me that the plastic in Anderson's face has seeped into her blood stream and made her crazy. Maybe just dumb. Dumb crazy - a deadly combination.
Wait wait wait wait.... get this quote: 'When you're 35, you either starve yourself, or you eat and you do serious cardio (as she dances around a room), but there is no free ride.' Holy crap, I can't stop quoting this video. Anderson 'Its much easier to change your body and change your muscular structure if you train, and get used to training in heat.'

I went to Tracy's website to find out her qualifications. Apparently she has done extensive research, and has 'designed the Hybrid Body Reformer, an apparatus that uses a fusion of aerobic and dance movements, to re-engineer the muscular structure.' Does that mean she's a plastic surgeon? No. She has no schooling or training that I can find.

OK - I'm done with that rant. For now.

On to the other research and words of wisdom I've accumulated since I've started to think about this blog post. There are so many directions you can take relating to why women should lift weights; confidence, bone density, all body image results, general sporting fitness, staying healthy, delaying or avoiding becoming decrepit, confidence and any other reason a lady may chose to or chose not to lift something heavy.
Clarification of my definition of heavy (in the lifting sense), it is something relative to each individual, but will be challenging to move it in the direction intended.

You do not get big in the gym, you get big at the dinner table. Women do not have enough testosterone to feed muscles for them to 'look like a man' or through some sort of Herculean effort. One pound of muscle burns 10-20 calories a day, while one pound of fat burns about 5 calories a day. Having more muscle tissue also increases your overall metabolism, which will then burn more calories at rest, you know, when you're not on the elliptical.

On that note... I've let this post sit in my draft box for some time now. I figure today - the day before I go to a Strongman Clinic to learn how to lift cool heavy things and throw kegs, flip tires and other fun things - would be the perfect day to set this post live.

Please feel free to post other resources as to why women should lift heavy things!