28 February 2011

“Nicole” 400m Run, max rep pull ups…. AMRAP 20minutes

While today’s workout was a met-con, I am not going to talk about metabolic conditioning. I am going to talk instead about weight lifting and women.

Over the weekend I had the privilege of competing in and attending the Southwest Fitness Throwdown, as many of you know. What I saw down there in El Paso was something to write home about you can be sure. The female athletes were unbelievable! They were strong, fast, beautiful, coordinated, and confident. They were from all over the U.S., from all different age groups and different backgrounds. Some were in the military, some had been professional athletes, some came from a gymnastic background and many were mothers. I was so inspired once again to be better, faster, stronger. Seeing all of these strong women made me remember a recent conversation I had with a student and that I had had a similar conversation many times before with different students.

In my time as a coach I have been frequently been approached my female athletes about muscle gain. Unfortunately it is usually not from the standpoint of wanting to gain more muscle, but concern about getting “too big.” And every so often there is a female athlete who is worried about injuring herself. In today’s CF Journal there is an awesome article by Bill Starr about such things…and more.

“I was well aware many authorities at that time believed

very strongly that because the two sexes are physically

different, there should be two different approaches to

strength training. I couldn’t see the logic in that way of

thinking. Male and female muscles, tendons and ligaments

work exactly the same. Lung and heart action is the same,

as are the rest of the ways in which the body functions in

regards to getting stronger. If a certain exercise makes the

legs stronger in a man, it will do the same for a woman.

There are, however, a few differences between the two

groups at the beginning stage of training. The female is

considerably weaker in her upper body than a male, but on

the flip side, she is usually stronger than a male, relatively

speaking, in her lower body. Yet that’s no reason to alter a

training program other than to spend more effort on the

weaker area—which is the case for anyone just starting

out. One area of the body is always going to be lagging

behind somewhat.

I’ve also had sports coaches tell me that their athletes have

special needs and should be doing a program specifically

designed for that sport. They don’t fully understand the

concept of strength training. The first step in the process

for any athlete is to make her total structure stronger and

not worry about specific exercises for a certain sport. For

until strength of the hips/legs, back and shoulder girdle

has improved considerably, those specific movements will

I have little value. I’ve coached female athletes who participated

in soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, swimming, fencing,

volleyball, softball, basketball, and track-and-field events.

Everyone did the basics until the foundation was solid, and

then I added in some specific exercises that were pertinent

to her chosen sport. To begin with, movements geared for

a certain sport are much less effective.”


increase in weight. It is true, muscle weighs more than fat. So as you gain muscle you may gain weight…as in a number on the scale. But having muscle is the sure fire way to burn fat and keep it off.

Too big of muscles…shoulders arms and butt. Unless you are really increasing your caloric intake, you aren’t going to get huge. The reason why body builders have gigantic muscles is because they want gigantic muscles. They follow a very strict diet of lots and lots of food. Keep eating enough to nu=ourish yourself and the amount of work you are doing and you will develop a beautiful lean fit athletic body, the one you were meant to have. Eating and not working out will just get you fat.

Injury I will leave to the expert on this one

“Weight training is one of the safest forms of exercising

there is—when it’s done correctly. There’s certainly much

less of a risk in squatting a weight than in driving to the

basket for a layup with two or more defenders determined

not to let you get the shot off.

Even Olympic lifting, which places the athlete in many

precarious positions, is a safe sport, just so long as the lifts

are done correctly. Faulty form in any athletic activity is

dangerous, so learning the proper technique on all the lifts

is a must

Keep in mind that females have been lifting heavy

objects throughout history. It is no more dangerous for

a female to exert herself fully than it is for a male. If she

has done the necessary work to prepare her body for the

maximum effort and uses good form, she may not make

that lift, but she will be fine. Keep in mind that the barbell

doesn’t know which sex is trying to lift it. Good form will

be rewarded and sloppy technique will be penalized in a

democratic fashion.”


This is a lovely site for wonem weight lifters and there are some very funny and annoying blogs about things that are said to wonem in the gym!

Comment by Mona Malec — March 2, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

Mobility WOD