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
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