Sunday, December 16, 2007

Are Strong Chicks Sexy?

You don't have to be around the fitness industry long before you start hearing ladies complaining that they don't want to lift heavy weights because they don't want to get huge, bulging muscles that will make them unattractive. Personally, I just about burst out in laughter whenever I hear something like that, because such a statement contains several misconceptions. Here are my arguments to those misconceptions:

  1. Muscle is sexy--Ever see a guy turn his nose up in disgust at a pair of firm, muscular thighs? Not talkin' about the babes on steroids with no trace of body fat. Talkin' about athletes, dancers, fitness models and the like. Nope, muscle makes a body curvacious and attractive.
  2. Bulky muscles don't happen by accident--Those gals in muscle mags that women think of so often when they think about weightlifting don't get that way just because they lift heavy. Most of them are also on juice, train excessively and maintain an unhealthy bodyfat level. Few gals (maybe 1% of the population) will gain lots of muscle mass just by lifting heavy weights a couple days each week. If muscle mass were easy to get, every guy in America would look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. And even if you fall into the 1% of women who do gain muscle easily, review point No. 1 above and be happy!
  3. Strength is health--So many health problems from bad posture and back pain to heart disease and high cholesterol can be solved with strength training. Strong muscles prevent injury, correct posture, and make your body more capable. Training for strength increases heart and lung health (provided your training reaches intensities that raise your heart rate significantly) and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is the "good" cholesterol. Sickliness, including muscles wasted away by excessive aerobic conditioning, and weakness are never sexy.

My wife used to tell me that she didn't want to do heavy weightlifting because she didn't want to get all bulky with muscles. She's been doing kettlebells for a year or two now, but that's not really heavy lifting--great exercise, but not heavy. But this summer she started lifting with me--working at her 5-rep-max and such. We just tested her 1 RM on Friday and she pulled 215 on deadlift and pressed 100 pounds off the bench! She wont' win any contests at that level, but she's stronger than most American women. She feels great about what her new strength allows her to do. And to look at her, you'd never suspect that she likes to lift heavy. She's curvacious and firm, but not bounding with mutant-looking muscles. And in the bedroom . . .well, that's between me and her (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

So, what do you think? Are strong chicks sexy? Let me know by leaving comments on my blog.

For a list of resources that the gals can use to start gaining the benfits of heavy strength training, check out the ladies' page on my Low Budget Warrior web site:

Also, here's a gal that's got a great attitude about heavy lifting:

God bless, stay strong, stay fit



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