In the last hundred years or so women got to vote, receive proper education, own property, hold political offices and be successful in the business world. But when it comes to weight training, the best you can get most of them to do is swing little pink dumbbells.
Oh You Little Princesses!
I understand that the suffragettes didn’t shout “dumbbells for women,” but isn’t it amazing that with all the progress in women’s rights made over a century, women stubbornly still like to play the little girls when it comes to fitness? The same woman who in her job is the shark in a swimming pool full of carps enters a gym and transforms herself into a girlie that makes cute little puffing noises. It’s a bit like watching a Mrs. Hyde turn into a Dr. Jekyll.
The most common reason I hear from women why they don’t enter the weight room is the fear of bulking up – they don’t want to appear unfeminine. Which always makes me wonder if that business gal also worries about appearing “unfeminine” when she cuts 500 jobs in the company she manages. I bet if the union guy came over to her office complaining how unfeminine cutting jobs is of her, she’d laugh him out of the room.
How does that go together with being feminine? After all, caring and compassion supposedly are staples of the delicate female soul.
Didn’t You Learn Anything?
What puts insult next to injury is that these women should know better, thanks to the education their foremothers fought so hard for them to have.
They should know that women can’t bulk up like men, even if they wanted to, because they lack most of a very crucial ingredient in the dish that is big muscles: testosterone. Those professional female bodybuilders that look like freaks of nature and make the average guy weep, because his biceps is smaller? Most deliberately raised their t-level through steroids. For the woman who trains naturally that’s as likely to happen as a man developing a uterus.
They also should know that some real work with real weights will help them get the toned look that will never materialize from all their huffing and puffing for hours with small weights.
Finally they should know that asking the muscles for some serious effort helps tremendously in preventing the development of osteoporosis later in life.
You Are Big Girls Now, Act It!
So why do we have workout plans on here called “home workout for women” or “home workout for girls” and why do they emphasize the cardio side of working out? It’s not because women actually need special workout plans – they could start our home workout for beginners and do great with it.
But when women search the internet for workouts, those phrases above are what they key into search engines. And if you managed to lure them on the site, but show them a workout plan that has more resistance training than cardio in it, they’ll go, “uh, no, thank you.”
That most women act like that either points at a severe problem in our education system or women being deliberately ignorant. At least in fitness, I don’t buy that there is some patriarchal, societal conspiracy that keeps women from catching up – don’t delude yourself.
It’s much rather women themselves who do this sabotage and it’s time to grow up, girls. Just like you did in all other areas of life.
Picture courtesy of Greg Westfall.