Time To Step Up Ladies!

1 Oct

There are a lot of articles out there detailing the reasons women need to lift heavy weights and perform high intensity metabolic work. I’m not going to write another one, people way smarter than me have already exhausted the topic.

In actuality I don’t meet a lot of women who seemed shocked / completely dismissive at the guidance I extend to them on said topic.

However, I continue to look around the crowded gym floor and see the same women yielding dumbbells that weigh less than the purse they carry around all day. Moreover, when it comes to the women who spend every minute of their gym time on the cardio equipment, there is an influx of repeat offenders.

How often do you see a woman do something at the gym that is truly impressive (shy of the ability to read People Magazine, hold a conversation, plug away on the elliptical, and text)?

A heavy squat, serious interval training? It doesn’t happen all to often.

There is a clear gap between the knowing and the doing. Women know they need to lift heavy things, and perform shorter more strenuous Energy System Development, but they don’t want to.

So what gives?

It’s not inherently in their nature to do these things.

Women chemically respond to stress differently than men. Heavy weight lifting actually causes a form of physical stress on the body. Enter the fight or flight response, which occurs during physical and mental periods of stress.

This response leads to a rise in the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin has been reffered to as the “cuddle hormone.” (O’Callaghan) This hormone’s effects are increased by estrogen and reduced greatly by testosterone.

Oxytocin is the same hormone released when women are exposed to sexual stimuli, hence pillow talk, spooning etc. Get the picture?

Twilight Guys ... How Bad Do You Want To Cuddle Ladies?

Jessica Alba, How Bad Do You Want Move Heavy Stuff Guys?

Suffice to say women fall heavily on the flight side of the spectrum. How does that relate to weight training? Women are not likely to “push” through a repetition. If the load is heavy or the speed to fast they are prone to let up.

So what’s the take away?

I don’t necessarily want to do a lot of things in the gym. However, if the result is beneficial I’m going to grit my teeth and do it. Women need to come to grips with the fear of working outside their comfort zone. In any fitness related goal the intended result is to cause an adaptation.

You aren’t going to cause such adaptations doing what you’re good at, or comfortable with.

How many times have you seen the word “attack” used in the context of fat loss?

Everything is relative, I’m not telling you to go to the gym tomorow load 135lbs on the bar and start squatting, or to head to the track and start doing 200yd shuttle sprints until you want to die. What I am saying is that you need to start challenging yourself (safely) and get out of your comfort zone. All the while being cognizant of the fact you will have to combat your inherent tendencies to do the latter.

So here’s to the new you, motivated to attack your fitness and physique goals, and showing a little female testicular fortitude in the gym.

O’Callaghan, Tiffany (7, June 2010). “Thanks, Mom!”. Time Magazine. Time, Inc.. Retrieved 2010-01-10.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: