Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I'm a Girl, I don't want big muscles!

The good news is ladies, that unless you want big muscles and specifically train for big muscles, you won't get them!

So lets start at the beginning of the conversation.

Me (to female): Lift weights.

Female: I don't want big muscles.

Me: It's not a problem, unless you specifically train to gain muscle mass, girls don't get big muscles.

Female: Why not?

Me: Well, lots of reasons, many of them the same reasons why guys can lift weights and not all look like The Rock. The biggest reason is that girls are just different than boys.  Specifically, guys have more testosterone than women, and they also by default have more naturally available upper body strength.  It's not that you can't get big, but most women (unless they're body builders) just end up stronger with nicely toned figures.

Female: Well, I'm not worried about being strong, I just want to be healthy.

Me: That's great! If you want to be healthy, you want to be strong. Especially because as women age (like everyone) they loose bone mass. For women that problem is more serious because of menopause. The best way to prevent getting that bent over old lady look is to lift heavy (builds bone mass) and make sure you do some good postural exercise.

Female: That's great, but I'm not really that worried about menopause or old age just yet.

Me: That's OK. Need to tote around that computer bag? How about that huge Coach bag you're holding.  Have kids? Need to hold them? Strong arms are a plus! 

Female: OK, I can see that, but really, why should I do all the squats you've mentioned before?

Me: Well, besides strength in your legs being key to maintaining your independence while you're older (think - "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!" ) those squats are going to get you some nice glutes. Additionally, if you want to burn serious calories, you want to hit the biggest muscles in your body  - so there's good short term benefit too :D

Female: OK, you've convinced me.

Me: Wow. I really wish it was that easy in real life. But I'm glad you get the idea. Hope I've allayed any fears you might have had. Now go hit the weights!

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