Women often express the concern that lifting weights or exercising at high intensities will make them bulky or masculine.
Masculine characteristics are caused by androgenic hormones. Women are women and men are men.
People do not accidentally look like bodybuilders. Bodybuilders spend many years training in a very specific manner in order to achieve a very specific adaptation. The bodybuilders that you see in magazines are taking large amounts of steroids. It’s not an accident that they look the way they do.
Bulk! Bulk is caused in large part by diet. The FDA food pyramid recommends the macro-nutrients in the same ratios that farmers feed livestock in order to bulk them up for the slaughter.
Women need strength training. Strength training increases bone density, improves the integrity of connective tissue, improves the ability of muscles to forcefully contract and raises the basal metabolism.
Women need high intensity exercise. High intensity exercise improves the efficiency of the circulatory and respiratory systems, burns fat, improves muscular strength, relieves stress, develops mental toughness and increases the number of mitochondria in cells. An increase in the number of mitochondria is inversely correlated to the likelihood of developing type II diabetes.
Strength training and high intensity exercise make women stronger and more capable.
The idea of a fragile sedentary woman is a recent development. Throughout most of history women had to be strong and capable in order to survive. Weak men may be threatened by physically capable women.
We have been sold a bill of goods as to what exercise is. Exercise is running, climbing, jumping, lifting, pushing and pulling. Exercise should be performed in the real world with bodyweight and barbells not machines.
If you want to see the product of real, intense exercise, go to a track meet, a gymnastics competition, an amateur wrestling match or a CrossFit gym.
The fitness industry makes money by selling products that promise to make exercise easy.
If it doesn’t feel like work, it probably isn’t.
Commercial gyms create a revenue stream by selling memberships and hoping to never see you again. They provide rooms full of exercise machines because machines require little or no skill to use. It takes time and energy to teach people useful skills and movements. It takes no time to sit them down on a machine.
Americans are overweight because as a population we generally eat too much and exercise too little or exercise at too low of an intensity.
High intensity exercise is much more productive then low intensity exercise.
1.5 Mile Walk = easy and causes little adaptation the body of a healthy person.
1.5 Mile Jog = still pretty easy but may cause a little more stress and therefore adaptation.
1.5 Mile Run = at an all out effort can be very demanding and stimulate significant adaptation.
1.5 Mile Sprints (broken into .25 miles) = at an all out effort is an extremely demanding workout.
All of the above workouts covered the same distance. The difference is intensity.
Divide a pool of test subjects into four groups; assign each group to one of the four exercise protocols.
Instruct the test subjects to perform the assigned workout three times per week for six weeks.
Which group is going to experience the most change and positive adaptation?
The adaptation would directly correlate to the intensity of the exercise protocol.
Higher intensity = more adaptation.
Who is fitter and looks better, a walker or a competitive 400m runner?