Fitness Misconceptions Part 4
You’re getting into your new, prized car and the guy with holey clothes, washing windshields for $3 tells you that you that you did not make a sound financial purchase by buying that particular car new. What do you do? Probably blow him off. What does he know about financial wisdom? Now what if a man in a $3000 suit getting into a Lambo next to you told you the same thing. How does this change your reaction? You might still be annoyed, but you’re probably also slightly more inclined to listen. Now what if I told you this person was a trust fund baby who never worked a day in his life and had no financial background? Now we’re almost back to your feelings on the original scenario. In fact, you might trust the windshield cleaner a little more. At least he works and has to manage his own money.
The same goes for those dudes in the gym who come tell women that they’re doing something incorrectly. Yes. Some of them are large, but I end up seeing those big dudes in clinic because they’ve been performing exercises improperly, and now they’re injured. They didn’t learn technique. They just learned to lift and lift heavily. But what really takes the cake is when some guy walks by and tells a woman, “Don’t lift too much. You’ll get big.” Most of the time this happens, the lady isn’t even lifting a ridiculous amount, but this story takes the cake.
This is my friend Mary Allison. Isn’t she beautiful? She’s very smart and dedicated. She is political, expresses her opinions in a competent respectful way, and she knows her own voice. She cares about things that matter, and she speaks up for those without voices, even when it seems that no one has ears. She’s all around wonderful.
This is also my friend Mary Allison. She’s a serious cross-fitter who told me she’s put on about 20lbs of muscle since she started cross fit. She’s amazingly strong, and she puts in a lot of hard work to develop this strength.
She was at the gym a few weeks ago and some guy actually walked up to her and tapped her to get her attention, as she had her headphones in her ears. He literally interrupted her workout to tell her, “you still look okay, but if you lift any more then you won’t look like a girl anymore. Crossfit makes you bulky and guys don’t like bulky girls.”
I’m going to fight the urge to address my disgust at the implication that women’s only goal or motivation is men’s viewing pleasure and approval, as this is a fitness-related post, but last I checked, she does not walk around like this.
So she’s not running around town flexin on people, trying to intimidate them. She’s minding her own business (as this dude should have been doing.) Furthermore, what does this dude know about women bulking up? The likelihood that he has been a women’s body building coach is slim to none. If he were, he’d know good and well that she’s not on a bulking regimen. There are four main types of weight training. 1. Power- think Olympic lifters. The goal here is to lift as much as possible, just once. 2. Endurance- think long-term activity. I once had an ROTC patient who had to run distances holding a log over his head. 3. Hypertrophy- think your average frat boy on spring break. They just want big muscles. While some increase in muscle size does tend to occur in all types of training, this still requires its own particular regimen. 4. Strength- think post-surgical patients. Well it doesn’t have to be that extreme, but it can be. This could literally be an elderly person doing leg press 3 times a week so they can gain the strength to walk up the stairs. These various training strategies tend to interfere with each other, and any self-respecting coach would know the difference. But like I said, I doubt that guy was a coach/trainer of any sort.
My point here is to not take your advice from just anyone, especially when you don’t know the person. If they’re concerned for your safety, that’s different, but usually the staff will come find you if you’re jeopardizing the other patrons or yourself. Do not be intimidated or mislead by the guys at the gym, even if they are the biggest meatheads you’ve ever seen. Besides, there is literally no good reason to fall prey to some insecure idiot who’s afraid a woman might have the strength to turn a doorknob and walk out on him
Here’s a funny list of reasons “women shouldn’t lift.” I’m not endorsing this website or anything, just the humor on this list.
Happy Lifting !
PS- If you need a refresher on all the reasons you should get lifting, here’s a link to the first post!
PSS- Lots of animation of this post. I just obviously have a lot of feelings about this!