Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Women and Weight Training.

Why don't more women weight train? I'm not talking about using pink/purple dumbbells that weigh less than 4k either. I mean why don't more women actually get down and dirty in the gym?
Every day in my gym I see plenty of women on the machines, firing off rep after rep with little or no resistance, but hardly any in the weights sections. I don't understand it. Is is fear? Nervousness? Worrying about how they'll look? Shit everyone looks pink faced and sweaty in the gym.
My friend is getting married soon, and she wants to look fantastic for her wedding day- she will of course. She is concerned about her arms and shoulders.
'I want to tone up my arms' she said.
'Weights', I said.
'I don't want to get bulky.'
'You haven't a snow balls chance in hell in getting bulky.'
'I just want to tone.'
'What do you think 'toning' is only building some muscle and reducing fat?'

And so on.

Seriously, I know woman read this blog and I'm asking, do you go to the gym? Do you ever venture into the free weight area when you do attend? If not, why not? What do you do when you're there? What are your goals? Is it just over all fitness or do you go with something specific in mind?

This enquiring mind would like to know.

Labels:

46 Comments:

Anonymous sheepworrier said...

I suppose it's viewed as a very masculine exercise. I didn't even bother with free weights in my gym days due to all the super macho he-men strutting around the weights room, tho I was a little more self-conscious back then.

9:44 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

There's a few 'strutters' ( I like that word) in my gym too, but by and large I wouldn't take any notice of them, and the REALLY big ones can be very helpful indeed as they usually know their shit and don't mind being asked stuff as long as they're not in mid rep.
The worst are young chaps 17/18 all doing dumbbell curls with too heavy weights, le sigh.
But I suppose if can look intimidating if you're not used to the posing and posturing.

9:55 a.m.  
Blogger Sweary said...

What's a gym?

10:04 a.m.  
Blogger Magpie said...

I'm a 39 yr old woman and I do free weights about three times a week, arms/chest/back one session, arms and mid another, then legs for the other session. It really helps my running but I'm getting really good arm definition now as a side benefit and I like it :) I do lat pull downs, press-ups, flies and chest press, plus all the leg weight ones and squats and lunges. I do enjoy weights...

But I only do them because my trainer put them in my program, I wouldn't have had a clue what to do otherwise. Before, I would have been intimidated wandering down to the weights area, as I was never quite sure what I should be doing...and some men there really do hog the weights benches and give you evil looks if you use them and you're female!

10:12 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Bringing in the coal, lifting sheep out of the drains, chopping wood, carrying multiple children, throwing bales of hay and straw, hefting bags of meal, lifting cauldrons of water and baskets of laundry, pushing/dragging cattle and horses from a to b, saving and stacking turf... time was the Irish woman's home was her gym.

10:29 a.m.  
Anonymous Cate said...

I'd love to go to the gym but it's actually impossible. Don't have time. Leave house at 7am get back to house at 8:30pm at which time i'm completely famboozled. Most exercise I get during the week is going to the shop for a sandwich at lunchtime, or over and back to the printer & housework.... Free me free me.

11:16 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot of people find the gym extremely boring.

When not get out and do some walking, or swimming or whatever.

Good brisk walking is the best exercise, and it's free.

Nothing as unappealing as a muscular woman

11:31 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Fair play Magpie! I know those looks too. I remember one chap-back in the early days- who saw me loading the plates for a push press- actually asked me if I know they were in 'kilos and not pounds'!


Sweary, big place, pay money to go, you couldn't wear your fab shoes there.

Conan, that's probably true to a certain extent.

Aw Cate, I know, cursed work always getting in the way of stuff.

Monkey- you find fit men and women unattractive? Bow odd.
If you find something boring it's purely down to your state of mind, if you can't elevate yourself out of boredom your self no one can. Try a few challenges, you might find you like them.

11:54 a.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

I know how good weight training is, and I do some free weights from time to time (never do lunges without them, for instance) but I think the cardio is more fun, and just...I don't know...FEELS like you're getting more bang for your buck in your workout - whether it's true or not. I think that's probably why more women stop at the cardio - though perhaps some are under the silly impression that they'll get bulky. PErsonally, I find anything repetitive that you have to count TERRIBLY boring. Yoga is boring too, but some of those stretches are as good for you, if not better, than a half hour on an elliptical. But the elliptical - you put the TV on, forget about the clock, and go.

12:31 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Gotta say i did find the gym quite tedious too, FMC - but you're prob right - it's just a state of mind. Never found running tedious or boring tho, as long as I'm not running the same route too often.

12:34 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I agree with you about the cardio being more up tempo. You can race, or just run along to music in a relaxed state or whatever floats your boat.
Lately I've been taking a much more keen interest in the weights side of things though and I'd ike to bounce ideas off some other ladies doing free weights. See where they're at or what they're doing differently.
I stopped faffiing about and am finally starting to make serious gains in strength. While doing this, like Magpie mentioned, I notice it's starting to be beneficial in other area, like kickboxing for example.
I'm like you Andraste I find yoga a little staid, but I know it's good for you and we use a lot of yoga stretches after Gingerday's KB class. I think I just like more explosive activities.

Yesterday's Dead Lift was 92 kilos- a 7 kilo rise on my last PB. I can tell you I almost WHOOPED out loud with glee when it came up off the floor. ( I didn't as I needed that air badly)

12:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I should point out that my Bench Press is UST as crap as ever and I was wondering if anyone had any tip to improve it. 32k was my last set and it took EVERYTHING I had to get it up for 5. And I ached for days afterwards.

12:43 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

A good reason why not - in a word - Madonna - have you seen her arms? Bleurgh.

1:04 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

i never knew how to use the free weights properly so i avoided them, i don't go to the gym too often cos i tend to get bored.
Unless of course there's fit birds around but then it's a bit too pervy.

But what else is there to look at?

anyway, i've got a bench and bar with weights ordered so i'll putting together my own gym and then running around the block.

1:21 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Shebah! You're alive! Hello there.
Madonna is very extreme and has no body fat that I can see. I think nicely shaped arms are lovely on men and women.

Morgor - that's terrific. Have you anything specific in mind?

1:30 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

i sometimes use the free weights - right now i'm busy, and my "free time" to go to the gym corresponds with the busiest time of day, ergo the weight room is crowded. for now i stick to cycling, yoga, and one weight class a week. yep, a weight class. i have no upper body strength, and this is an hour long lifting class (bar, free weights, etc) that builds you up to 50# over time. i find that since i generally go to the gym alone it's best to do classes (for me anyway) otherwise i never push myself.

as for worrying about looking silly, i practice different lifts at home with soup cans or a broomstick (there are a plethora of videos online for weightlifting) to make sure i get the form right first..... then go to the gym and replicate it.

1:51 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Good for you DM. I imagine the yoga will help build up the upper body strength a lot. My yoga friend is very strong, especially through her core.
I used to go to the gym alone too, but I go with a gym buddy now and the added competition is probably what kicked my arse into gear. Amazing what a bit of competition can do.

You can find out how to do any lift online if you're curious or self conscious. Then it's just practice practice.

2:01 p.m.  
Blogger Vicki Holdwick said...

I don't belong to a gym, but do work out at home.

Weight training is the single most effective exercise to really see results in a shorter period of time. I walk uphill on a treadmill every day. I do weight training with 5 pound weights every other day.

I returned to this regimen for the new year. So far I have lost 7 pounds and 10 inches. It really works.

Of course, I am trying to cut down on eating after dinner, too!!

2:21 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monkey- you find fit men and women unattractive? Bow odd.
If you find something boring it's purely down to your state of mind, if you can't elevate yourself out of boredom your self no one can. Try a few challenges, you might find you like them....FMC

Hello fat feline.
I positively do find SOME fit women unattractive..Sonia O'Sullivan, sinewy, boney with permanently painful expression on her face.

Madonna..purportedly a fitness fanatic...similarly, offensively sinewy arms and legs..ugh.

The Williams sisters, fit certainly, attractive, certainly not.

Fitness does not automatically equate with attractiveness.

2:27 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

but you're pointing out women who spend their lives at the gym. the "average" woman who gets fit will never look like that.....

2:31 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Yep 'some' being the operative word. Nobody said all fit people were attractive, but you said earlier "Nothing as unappealing as a muscular woman" which is a pretty stupid blanket statement. Do you mean body builder muscular or Jessica Beal muscular or ballet dancer muscular? You know, muscular can mean a lot of different things.

Well done Vicki, that's a pretty impressive shift in a few months. If you exercise rom home you can use your body weight for lots of different exercises too, push ups, plank, and so on, you can use your stairs for step, two chairs for dips and one I like that anyone can do anywhere is simple skipping.

2:35 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Daisy Mae, exactly.

2:37 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Morgor - that's terrific. Have you anything specific in mind?

Yeah, i've got that list that my mate made out, deadlifts, romanian deadlifts, er i forget the rest of the names :)

4:53 p.m.  
OpenID grimsaburger said...

My God, what I'd do to have a body like Serena Williams'. She looks like she could barrel through a brick wall, shake off the debris, and seduce every living thing on the other side.

I don't gym it up for the weights, but I was doing a range of upper-body/mostly arm exercises with 10-lb weights last spring and summer. That plus the running and biking toned my biceps and triceps up to their sveltest ever. I can't do much with them now, but I am so pleased to see I haven't put on any of the chub that used to hang around my triceps since then.
If I had more weights at home, I'd lift more for sure. It's just the getting to the gym that's the hard part.

5:00 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

I let my gym membership expire this year because it was just too damn expensive every month. I could drive 15 miles to a less expensive one in Ventura but I know myself and I know that's just not going to work. It'd be too easy not to go. There has to be a certain level of dumb easiness to it before I'll go.

Nowadays I walk the beach a lot which makes my thighs and calves ache, but in a good way. I run up and down the stairs fast 20 x a day and whenever the kettle is boiling and I'm just standing around anyway.

My goals were really just to stay healthy and try to keep at bay as many of the hassles of old age when it comes. Shoring up kind of. Also it just makes me feel good afterwards with the endorphins and the exertion and the discipline of it.

Every now and again I'd play around in the weights area without ever really knowing what I was doing but trying to copy some of the other people there in terms of movement. Invariably they were men and more than once I got a smirk of condescension as I made bold and ventured into their area. I'm ballsier than I look though and so I try and just ignore them and go my own way. I felt stupid sometimes though, trying to lift weights poorly and without the balance or that innate physical intelligence to know if I was doing it at all right.

I used to love badminton adn had a mighty right forearm. Wish I could play that again, but out here nobody does.

5:34 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Serena's an awesome athlete, but I think venus has the better shape. But then each to their own. I think LInda Hamilton in T2 is fucking awesome, but some folk think she looks to skinny.


Sam, what about squash? Anyone that could play that with you.

* is disgustingly jealous in disgustingly disgusting way of beach talk*


Morgor, compound lifts are brilliant for over all body work. Dead Lifts, presses, squats benches, the works, you'll be jumping up through the weights in no time.

6:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's various diverse reasons why the free weights section is bereft of females, as diverse as females themselves. i'm lucky enoough to have joined a ladies'gym, but still i tend to be the only woman brewing up a sweat,and scaring the skinny weak folk wearing the wrong shoes. ive recently ventured onto free weights,only on 4kg yet, (but not pink or purple!), and i find them much more effective than resistance machines for toning and strength. its a puzzling situation but sure there's no talkin to some people...and at the end of the day could you be bothered..also i tend to cut boredom by that curious invention known as the mp3 player.

8:57 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

God bless ipods and mp3 player! I agree with you, free weight use stabilizing muscles as well as the muscle you are actively trying to work, far preferable to just the machines.

I'm not really trying to convert, folk will do what folk will do, but I'd like to have a few natters here and there with like minded people who are amping up the weights too. Especially other women who are doing compound lifts and so on, see how they're getting on, are they finding certain things tricky, and so on.

9:59 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

I hate the gym, I used to go to one in a place I worked in purely because it was free and because I worked insane hours which meant that when I was off it was the middle of the night.

I used to to a LOT of yoga & pilates, 5-6 classes a week. Now I live in the countryside which is full of crazy barky dogs so I thought that my running days were over as I am scared shitless of most of them, but then I realised that there is a GAA pitch about 5 seconds from my front door so I run that a few times a week for an hour or so, I have no idea how many laps I do, I always lose count, probably due to being bolloxed - oops!

There is one Yoga class I can get to and one Pilates class per week.
It's Ashtanga Yoga which is the hardest type apparently in that it makes your heart pound and makes you sweat buckets. I bought a "Yogalates" DVD too fairly cheaply from Amazon, the woman in it is a teacher in Australia and I went to a few of her classes when I was there. Her voice is really annoying so mostly I just do it myself. I do some weights (small like) because when I did them before in the free gym my arms were insane looking and I really didn't like it, also my boobs disappeared and I don't have much boobage anyway! In my job I am running about and lifting heavy objects for 12 hours a day mostly so that's my other weights. I have no bingo-wings (go me!) I got rid of the handles of love more or less by googling "instant abs" and doing the exercises that came up.
Since Xmas I have lost no weight but gained an immense amount of muscle tone and I love it, my 1950's figure is back after piling on a belly on my travels. I now have my tiny waist and flat stomach back and I am delighted.
Some of my friends go to the gym all the bloody time (mildy addicted I would say) none of them do weights, none of them have any strength in what I actually tell them is a pathetic way like they can't lift their body weight.

A guy I work with is a weights head, totally massive but it suits him in that it doesn't make his head look too small for his body, he is also super fit and yet he can't even hold his weight on his hands - like in a handstand which I do all the time in Yoga - I don't understand this at all cause I thought that he would be well able. Hmm.

10:09 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Core work Babs, I can't do a head stand either but my pal who teaches yoga could probably teach IN a head/hand stand. I am soooo jealous of her core strength, and now yours too!

12:11 a.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

But if he has super muscles all over then how come he has no core strength?
I regularly do them in work to piss him off (I know, very mature!). His arms are so big that he can't touch his shoulder with the hand on the same side if that makes sense, his muscles are too big!
I do work a lot on my core, it gives me the shape I want too so it sort of works in all my favours!

11:05 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

He's got 'show muscles'. Your super core has kicked his inferior core into touch!

11:31 a.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

Yes I suppose you are right. I do like to touch his arms though in a non pervy way and go "wow" because I can't imagine ever being able to get that big.
Go on the Bab's Core!! :)

12:19 p.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

FMC

Yah ever tried a chin up bar. I got one as I'm gearing up for the triathlon season and I don't have time to travel to a gym. That and a stretch band. Jaysus its some workout. Much greater pay back that free weights, way more muscles at once.

1:24 a.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

FMC

Yah ever tried a chin up bar. I got one as I'm gearing up for the triathlon season and I don't have time to travel to a gym. That and a stretch band. Jaysus its some workout. Much greater pay back that free weights, way more muscles at once.

1:25 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

John, good to hear from you. I use the grav machine because I can't physically do a pull up yet, or at least one without kipping it.
I just don't have the upper body strength yet. But I intend to get here, oh yes. It's in my goals for the year, I want to perform ten dead hangs. Heh, but we'll see.

10:57 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am often the lone women in a sea of men using freeweights at the gym. Women eye me suspiciously and men aren't sure what to make of me.

It is very intimidating as a women to try this when you have no idea where to start. No one wants to feel like a fool.

I hired a fitness trainer and asked him to show me how to use the free weights properly. Now I train like the men. Clean and press, deadlifts, squats with the bar, I love it all. I train with weights 3 days a week and run on alternating days.

I usually do a fun fit activity at least a few times a week, like squash, wall climbing, swimming or kayaking. These things round out my fitness routine and are enjoyable.

I am sure more women would pick up the weights if they only knew how wonderful it feels and how fast you can sculpt a body with the right mix of cardio and weight training. My friends see my results, but they still won't join me in the gym.

2:09 p.m.  
Blogger tiasmith123 said...

I am totally agree with every one as what ever the have said and glad to be the part of their conversation.
Tia Smith
weight training

12:15 p.m.  
Anonymous eddie Fy said...

Hello fat pussytwat, I,m a wronged oirish person whose descendentants from west Cork were taken by Oirab pirates 150 yeoirs ago. We troid everythinhgs to foind dem 38 persons, youing goirls boys and a feww wimmen in west africa. Ouir blood boils when we think of dem fuckin aroibs raping ouir youings with big dicks like dunkeys. loik is sed in thew fuckinh Koran..the profit (fuckim) mahammitt had a lash like a one yrar oold donkey...so we want bloody revenge against all fuckin araba and all fuckin muslems ands we dont give a shit hoew...so they is pure as tennessee shit, not welcome in Oireland,,,and we we can we wills be fucking them over to our USA friends for extraspecial rendition and balls crunching...keep up alls your good working...from eddie fy

7:58 p.m.  
Anonymous tee shirt polo said...

Gracias por hacer de este contenido fácil de entender y interesting.I estoy impresionado con su estilo de escritura y habilidades.

5:04 a.m.  
Anonymous Anti-Depressants Online said...

Thanks for share this great article about women and weight training with us, I think that this is very important always we need to try to be more healthy.

8:54 p.m.  
Anonymous Cialis Review said...

Women and weight training, this idea is very good not only men can use this kind of training tools.

Thanks for share this great post,
Richard

8:57 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey There. I discovered your blog using msn. This is
a very smartly written article. I'll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I'll definitely return.



Also visit my web blog diet plans for women
My web page > diet plans for women

4:16 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Academy. Regards

Here is my weblog :: Filing Bankruptcy In Florida

7:35 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It's a
vеry easy on the eyeѕ which makes it
much more ρleasant fоr mе to come heге and visit moгe
οften. Did уou hire out а dеvelopeг to create your themе?
Outstanding work!

Feel free to vіsit my web site ... car shipping

5:57 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I visitеd several blogѕ however the аudіo feature for
auԁio songs prеsent аt this wеb pаge іs genuіnely fаbulοus.


Lοok at mу blοg poѕt coffee pure cleanse weight Loss dietary supplement

3:56 a.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home