Weight Training Isn’t For You.
Weight training is for the guy who wants to make his neck disappear. The behemoth in the corner, grunting, screaming with every hip-thrusting curl, or vein-popping deadlift. Weight training isn’t for the average person, the house-wife, the grandparent, the skinny girl who wants to stay skinny or the fat girl who wants to lose weight.
For the ‘average person’, cardio, light weight training, high reps, machines, stair-masters and such, are the preferred method. These easier, safer forms of working out are better for health and attaining the physique they want.
Yes, everything I just said was done in sarcasm and is complete bullshit.
The truth: they won’t get the same results doing that nonsense as they would lifting weights, not matter who they are or what their goals are. They won’t become as healthy or as energetic as they would had they picked up a dumbbell. They wouldn’t have the same bone health, heart health, or confidence as they would had they picked up a barbell.
One of the biggest myths in fitness is that weight training isn’t for people who want to be thin. That weight training isn’t for people who just want to get in better shape. That weight training isn’t for every human on the planet who gives a rats ass about how they look, feel, and perform – and I mean perform daily tasks, let’s not even venture down the road of athleticism.
One of the biggest misconceptions with regards to weight training, is that it isn’t for women. It’s a ridiculous myth that needs to be debunked, but first let’s get something out of the way…
Now I probably shouldn’t be sharing this, but I have a unique ‘grading system’ for women. You know, that stupid thing that guys sometimes do (and I’m sure girls do as well) where they grade a girl’s looks on a scale of 1-10. Let’s just say I’ve never seen a ten (yes my Mom, Nona, and Nana are tens, but let me explain).
My grading system goes off the premise that there’s no such thing as a perfect ten when it comes to looks. Everyone’s flawed. Don’t get me wrong, I think women are unbelievably beautiful. My goodness I think they’re beautiful! But not one is perfect. That status can only be attained when a beautiful heart and personality are tied together with external beauty. Basically, the only 10 I’ll ever see is the woman I marry.
The point of all that? To illustrate that looks aren’t everything, not even close. They’re fading, fleeting, and some of the more beautiful girls I’ve seen, are absolutely useless on the inside, which then makes them ugly on the outside. Now that I got that out of the way, let’s get one thing straight, women who lift weights are sexier than those who don’t – in most cases.
What Beauty Isn’t
Beauty isn’t the toothpick walking down the runway. It isn’t the skeleton on the cover of your favorite lady magazine. While I do want to take those girls out for dinner, it’s in a charitable capacity, not one of romance. I’d simply like to feed them. To nourish their skin and bone frame.
Who do I blame for this odd view of beauty in the most beautiful species on the planet? Women. Women are ruthless to one another. An argument between two men may result in fisticuffs, but it’s usually ended with a shared pint. But women don’t stop. They crush the psyche of their enemy. They create eating disorders and body issues out of thin air. And somehow, though the tides are starting to change, women see smaller as better. Ladies, don’t listen to this bullshit!
Women see skinny as the ideal, even though the people they’re trying to impress: men, do not. Ladies, who are you trying to impress? It’s the same line of thinking as the grotesque monsters you see in the gym; the guys pumped full of steroids. Immobile. Un-athletic. Unappealing to the opposite sex – who are you trying to impress? It isn’t women, that’s not their ideal. It’s other guys. You want to be seen as the alpha male because underlying issues have left you needing to prove yourself physically.
But you’re not the alpha male. In many cases you’re the guy walking around caring more about what others think than developing yourself into a better, stronger man. Is this true in all cases? Of course not. But in many cases, the biggest guys are the most insecure, the most aware will admit it.
The same goes for the toothpick ladies who fear the dumbbell and the barbell – who are you trying to impress? Is it men? I’m sure it’ll catch the eye of a few. But the secure guys. The one’s who’ll appreciate your beauty, won’t. This coming from polling different social circles, I’m not just asking gym rats. But – with a few exceptions – the guys I know who are sleeze-bags when I comes to women, like them skinny. The guys who appreciate the beauty of a woman prefer the left to the right (image).
FACT: Weight Training Won’t Make You Huge
The best part about weight training, is that it won’t make you huge. You have to train a certain way to look like the girl on the left (please do so), but even if you want to be skinny, svelte, and petite, weight training has so many more benefits that will improve your life, confidence, and health.
The fear that many a lady has about weight training is just this, that they’ll get huge. That they’ll develop traps, forearms, and no longer look feminine. Well, and please hear the pleading in my ‘voice’, you won’t!
Even a program like the PowerHowse Challenge, one positioned as a muscle-building program, is great for the guy or girl who doesn’t want to get jacked. Why? Because there are meal plans for whatever goal you want to accomplish. The training needs no change in varying goals, the change needs to occur in the calories, and the time you have certain food groups.
Weight Training is for Everyone!
I’ve made a case for women to start weight training, and as you can see, it’s something that evokes a lot of passion. I love women, I just wish more would understand what the real men want to see, and stopped fretting over every little pound.
That, however, isn’t where the benefits of weight training end. If you’re a businessman who doesn’t want to get too bulky. If you’re over 60 and you feel that weight training is for the young whippersnapper and is to dangerous, hell it doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re short and fat, tall and skinny, or anything in between, the benefits of weight training are innumerable.
1. It’ll keep you thin.
The argument that lifting weights should be relegated to those who want to bulk up is nonsense and a whole lot of hullabaloo. A pound of muscle burns about six calories a day, while a pound of fat burns just two. If you want to be lean and skinny, lift weights. You’ll build a little muscle, but you won’t be taking in enough calories to add the bulk that you fear you’ll add.
The best way to burn fat is to eat right and train with weights. Somehow cardio has crept itself into the mix, a mix it has no business being in – unless of course, you’re talking about sprints, but that’s for another article.
2. It’s the fountain of youth.
Sarcopenia is age-related muscle loss. After the age of 30 there is a loss of 3-5% of muscle per decade. We begin to lose the skin-tightening, fat burning muscle that keeps us young, vibrant and energetic. We replace it with fat. Weight training helps prevent this loss, keeping us thin and healthy.
3. It reduces arthritis pain.
As you age, max lifts might not be the best idea, but weight training is shown to help reduce arthritis pain. My old man began incorporating weight training into his routine a number of years ago and saw his arthritic elbow pain slow and even halt.
4. It keeps you sharp as a tac.
Finally, British Columbia (my home province) does something noteworthy besides the Olympics. In 2010 researchers from the University of British Columbia reported that women between 65 and 75 who did resistance training once a week for a year improved their cognitive abilities by 12.6 percent with the control group regressing slightly. This may be because weight training improves blood flow to the brain, and also requires the brain to build new circuitry as you master new moves.
5. It strengthens your bones and prevents osteoporosis.
Weight training create microscopic cracks in the bone. Much like the tears we experience in our muscles, the bone is then healed, building and creating a stronger, denser bone.
7. If you’re a diabetic, lift weights.
Weight training can reduce blood sugar levels by about 15 points. This is because during exercise the body metabolizes excess glucose for fuel. In short, when we train with weights, our bodies use glucose for fuel rather than storing it as fat.
According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise and resistance training can decrease your risk of chronic disease. Muscle tissue regulates blood pressure and indirectly protects many vital organs like the kidney, heart, eyes and brain.
9. Weight training will make you happy!
Weight training results in the release of endorphins that gives us a natural high. Aside from that, the healthier we are, the happier we are. The less likely we are to be depressed.
10. Weight training gives you energy.
Energy may be the greatest commodity a man – or woman – can possess. It results in more work done at a greater quality. It brings more happiness, more vibrance, and a greater outlook on life. When we’re energetic, we’re happier and more successful. A lot of energy has to do with enthusiasm, which can be regulated mentally. But a lot has to do with the condition we’re in.
What You Can Do About it Today
Weight training is an important part of being a well-balanced, energetic, healthy, and successful human being. Whether you’re an old far, a young buck, a skinny girl, an overweight guy, or someone that just wants to get in shape, pick up a barbell and get started.
If you’re looking for a good starting point, consider the PowerHowse Challenge – a program that begins with a phase created for the beginner. The program then advances as you advance. The exercises are simple, but the workouts are tough. You’ll get in better shape, you’ll learn how to weight train, you’ll learn more about diet and training in the 122-page ebook. If you want to get skinnier, there are meal plans there for you as well.
Don’t let the fear of bulking stand in the way of a healthier, happier you. Pick up some weights and start moving forward!