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Getting a "dancer's physique" rather than a CrossFit/weightlifter's one?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Leida View Post
    The isolation work is not exactly a routine for a beginner. The large compound is what builds up the body. Squat, Deadlift, Overhead press, Bar-bell row and a Bench Press to a lesser degree. Squat is the king of lifting, because it challenges absolutely every muscle there is, apart maybe from that little nutter bicep brahialis. Heck, even a walk-out and a lift off gives you a new appreciation of your body. Once you get over your body weight on the bar boredom is unlikely because you are alternating between the maximum effort and the recovery.
    I should have been more clear - by "just lifting" I meant the dudes I see in gyms who lay on the bench and just lift a bar up and down, up, down, up, down, up, down. Makes me sleepy just thinking about it. I would much rather put my back on a ball and use some free weights in a variety of ways to exercise every muscle in my arms and chest, and get my core and glutes into the action to keep me stable.

    I was also a nerd who hated school dances. I wish schools would teach ballroom. Even if everyone went "free" from ballroom at a dance at least everyone wouldn't look like they have a squid for a mother.

    Also, one under-appreciated fact in lifting for women is that any pec exercise will result in perkier boobs.

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    • #17
      If you put your back on the ball and use dumbells you will never lift heavy enough to do anything but endurance, neither you achieve the body tension you need to make the most of the lift. Unless you have a spotter, getting dumbells of an appropriate weight to challenge the correct muscle you into a correct position will be hard. I love bench press because the way your whole core and shoulders participate and contribute to the lift. The pay-back is insane. You will net more improvement by lifting on the top your ability once and failing the second time than doing 20 lifts with the weight you can lift 20 times. Think about all the time it saves to do the fun stuff. Lol.

      But the dudes are often overdo isolation vanity, I know. Heck, sometimes curls are fun to do just because how it makes you look in the mirror. Ha! Weight room is a woman's ultimate place. Maybe not the face you make when you come up on the squat, but the rest is like, men, oh, men, an hour of sheer bliss! Nothing like the embarrassment of doing an aerobic's class in front of the mirror, yukes!
      Last edited by Leida; 08-30-2012, 09:45 AM.
      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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      • #18
        Dancers are lean because they move a lot. Like... a lot a lot! Yes, lifting heavy things is great, but you don't need to do so with barbells or medicine balls.

        Go outside. Rock climb. Ride a bike. Kayak. Join a volleyball league. Join a dance class. You don't need to do the workouts that people find boring or the workouts that you don't want to do.

        If you want to try to have a dancer's or gymnast's physique, move a lot and often... but have fun while you do it! (Side-note: have you looked at gymnasts and some dancers? They have necks like a defensive football player and crazy huge muscular thighs! Don't expect to be like a prima ballerina!)
        >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
        >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

        >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
        >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

        Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Leida View Post
          If you put your back on the ball and use dumbells you will never lift heavy enough to do anything but endurance, neither you achieve the body tension you need to make the most of the lift. Unless you have a spotter, getting dumbells of an appropriate weight to challenge the correct muscle you into a correct position will be hard. I love bench press because the way your whole core and shoulders participate and contribute to the lift. The pay-back is insane. You will net more improvement by lifting on the top your ability once and failing the second time than doing 20 lifts with the weight you can lift 20 times. Think about all the time it saves to do the fun stuff. Lol.
          Well, maybe for some people getting heavy enough free weights can be such a challenge that it isn't worth it, but for me (and most women I think, who naturally can't build upper-body muscle very well) 6-8 reps with a weight that makes you want to conk out at 5 is quite doable with free weights. But if you're at 20 or 25 lbs in each hand, then yeah, I can see how moving to another method makes sense. But I'm not at that place, not sure if I really have the drive to want to be.

          I should explain that when I was a teen my mom taught an exercise class based around free weights and body weight exercises. I learned a lot about technique and form, so I can perform and modify a large repertoire on my own. Another thing I did learn is that this type of weight lifting itself definitely does not reduce body fat, which my mother continued to struggle with. The program was sensible enough, max 12 reps, sometimes 3 sets, sometimes on a circuit, so it was also "cardio" in the middle bit. But other than build some lean muscle across the board, it was only the already-skinny ones who got the "V" on the upper-arm.

          So I hear what you are saying about 1 being better than 20, but I do think there is some happy ground in the middle too, where free weights can do more than just lubricate the joints for a few minutes, and when used right can strengthen whole muscle groups across a full range of movement (like rotating hammer curls while on the ball).

          For me, I guess, I don't really care about how much weight I can press. I just want flexible ankles and don't want flabby arms. Pilates for the joints and some challenging free weights for the muscles = a win I can achieve in my bedroom.

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          • #20
            Yes, it really depends on your body type. Some folks have to lift heavy to achieve an increase in muscle mass and some can achieve the same result with moderate weight. I advise to start out with light weights to give your connective tissue time to strengthen while perfecting form. After a few weeks add more weight and see how you respond. I like compound exercises to such as squats with an overhead press, walking lunges with bicep curls,ect. Now there are a few of us ladies who really respond to weight training such as myself. I look at a weight and gain muscle. So I keep it light to moderate with lots of bodyweight stuff to keep my muscles strong without the bodybuilder effect. Works for me. Find what works for you. If you have the financial resources hire a trainer, be very specific in what you hope to achieve, and have them design a program which will suit your desires and timeframe!

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            • #21
              I just wanted to show you the difference heavy lifting made for me. The weight is about the same in both pics.

              The first 3 pics show me after boot-camps cardio, as I was going from 138 to 128 to 118 lbs. Note how thin I am becoming up top, while legs do not change. If you are into the shape like this, I did boot-camps and cardio to get there. I started my day with combined L2 and L3 from the Gillian Michael's 30 Day Shred or at least L2, lol. I cardio-boxed. I ran 3 to 4 times a week. And I taught lunch-time fitness classes. I lifted 10 to 20 lbs dumbbells for 15 to 20 reps, 3 sets, normally in every way Jillian could suggest.

              The second pics are heavy weight lifting. I started with 5 lifts. I do a bit more now, adding support with DBs and KBs. Dunno if it shows, but upper body is evening out while legs are actually firming up. I do not have the dribble over quad, though still quad-heavy and need to work on losing BF to make upper leg more firm. I am about to get really sick in the first pic and I am doing pretty good in the second pic. I exercise 3+ hours a day in the first. I train about 1.5 hour a day on average in the second. Note, how my figure is distinctively pear in the first pic, and more hourglass, more balanced in the second picture. Also, I have actually lost a distinctive collar bone rift.

              And, yeah, I lift 25 lbs when I do inclined bench with dumbells atm, 40 lbs on the back row. I swing 25 to 55 lbs KBs. I squat over body weight (155 lbs is my best), I pressed 90 lbs on a flat bench, I can lift 69 lbs overhead. That's pretty modest for a gal of my weight (about 120-125 lbs), I am not athletically gifted or have a good body to build upon. And, my husband is not exactly a pro at photographing, LOLZ!


              Last edited by Leida; 08-31-2012, 09:53 AM.
              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Leida View Post
                I just wanted to show you the difference heavy lifting made for me. The weight is about the same in both pics.

                The first 3 pics show me after boot-camps cardio, as I was going from 138 to 128 to 118 lbs. Note how thin I am becoming up top, while legs do not change. If you are into the shape like this, I did boot-camps and cardio to get there. I started my day with combined L2 and L3 from the Gillian Michael's 30 Day Shred or at least L2, lol. I cardio-boxed. I ran 3 to 4 times a week. And I taught lunch-time fitness classes. I lifted 10 to 20 lbs dumbbells for 15 to 20 reps, 3 sets, normally in every way Jillian could suggest.

                The second pics are heavy weight lifting. I started with 5 lifts. I do a bit more now, adding support with DBs and KBs. Dunno if it shows, but upper body is evening out while legs are actually firming up. I do not have the dribble over quad, though still quad-heavy and need to work on losing BF to make upper leg more firm. I am about to get really sick in the first pic and I am doing pretty good in the second pic. I exercise 3+ hours a day in the first. I train about 1.5 hour a day on average in the second. Note, how my figure is distinctively pear in the first pic, and more hourglass, more balanced in the second picture. Also, I have actually lost a distinctive collar bone rift.

                And, yeah, I lift 25 lbs when I do inclined bench with dumbells atm, 40 lbs on the back row. I swing 25 to 55 lbs KBs. I squat over body weight (155 lbs is my best), I pressed 90 lbs on a flat bench, I can lift 69 lbs overhead. That's pretty modest for a gal of my weight (about 120-125 lbs), I am not athletically gifted or have a good body to build upon.


                Thanks for sharing your progress pics. You know for some reason it is really hard to convince many women that lifting heavy can dramatically improve their body composition. I got complimented the other day at my gym by an overweight guy how lean I look and he did not say skinny. I think there is a difference between being lean and skinny. He started asking me what I ate and I told him about the paleo diet.

                I honestly credit weight lifting for making me look strong and fit. I would say it takes me 45 min to complete my lifting sometimes even 30 min depending on what I'm doing. I do HIIT 2 x a week and one running at a steady pace just because I enjoy doing this.

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                • #23
                  Hi Cayla, I see the difference between the women on the treadmills and those who lift every day in the gym! Firm comes with lifting particularly when you are in your late 30'ies and had a child, like me. And it takes lots of patience. There is a HUGE difference between skinny and lean! I noticed that people now use word 'fit' to compliment me rather than 'skinny' even though I have a long way to go yet.

                  My current regimen when maintaining is 4 lifting sessions a week (~ 45 min to 1 hr), 1 sprint (grass in the summer, pool in the winter) - that's ~30 min. One HIIT (~ 35 min with w-up and cool down) if I feel recovered enough. Mostly I skip it, lol! But do build in 1 or 2 kettlebell moves into every one of my lifting workouts because I love KBs so much. When I try to lose fat, I add 20 min SS after each lift.

                  I also stroll, play and garden to my heart's content whenever I feel like it. And try to stretch/meditate at least 10-20 min a day. If somebody told me back in my crazed cardio day that I would consider a stretch to be more beneficial for my health than a jogg, I'd have to gather my jaw off the floor....
                  My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                  When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                  • #24
                    I didn't read through all the replies, but I think that it's a combo of doing the certain activity plus your body type that will determine how you look. Personally, I don't lift much anymore because I ALWAYS get too big (yet I keep trying to make it work anyways). The only way I've stayed lean without starving is eating primal (without overeating), and yes, rock climbing. I love ballet, but it bulked me up as well. My lower half just bulks up really easily. Experiment and see what works. I'm actually one of the bigger (as far as bone structure) climber girls, but I also have more muscle. I have pics on my page that might help illustrate--but everyone will look slightly different just depending on their body type.
                    "The mountains are calling and I must go."
                    --John Muir


                    "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
                    --Tommy Caldwell


                    ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
                    --Hyperlithic

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Clymb View Post
                      I don't lift much anymore because I ALWAYS get too big [...] I love ballet, but it bulked me up as well. My lower half just bulks up really easily.
                      Hehe... oh, wait. You're serious? Let me laugh even harder.

                      HAHAHAHA!
                      Yeah, my grammar sucks. Deal with it!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Kharnath View Post
                        Hehe... oh, wait. You're serious? Let me laugh even harder.

                        HAHAHAHA!
                        Laugh all you want, nothing makes me go up a pants size faster than lifting. Perhaps you or others wouldn't think I look bad (if you like thunder thighs), but to me it's very unappealing.
                        "The mountains are calling and I must go."
                        --John Muir


                        "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
                        --Tommy Caldwell


                        ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
                        --Hyperlithic

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