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Articles on the efficacy of weight training for women?

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  • #16
    Why Women Should Not Run

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    • #17
      Today's Mark's article states that HIIT = SS cardio where the adaptation and gains are concerned, and has to be done at a near-puking intensity to get there. If you go at an intensity like that, it is as easy to get over-trained and injured as in SS day after day. Plus, not everyone can reach the near puking intensity. Some like HIIT, some like meditative ss. And, one also has to factor in the appetite's reaction to intense vs low key exercise. A lot of people get so hungry from a HIIT that they destroys all benefits of doing it. People who have high hunger response can actually benefit from reducing intensity of the training.

      Again, there are choices, and one approach doesn't fit all.
      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
        I dunno, I'm pretty uniformly impressed with the bodies of the women at my new gym who have done Crossfit for a while. The men too. I've never been in an environment where pretty much all the participants that have been doing it for a while look really great- flat tummies, nice defined muscles. Some are bulkier than others, some are leaner than others, but overall their bodies are better than anything I have seen at a running race, normal gym or even the HIIT class I used to do.

        I think for your friends, you can tell them all day long about the virtues of lifting, but they need to actually see the bodies women can acheive with that type of training, in person. For me, when I walked in that gym and saw a half dozen muscular yet feminine looking women I knew I was going to give it a shot.

        http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
        Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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        • #19
          It is funny, because last night I was thinking about this thread again, and decided to come back and post a follow-up of sorts, and Leida has touched on some of the stuff I was thinking about. But I'll give it a go anyway.

          To the OP- Don't be surprised if your coworkers look at all the links, read the articles, and still dismiss the idea of heavy weights. You are a guy (I'm assuming), so your whole life you have likely been told to lift to get fit and strong. Women have never been told that. In fact, it goes against nearly everything we have ever been told about being "fit". Now it is a message that is being spread to women, and while some women are taking up weightlifting and finding they love it, it is such a huge paradigm shift that many others can't even comprehend it. I still struggle with it myself.

          If they do take it up, don't be surprised if they come to you in 6 months, unhappy that they now have even more mass still hidden under a layer of fat, making them bigger than they started. Yes they will be stronger, but honestly, that isn't what most women really want. When women say "stronger", they usually mean they want to look like <insert random female celeb>. They want body fat low enough to show the musculature beneath, not necessarily bigger muscles. They want to look "toned". I know that is a bullshit word, but it is so pervasive in our culture that everyone knows exactly what I mean.

          I don't know what the answer is. I see women at my crossfit, strong women who can deadlift and overhead press and squat a crap ton of weight, and yet they are still overweight by any measure. I don't know what their diet is, but they are smart women, and heavy crossfitters, I somehow doubt they are shoving Oreos in their mouths any chance they get. On the flip side, I know some women who go the very low calorie diet and chronic cardio route, and they look better in a bikini than most. What can they lift? I don't know, and I doubt they know or care. I see Staci, and the girls from the other blogs linked here, and I am both inspired and overwhelmed. Staci's approach, while obviously effective, is so focused, especially in regard to her diet, and I don't have it in me to eat baggies of chicken breast and steamed veggies all day long.

          I will say though, for women especially, diet seems to be the biggest factor. All the women I know who look really good (I know, anecdotes do not equal data, but it is what I'm working with), whether they are strong and fit or slender and "toned", have a high level of commitment to their diet of choice. I am talking bringing your own baggies of chicken to group dinners level. Or passing on a smorgasbord of insanely delicious Greek food to nibble on a single ear of corn level. It is a level of commitment I will freely admit I don't have.

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          • #20
            know some women who go the very low calorie diet and chronic cardio route, and they look better in a bikini than most.
            Until they hit 40.

            http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
            Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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            • #21
              A lot of women are also intimidated when it comes to lifting. I know most of the girls I see in the gym only lift light weights (5 to lbs). I can't say for sure if they do that because they can't lift heavier or they will think they will get huge. I also know that most women do not like the muscular look. This is what they think will happen when they start lifting heavy.
              For an overall health, it is best that people do what they can stick with or enjoy. For myself, I enjoy lifting heavy and doing HIIT but I would say that most of my friends would rather do yoga or Zumba. It is really difficult to change someone's attitude about exercise to the point it isn't even worth to talk about it.

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              • #22
                Are we talking about looks or performance? Looks are subjective, performance is not. Personally (I'm a guy), I find athletic looking (this means with actual muscle on their bones) women the most attractive. A woman that does full squats will almost always have the better butt vs one that doesn't. Of course, that's just my take on it.

                I really wish people stopped having this obsession with low body fat and little else. "Oh my God, he's so sexy, look at those abs!" ... Yeah, and is this guy strong and healthy too?

                The worst is runway models. Skin wrapped around a skeleton who is terrified of eating a decent meal. Sexy...

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                • #23
                  The worst is runway models. Skin wrapped around a skeleton who is terrified of eating a decent meal. Sexy...
                  I LOVE guys like you that like women who look like they eat and work out. That actually like to see a woman with an ass. And enjoying food. Will you please go tell all your girlfriends what you told us? And if you want children.... your wife actually needs to have some body fat. And eat food.

                  http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                  Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                    I LOVE guys like you that like women who look like they eat and work out. That actually like to see a woman with an ass. And enjoying food. Will you please go tell all your girlfriends what you told us? And if you want children.... your wife actually needs to have some body fat. And eat food.
                    While there are plenty of guys out there who like strong women or women with a little padding, there are also a lot of men who prefer women who are fashionably thin (size 0-2). My ex-husband was one of them. He thought I (at 5'4") should weigh less than 100 pounds, and should simply stop eating until I reached that weight. He believed that the way for a woman to determine her ideal body weight is for her to begin losing weight until she has lost her health, then put back on exactly one pound. He nagged me constantly to stop eating, because I "didn't need to eat". I wasn't a size 0-2, you see.

                    I got eating disorders out of that marriage.

                    The fact is that women in general have had no luck losing weight. But unless they lose fat, gaining muscle will make them look bulkier. And they're not ready to accept that healthy food and intermittent fasting will do things for them that CW never did.

                    It's like, it's not working, but better stay the course. Just try harder.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by quikky View Post
                      Are we talking about looks or performance? Looks are subjective, performance is not. Personally (I'm a guy), I find athletic looking (this means with actual muscle on their bones) women the most attractive. A woman that does full squats will almost always have the better butt vs one that doesn't. Of course, that's just my take on it.
                      I think for a large percentage of women looks trumps performance. Most women (and some men) aren't really that interested in lifting 2x their bodyweight, or meeting whatever other metrics of strength you can name. They just want to be skinny, with maybe some hint of muscle peeking through. They in fact don't want to look like a top crossfitter, because they do not want that type of musculature. They want to look more like Jennifer Aniston or Gwenyth Paltrow, both of whom are over 40 and still rocking the bikinis.They look the way they do because of an intense focus on diet, combined with cardio and light weights, at least if you believe what the press says.

                      I don't judge anyone's fitness goals- I will confess that I have my days where I just want to look skinny and "toned" also. I stick with crossfit because I can see the measurable changes in my strength, and I find that motivating. But to be honest, I'm still carrying around more fat, especially on my bum and thighs, than I would like. And yes, I do eat primally. It is tough to think that to really get where I want to be, I will probably have to pay super close attention to my diet, to calories in, to macros... it is tough and demotivating. I just want to do activities I enjoy, eat food I like, and look amazing- is that too much to ask?!?!?

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                        While there are plenty of guys out there who like strong women or women with a little padding, there are also a lot of men who prefer women who are fashionably thin (size 0-2). My ex-husband was one of them. He thought I (at 5'4") should weigh less than 100 pounds, and should simply stop eating until I reached that weight. He believed that the way for a woman to determine her ideal body weight is for her to begin losing weight until she has lost her health, then put back on exactly one pound. He nagged me constantly to stop eating, because I "didn't need to eat". I wasn't a size 0-2, you see.
                        This! While there are lots of men who like the strong and built female body, there are maybe even more who like the itty-bitty teeny-tiny look. I see girls so tiny I don't even know how they stay upright against a strong breeze, and a line of guys salivating over them. And while I know some are naturally that small, I know that others are using unhealthy means to look that way, and it is dispiriting. And it isn't just high fashion that perpetuates this. Look at porn. Most of those women are incredibly small (albeit often enhanced up top). And a lot of them are using unhealthy means to stay so tiny and "desirable".

                        BTW, good for you, eKatherine, for making him an EX-husband. What a tool.

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                        • #27
                          It's easier to find a new man than starve yourself. Totally fucking stupid. And I have no idea why we are all convinced that men only like size 0's when it is not the case. It's probably because they are insecure.

                          http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                          Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                          • #28
                            Are we talking about looks or performance? Looks are subjective, performance is not. Personally (I'm a guy), I find athletic looking (this means with actual muscle on their bones) women the most attractive. A woman that does full squats will almost always have the better butt vs one that doesn't. Of course, that's just my take on it.
                            Athletic look requires the same or lower BF% as the runway model. It is far harder to achieve because you have to train on cross-purposes - for gaining muscle and losing body fat. While men have larger muscle and naturally lower body fat, women have smaller muscle and higher body fat. So, an athletic body, i.e. a body with visible muscle, and no jiggle and bulges, firm, is very hard to achieve for a woman.

                            It's a fallacy to think that there is on one hand a healthy athletic goddess, and on another - a starved waif with no muscle. They both will need 15% BF or less, and both will be more or less starved depending on their natural appetite level.

                            Maybe if you are 16, and have never been over 18 BMI you can get a body with no bulges and eating three meals a day, but I doubt it can be achieved without starving later in life. What is considered a normal amount of body fat (22+%) doesn't look athletic or fit.
                            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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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                              With a name like Sean I'm guessing his female friends do not consider his results relevant.
                              More fool them.
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                              • #30
                                Looked at the Nerd Fitness link. Pretty impressive. But I think it only worked for Staci because she already lost all that excess weight by doing chronic cardio and dieting. Then, at a low weight of 117 lbs, she started lifting heavy and eating to gain muscle and strength. If you start out with a few pounds to lose, I doubt that just lifting heavy and eating a ton will cause you to look like her. Or will it?

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