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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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July 15, 2009

Primal Strength Training for Women: Not So Different After All

By Mark Sisson
213 Comments

I knew they were coming, as soon as I hit “Publish.” I knew I’d get at least one or two comments from our female readers asking if last week’s muscle building post applied to them, too. You see, Conventional Wisdom has somehow drilled into our heads the silly notion that men and women are completely different species, especially when it comes to working out. There are definite differences – anyone who’s been married will be able to tell you that! – but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we’re all homo sapiens with the same basic physiological makeup. And so an outfit like Weight Watchers will push the chronic cardio, the ankle weights, and the step classes because of some underlying, self-defeating assumption that women aren’t “meant” to lift heavy weights. It’s insane, it’s preposterous, and it’s downright insulting. Men and women have different work capacities and different natural inclinations, but their bodies still work the same way.

“But I don’t want to get big and bulky!”

That’s another common one, and I can’t really blame them. Have you ever seen a women’s bodybuilding competition, especially one where the drug testing bodies are asleep at the wheel? Those women are frightening and incredibly ripped (for my money, the dudes look just as freakish), but more importantly, they just don’t look right. In fact, this is one area in which the underlying gender-specific physiology is limiting (thank god!): women, being testicle-free, do not produce enough natural testosterone to get those bulging pecs (just where do the breasts go, anyway?) and engorged thighs without supplementing with steroids (synthetic testosterone, essentially). Men generally do produce enough natural testosterone (the ultimate muscle-building hormone) to get big, and most of us still have trouble building a significant amount of muscle. Just imagine how difficult it is to bulk up for a woman.

If anyone’s still worried about looking like a female bodybuilder, just take a look at this selection of videos.

Women’s Olympic-style weightlifting at the 2007 Arnold Weightlifting Championships (below): No Arnold look-alikes here, just strong women performing Olympic lifts.

Snatches at the 2007 American Open in Birmingham: I don’t even know if I’d look twice if I saw these women walking down the street. Well, I would, but for a different reason. They simply look like attractive women in good shape.

Here is another example: Watch a 108 lb woman clean and jerk twice her body weight. And another.

These are women whose entire athletic lives are devoted to lifting big and lifting heavy – the very same movements that I’ve prescribed as truly Primal and strength-intensive – and yet they aren’t big and bulky. You’d think if it were likely, or even possible, for a natural woman to build major size without resorting to steroids, you would see it happen with Olympic-style female weightlifters, but you don’t. Time and time again, you don’t.

Now, check out these women.

Armenian bodybuilder Lisa Moordigian shows some sample workout clips: Notice the exercises she does – curls, machine curls, tricep pulldowns, and even more curls. She’s doing nothing but isolation exercises.

Brenda Smith’s killer leg workout (check out her crazy calves!): The closest she gets to a real movement is the lunge, but even her squats are assisted. She’s obviously not interested in learning actual athletic movements or developing real strength; she only cares about stoking that PUMP coursing through her veins.

Look at the bodybuilders’ bodies, their workouts, and their focus. Notice anything? They’re solely focusing on individual muscles to the detriment of the whole. There’s no catlike athleticism, nothing that indicates actual functional strength. Leg extension machines don’t exist in nature.

Seriously, though: men and women should work out the same way. That is, provided they have the same goals of developing functional strength, promoting lean body mass over adipose tissue, and improving health, both men and women are best suited to lifting heavy, hard, and with great intensity. Hormonal differences and diet will alter how this lifting program affects you and how much hypertrophy occurs, but the end result is the same: an increased strength to body weight ratio, which is vital for true Primal health and fitness. You’ll increase musculature, but it’s not going to be superficial, bloated muscle. It’s going to be muscle that makes sense, fat-burning muscle that fits your body and fits your genes. After all, you’re just providing the right environment for your genes through proper diet, adequate sleep, normalized stress levels, and – now – the right kind of movements.

There are a few other physiological differences that might crop up when it comes to working out. The “Q” angle, which describes the angle measuring from hip to knee, is larger in women. As a result, the quadriceps can pull on the patella and eventually cause knee issues. Cutting sports, like soccer and basketball in particular, can place additional stress on the knees and increase the chance of injury. This just makes maintaining proper form even more important (as if it wasn’t already). Here’s a great YouTube series of tips on improving your squat form. I should also mention that pregnancy, especially during the 3rd trimester, can soften the pelvic cartilage and relax the hips to prepare for childbirth. It’s absolutely essential for safe birthing, but doing deep squats with such tender cartilage and overly-relaxed hips will increase pressure on the knees and should be avoided.

Last week, I suggested that eating an extra dozen eggs on top of your regular daily dietary intake might be the catalyst for hypertrophy, especially for hardgainers. For women who perhaps aren’t so interested in adding a lot of muscle, skip the extra eggs. Keep eating Primal, get adequate protein, hit those deep squats and heavy deadlifts, and you’ll begin shedding fat and putting on lean mass that (because of the physiological differences between the genders) won’t be “bulky” or “big.”

In the end, though, it’s your choice. You could do the basic strength exercises and end up looking like this (thanks for the photo, Crossfit Rockwall), or you could spend hours in the gym and spend hundreds on steroids and stuff yourself with protein shakes to look like this. I think I know who Grok’d rather have on the hunt. What about you?

amber in norfolk Flickr Photo (CC)

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213 Comments on "Primal Strength Training for Women: Not So Different After All"

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hannahc
hannahc
7 years 2 months ago

Dear God that last picture was frightening. I’ve been sprinting a lot lately, and doing a lot more pushups, and I’ve found that my quads are getting a little bigger (they tend to build muscle very easily) but with the primal diet the fat is coming off too. So overall my legs look smaller even though the muscles are getting bigger 🙂

Dream
7 years 2 months ago

Agreed. The masculine stigma behind strength training is completely unwarranted. Strength training for women is probably more important than it is for men, since they naturally have less muscle mass to begin with (the most metabolically active and protective tissue in the body).

-Anthony

Meggilizz
Meggilizz
7 years 2 months ago

UGH That last picture was horrifying!!!! Yay for not having testicles! :o) Thanks for a great article Mark

Annie
Annie
5 years 5 months ago

What an inappropriate comment for this site. Shameful.

G
G
5 years 12 days ago

That last picture WAS horrifying. Women are not meant to look like that. That is why AAS usage is absolutely required in order to achieve a look like that.

Matt
Matt
7 years 2 months ago
How timely of this blog post. I have been trying to convince my girlfriend that lifting heavy weights is the best thing to do. Of course, she was told by a personal trainer recently to do high reps, low weight. When I told my girlfriend that women don’t have the testosterone to get bulky like men, she didn’t care. She thinks that non-bulky muscular women are…too bulky. She doesn’t like the look. I found this worrisome because I find toned muscular women to be attractive. Perhaps what we see as a non-bulky muscular woman is indeed bulky in the eyes… Read more »
Karell
Karell
7 years 2 months ago

She should check out The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Schuler. I got it this weekend and it really breaks down a lot of Conventional Wisdom myths.
I agree this is a timely article, Mark, as I was just sitting here trying to decide if I wanted to go to your site today or read some more of this book! 🙂

Lisa
7 years 2 months ago
Rock on CrossFit Women. You look fantastic! Great to see you waving the flag for fit, strong, healthy women. I am a CrossFit Women – and CrossFit Affiliate in Auckland (Albany) New Zealand. 16 years in the industry, I think I’ve heard every ‘reason’ and explanation for women being frightened of strength training – or weights training. Thank you Mark for sending me the link to this fantastic article. I was really impressed with the videos of the lightest weight class. And…in all honesty, before becoming a CrossFitter, I would never have known or beleived that women can make such… Read more »
Lisa
Lisa
4 years 5 months ago

Yeah, yeah!!

Primal Buddhette
Primal Buddhette
4 years 2 months ago

I agree. I have the Lift Like A Man, Look Like A Goddess book and LOVE IT!

Jennie Yundt
7 years 2 months ago
If your girlfriend is worried about looking bulky, show her my progress pictures: http://www.crossfitfire.com/Jen%2014%20months%20progress.pdf I can do 25 consecutive pull-ups, dead lift 1.5 times my body weight, and I can clean and jerk my body weight. By most women’s standards, I’m a STRONG. Your girlfriend will hopefully notice the lack of bulging muscles on my frame, and the absence of jutting veins. I wish I could find the person that started that nasty rumor about women and weight lifting…I’d poke them in the eye. I own a CrossFit Affiliate, and I watch women start lifting weights, and the fat just… Read more »
Heidi
Heidi
6 years 7 months ago

You look amazing! Way to go!

mm
mm
6 years 1 month ago
Now you make me wanna crossfit, just for the skin tannability :p (And on a more serious note, I’ve recently decided to exercise again, bought books, weights and did research. I’ve heard on forums other people talk about that problem – even some personal trainers (of both genders) try to steer women away from heavy weights. Also some gyms are apparently infested with cardio bunnies, to the point of outnumbering and possibly driving out the other gym rats as the amount of treadmills and ellipticals that they consume increases and off-sets the gym’s delicate ecosystem. Pretty soon even squat racks… Read more »
Jenell
Jenell
5 years 4 months ago

You look great!! Awesome progress!

queen_sheba
queen_sheba
5 years 5 months ago

“When I told my girlfriend that women don’t have the testosterone to get bulky like men, she didn’t care”

This is not strictly true – a lot of women don’t have ENOUGH testosterone to make man sized muscles. But if you’ve ever checked out a women’s rugby or soccer team – there are some women who DO have more than their female friends.

Rememeber – everything is relevant. Having your hormones in balance means you won’t bulk up. Having too much testosterone such as those suffering PCOS – may have a different effect.

Just sayin.

Lee
Lee
4 years 10 months ago

Listen… Most girls don’t gain muscle like men, but some do. And I unfortunately seem to be one of them. If I did literally nothing, I would be and have been bony (I always eat clean anyways). But I like kickboxing. I can lift extremely heavy weights; sometimes its challenging, but I can and do. I’m 5’11 and 170 and after reading this realized that I fall into the category of “rugby/soccer girls”. Need to run/kickbox more, lift weights under 100 lbs.

David Smith
David Smith
1 year 4 months ago

Yes that’s right, some women can build muscle more easily than others, nobody has ever suggested they cant, or have suggested that it is impossible but for most women in general it is very hard. In fact it is very hard for men. There is nothing unfortunate about it, you are not a freak, I’ve seen guys in the gym pounding the heavy weights, pouring gallons of protein shakes down their necks and their physiques never seem to change, and for others it just seems so easy, it just doesn’t seem fair, but that’s life.
All the best, and keep training.

Dey
Dey
4 years 7 months ago

True. And the muscular differences between men and women isn’t nearly as big as most believe. It’s really not as unnatural or impossible for women to bulk up as certain people suggest.

I for one gain muscle/bulk up quickly as well and I most certainly don’t use supplements and the like.

Every woman is different I suppose. Sad how articles like these don’t take that into account.

Simone
Simone
7 years 2 months ago

So many women buy into that whole “size 0” ideal which leaves them useless skeletons. While I, personally still have a fair bit of fat to shed to get that toned look I would love to be a size 6 and able to actually carry something larger than Paris Hilton’s 3lb chihuahua! I need more muscle, time to go make with the pushups and squats and get me a sandbag.

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
7 years 2 months ago

No matter how many deadlifts or squats you do, you won’t get “too bulky” if you keep your weight under control. Muscles don’t grow out of thin air. If you stay the same weight, or lower, the most you can do is exchange your fat for muscle, and who’s going to complain about that?

On a side note…I love your little silhouette of Grok, but you also need a female! (Grokette?)

Peggy
Peggy
7 years 2 months ago

hee hee, I asked for one a few weeks ago too. Maybe something Darryl Hannah-ish (ala Clan of the Cave Bear) with a sling?…

FlyNavyWife
7 years 2 months ago

Ooh I would love a Grokette icon…

Karell
Karell
7 years 2 months ago

Unless you’re an extreme genetic outlier, as a woman you aren’t going to get “bulky” if you try- men have a hard enough time with it with their testosterone advantages. You can’t “exchange your fat for muscle” you can only burn fat and gain muscle (or, of course, gain fat, lose muscle, or any variety of those things). Dieting burns fat, but it also breaks down muscle, and lifting without increasing the weight over time may increase your endurance but that won’t do anything towards building muscle, tonus, and increasing one’s metabolism.

mm
mm
6 years 1 month ago

It’s not even like bulk just sneaks up on you – once you reach a musculature that you like and decide to go no further you can just lower your exercise intensity to maintenance-levels.

Simple as that.

Vin - NaturalBias
7 years 2 months ago

It’s unfortunate how terrified some women are of touching a free weight. If it’s not a fear of looking like Arnold, it’s a fear of sharing gym equipment with people who do.

It took me a LONG time to convince my wife to do some real lifting, and despite her fear of bulking up, she’s still very thin. Even 10 years later, I still have to steer her away from silly isolation exercises from time to time. Dogma dies hard!

kerri
kerri
6 years 3 months ago
I’m assuming the women who are hesitant to lift weights share my opinion (I apologize to the ones who don’t..just trying to generalize.) We know that if we walk into a gym and lift heavy weights, we are not going to walk out of the gym looking like Arnold. DUH! But gaining muscle makes a person look bigger. We do NOT want to look bigger. Sometimes (not always, unfortunately), gaining muscle makes a person look smaller, but only if some fat is lost too. Lifting heavy (ALONE) does NOT guarantee fat loss. Therefore, there is a fear of lifting. The… Read more »
Annie
Annie
5 years 5 months ago

This is about strenght, fitness, and health, not just being someonemwith a smaller body.

Dey
Dey
4 years 7 months ago

Why wouldn’t a woman want to look bigger? I do believe this mostly applies to yourself and those like-minded. It hardly fits everyone’s opinion though, unlike what you seem to be suggesting.

I for one happen to be a ‘bigger looking’ woman and I find it liberating.

I’d rather be muscular and actually make an impression in my work-field than to be another easily discarded skeletal female. I enjoy being taken seriously at first glance, thank you very much.

Bud Fetterley
Bud Fetterley
4 years 6 months ago

I like your attitude!

Karin
Karin
7 years 2 months ago

Actually, most women don’t like that look on men, either. Brad Pitt in Fight Club=sexy Mr. Universe=gross.

Karell
Karell
7 years 2 months ago

Luckily, it’s pretty difficult to get that look in either sex without the aid of steroids.

Annie
Annie
5 years 5 months ago

MOST women would actually disagree.

G
G
5 years 12 days ago

Hmmm….. you must be a female bodybuilder. Just a guess by your comments here. Anyway, I am a male bodybuilder and the truth is, the VAST-MAJORITY of women DO prefer Brad Pitt’s look over Mr. Universe or Mr. Olympia’s look.

Peggy
Peggy
7 years 2 months ago

another thumbs down & “Eeek!” for that last picture. Gross!

Thanks for the post & subliminal encouragement for us gals that needed a little prodding towards the next step – I know I needed it. Add that to the anticipation of another challenge & I just might actually make the progress that I desire.

PrimalJewishAmericanPrincess
PrimalJewishAmericanPrincess
7 years 2 months ago

I would still like to see some advice for how to gain muscle mass for women. No, I don’t want to look like “super size she” but I am a bodybuilder that would like something to show for my efforts!

Jennie Yundt
7 years 2 months ago

Eat big, get big. Increase your protein and fat intake. There’s also the old standby gallon of milk a day.

You don’t get big in the gym, you get big in the kitchen!

Mary
1 year 4 months ago

Lift heavy and eat in a caloric surplus above your TDEE with adequite protein intake. Easy as that. You won’t build muscle unless you eat in a surplus; track your intake and weigh everything on a scale. And no, not all of us are afraid of muscle. Some of us LIKE to build muscle but natty, not on the cell tech like that bodybuilding girl Mark posted who is juiced out of her brains.

arthurb999
arthurb999
7 years 2 months ago

My wife was the same way… not wanting to get too bulky… like she’s going to accidently get huge all of a sudden.

I wish that would happen to me 😀

John
John
7 years 2 months ago

In general, the mode of strength training used does not matter as much as the dietary intake, and steroids only add an entire different level of physiological responses, separate from diet and supplement.

Yummy
7 years 2 months ago

Thanks for an article for us ladies, Mark! We do need a Grokette and a girl’s T shirt too!! 🙂

Camille
Camille
7 years 2 months ago

@PrimalJAP – check out Stumptuous – http://www.stumptuous.com/. Krista got me on the righteous path. Lemme know what you think.

This post inspired me to get off my butt and go do some bodyweight work. I’m off to get physical!

Chris
Chris
7 years 2 months ago

Hey, I haven’t been following this site long but I think it is great. My wife ordered the book and I check it every day. How about a little Crossfit talk. Mark are you for it?…or is it a bit too much for the Primal Blueprint?

Gordon
Gordon
7 years 2 months ago

Do you have any advice for women post childbirth and doing squats?

I’m sure squatting is even more important, but are there any specific concerns of deep squats for women that have had babies?

Jennie Yundt
7 years 2 months ago

Gordon, as far as I know there are no concerns for women doing squats who have had babies. I have plenty of moms at my CrossFit Affiliate, and they all do squats without issues. I’m assuming that regardless of how many babies a woman has had, she’ll need to get on and off the toilet on her own…which is essentially a squat.

Now, doing double unders after a baby is a different story…I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. 😉

Annie
Annie
5 years 5 months ago

What? Really?! LOL!!

Hilary
Hilary
7 years 2 months ago
YAY! Thank you! I was just talking to a male friend the other day and told him I’d started lifting heavier w/ fewer reps. He said his personal trainer cousin told him women should do higher reps with moderate weight or they’ll get bulky. I tried to convince him women don’t have the biological mechanisms to create large volumes of muscle the way men do, but he didn’t buy it. These pictures prove it. I especially like the linked Crossfit photos. Such beautiful strength. I was seriously considering changing my routine back. I’m glad I came across this serendipitous post… Read more »
Eric
7 years 2 months ago

Couldn’t agree more.

I get a lot of women who like my mma workout stuff and get great results with it, even though I don’t promote it to women at all.

enriquegp
enriquegp
7 years 2 months ago
CraigH
CraigH
7 years 2 months ago
Just got an email at our CrossFit gym from a women who put that request in all caps: “I don’t want to BULK up.” I just shake my head and start the explanation again. Thank you for your article, Mark. Aurtherb999- hilarious and so true: “like she’s going to accidently get huge all of a sudden.” Neophytes believe that one morning they are going to look in the bathroom mirror and be packed and ripped: “oh my God, what has happened to me?!” The amazing irony is, when our female clients start to get some strength and muscle, they get… Read more »
Pamela MacElree
7 years 2 months ago

Nicely stated.

Full body, multi joint movements. Lift heavy, and practice good form.

Thanks.

Alex
Alex
7 years 2 months ago

Love it. Let’s go DL!!

Ursula
Ursula
7 years 2 months ago

I was concerned when I heard that oral contraceptives may limit muscle gain, as discussed here for example (Science News blog):
http://tinyurl.com/my4xew

Any insights on what kind of birth control pill would be best to take, not just with regard to this issue but overall? I realize the most primal choice is probably not to use them at all, but for a lot of people it’s the best option.

yeara
yeara
7 years 2 months ago

The two female bodybuilders on the youtube videos you posted look like [and sound like] they’re using steroids. A lot. Those kinds of clips scare women off weight lifting.

Also, their muscle isn’t functional. Which is kind of anti-primal.

The Arnold isn’t drug free. Natural female bodybuilders do not look like these two. Casual lifters who are females will not get this big, which is good because most of us do not want look like this.
The crossfitter is an awesome example though.

Monika Lowe
Monika Lowe
7 years 2 months ago

Completely agree with this article. I can squat and deadlift 1.5 times my weight (120).
athletics (functional excercises) long outlast aesthetics (bodybuilding excercises).

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[…] READ FULL ARTICLE BY MARK SISSON […]

SerialSinner
SerialSinner
7 years 2 months ago

Most female bodybuilders using steroids seem to have this massive square jaw and a deep voice. And I bet they are very hairy as well. So attractive…

Trinkwasser
Trinkwasser
7 years 2 months ago

I saw one once (no I’m not going to post a link in case anyone’s eating), her clit could have put my p*nis to shame . . . would have been an excellent excuse for Grok to do a very fast sprint . . .

marci
marci
7 years 2 months ago
three cheers for this post! I’ve been working w/ heavy weights since March thanks to my paleo trainer, Joe. My goal is to do deadlifts w/ 100 lbs+. I am not the least bit concerned about bulking up because I know bulky comes from cheesecake & donuts — not exercise! I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and am currently on Armour. Now I know why I was unable to lose weight/build muscle on the PB- but hopefully the meds will help. I will continue w/ my heavy weight routine (and primal/ tabata sprints), so I imagine a stronger & leaner… Read more »
Annie
Annie
5 years 5 months ago

by “bulky” is meant visible muscle mass, not increase of body fat.

Kurt Hessenbruch
Kurt Hessenbruch
7 years 2 months ago

Further evidence…

Maria de la Puente: (NSFW)

Julia Rohde:

Natalie Woolfolk:

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
7 years 2 months ago

Eric, I checked out your MMA website, and it looks great, but there’s a problem registering. The confirmation link is “no longer valid” and the log-in page is also “not there”. (According to my little error messages.)

Terri
7 years 2 months ago

Weight training is for men and women. I have worked out for a long time. I lift weights every other day and I don’t look like a man. Even in the days of Grok, women did a lot of heavy lifting, etc..with housework, cavework, etc…Staying strong is key to staying younger—it’s been working for me so far!!!Thanks
Check out my site: FitLikeTerri.com

Miriam
Miriam
7 years 2 months ago

Great article Mark, though the amount of times I have told my girlfriends they will not get bulky by lifting heavy weights they still don’t believe me and chose to be doughy chronic cardio bunnies.

I have been weight lifting for about 15 years and I still am NOT an enormous monster women,so I can guarantee women cannot get huge overnight! 🙂

Also I am lazy and low reps suit me, I can get in and out of the gym in less than 20 minutes and actaully feel I have used my muscles.

Emily
7 years 2 months ago

I, like most women, was afraid of strength training as well. I actually started some of the P90X workouts, which mostly use body weight, and began to see the great benefits of strength training.Once you see yourself gain muscle, it becomes a little addictive!

Annie
Annie
5 years 5 months ago

MOST women are not afraid of strength training. Pehaps only SOME.
Just tired of all this ignorant generalizations. Certain people are on this site for a reason.

Dude
Dude
7 years 2 months ago

if only it were as easy to put on muscle as some women fear it is!

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[…] Functional Fitness for Men AND Women […]

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[…] someone who is going to CrossFit, I loved Mark Sisson’s post today about women and muscles, Primal Strength Training for Women: Not So Different After All. I’m aiming to build some muscle. I like the look of the CrossFit women that he uses as an […]

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[…] Fitness Article Links Strength Training For Women: Not So Different Vegetarian Athletes Training On The […]

Sue
Sue
7 years 2 months ago

But don’t you think those women weightlifters looked quite bulky in the bottom half compared to top? Or have they still got a lot of fat in the legs with muscle on top. Apart from the last one who was fat.

Sue
Sue
7 years 2 months ago

My comment above was about the 2007 lifters. The 2008 lifter was small all over.
The two female bodybuilders looked so masculine – personally I think its so unattractive.

Alisa - Frugal Foodie
7 years 2 months ago

I agree with Emily, except about P90X being mostly body weight … she needs to up her weights! 🙂

No seriously, I appreciate this post as I felt a bit self-conscious about gaining muscles mass but am also finding it addictive. It feels good to be more capable as a woman, and my husband is liking how these “new” muscles look!

Lisa
Lisa
4 years 5 months ago

I agree with you! I was confused by my new physique at first, but I LOVE these new “curves”. Now, if only fashion designers would craft us business attire to fit our new muscles!

Dollface
Dollface
7 years 2 months ago

Awesome article Mark! Been waiting for this 🙂 I’m loving my workouts at the gym, for the first time in my life I really feel like this exercise thing is going to stick. Helps to be eating properly too 🙂

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[…] For the ladies […]

Camille
Camille
7 years 2 months ago

@Miriam

you said:”Also I am lazy and low reps suit me, I can get in and out of the gym in less than 20 minutes and actaully feel I have used my muscles.”

I suggest you try doing interval training. i often do my workouts in 15 minutes or less.

check these out:

HIIT – http://www.intervaltraining.net/hiit.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6jb-ae9X3A (you can sub dumbbell for kettlebell)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJsQ05425eI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6A13wVHhJA

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[…] Primal Strength Training for Women: Not So Different After All […]

Indiscreet
Indiscreet
7 years 2 months ago
Like Miriam, I’ve been lifting pretty seriously for a long time (22 years in my case) and look more like the Crossfit women than the woman in picture 2. In my early twenties I did actually want to be a lot bigger, but I found my muscles were pretty stubborn despite the heavy weights I forced them to lift. I wasn’t prepared to take roids, so I just figured I wasn’t cut out for bodybuilding. I’m rather glad of that now. I’m strong but healthy, and that’s the object of the exercise, isn’t it? I do find it frustrating that… Read more »
Trish
Trish
7 years 2 months ago
I get a lot of strange looks from the cardio women running on the treadmills at work lunchour! They sweat, while I do my 20 minute weight lifting routine and simply change back into my work clothes dry as a cucumber! I save my cardio for evenings 3 X a week, like a bike ride, game of squash or rollerblading. I love how they just do the same 30 crunches and same tricep dips after their Monday to Friday 45 min stepper workout, with no results! I however, am decreasing in body fat % every week and prepping for my… Read more »
Toni
Toni
6 years 6 months ago

Trish ~ did you adjust the Primal diet for the last week before your competition? I’m doing a Figure in April and wondered about the carb deplete/load using veggies only. I’m pretty lean already, but a bit on the smaller size of muscle mass.
Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Annie
Annie
5 years 5 months ago

People not showering after a workout make me sick to my stomach.

Elizabeth Colon
Elizabeth Colon
7 years 2 months ago
Excellent article! Add another vote from me for Grokette. Like several others, I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease. I also have to deal with very blatant gluten intolerance symptoms and have been working on cutting grains from my diet. In my search for a better way of eating, I found the Paleo-Diet, and was given a reccomendation to check out the Weston A Price Foundation. From there, I found this site and have since ordered the Primal Blueprint. I’m a bit over halfway through the book now and enjoying it immensely. Both my… Read more »
Troy Cooke
7 years 2 months ago

Great article. It is so hard to explain to women that I help out that lifting does not make you bulky, it is almost impossible for that to happen but yet it is hard to get over the image of the bodybuilders and that association with weight lifting.

Thanks again for a great article. I will definitely share it.

Donna
Donna
7 years 2 months ago

“EVERY” woman should lift weights, it’s the best way to stay strong and look great!

Sheila
Sheila
7 years 2 months ago
I walked into my Crossfit affiliate in Jan 2009 at age 43 weighting 114 lbs, size 2, and never having touched weights beyond the cutesy dumbells in my life (and NO identifiable muscles). Seven months later I’m at 110 lbs, size 0, and the last time we did max weight on deadlifts, I lifted 143 lbs. Yes, I have muscles now – abs, triceps, etc. – but I’m not bulky, just look way cuter in a sundress! And it definitely adds to that self-esteem thing when you stride into PetSmart and watch the beer-bellied guys mouths drop while the little… Read more »
Elizabeth Colon
Elizabeth Colon
7 years 2 months ago

Great story! I’ve read about Crossfit. Right now, MovNat has my utmost curiosity, however, as it seems the most Primal.

Jennie Yundt
7 years 2 months ago

Sheila you’re a beast! Don’t you love the way men stare? I always get, “Do you want help to your car with this?”

My reply: “No thanks…I TOTALLY GOT IT!” (flexes right bicep)

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