Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why I lift heavy

Someone posted this really great article in the Fitness forums, and I have to say, I agree with all of it.

Not long ago, I posted a blog on Sparkpeople about overcoming my fear of truly lifting heavy. But I never really explained why I want to.

Too many women are deathly afraid of weights. They've gotten into the myth of "low weight, high reps" for "toning" instead of "bulking up."

Which is unfortunately for them, a TOTAL myth!  Women as a general rule, just can't bulk up.  It's not in our genetic makeup! We're built different from men. And surprisingly, even men don't bulk up that way easily. It takes a LOT of hard work... hours and hours of lifting like a body builder, eating at a massive calorie surplus, taking supplements, and seriously trying. You can't accidentally bulk up by picking up 10 lb weights instead of 3!

The guy who teaches my boot camps, for example? I've seen him lift weights.  He lifts so much that he has to use a special device to keep it stable in his hands so he doesn't lose control of it and drop it.  He's far from huge! He's lean and cut, and has a very low body fat percentage, but he isn't bulky, in any sense of the word!  And he's a dude!

I lift heavy because I want to be strong. I will likely have broader shoulders than most women, because I'm built that way... while I have a small bone structure, I'm a tall woman (5'7) and curvy.  I will never be 130 lbs... and frankly, I don't want to be. When I was a teen, I was proud of the fact that I was heavier than I looked... 145, because I was STRONG. Muscular.

I want to be able to pick up heavy things. Not need help opening pickle jars. I want to have the strong muscles of a powerful woman.

I love how lifting heavy makes me feel.  Is it as heavy as some people? Not yet.  I'm getting there. But it's a study in opposites to look at the others in my classes. Where I'm lifting 25 lbs (two 10 lb weights on a 5 lb dumbell) they're lifting 15, or 10... or less!  And they have been for MONTHS. I know these people; they're friends and comrades, and they have been lifting this way for a long time, so it's not a matter of not being able to, yet.  But I have noticed something since I started ignoring the 7 1/2 lb weights for the 10s.

More people graduated from 5 lb weights to 7 1/2.

Is it because of me? I don't know. I'd like to hope so. But if me lifting heavy in a group Body Blast class inspires a classmate or two to go a bit more challenging... then that's okay with me. :)

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