How is this for a totally off-topic blog post? It isn’t often that I weigh in with a strong opinion on something that is outside my professional experience, but I had an interaction with an administrator at my local lifting establishment that left a bad taste in my mouth and this is my respectful response. I’m posting it here for the benefit of my women readers, not to make a big stink about anything. The guy I talked to means well, but appears uniformed.
To the women:
If you bear a child, it will come out of your womb between 8 and 10 pounds. By age 1 s/he will probably be around 25 pounds. Over the course of the next 5 years, your child will grow to be, on average, about 50 pounds by age 6. During these first 6 years of life, image how much lifting, carrying, holding, swinging and squating you will do with this little bundle of joy. Countless hours and repetitions, and thats if you only have one child to juggle during those years. Add in another and you’ve effectively doubled your work/weight load.
So why do you believe the myth that if you lift heavy weights (i.e. anything over 15 pounds) you are going to get huge and ripped? You carry grocery sacks, car seats and open doors that weigh about that much and I don’t see any moms shredding their t-shirts from that.
The purpose of going to the gym is to give you a strength advantage for everyday life. You train harder/heavier so that your everyday tasks are easier. You don’t want to grunt, sweat and have your arms shaking where you pick up your child and lift them overhead, so use weights heavier than your kids so that you can enjoy playing with them and they can enjoy being enjoyed by you. No child wants to feel like a burden and they don’t understand why you can’t. But they will understand “you are too heavy” and how do you think that will set them up to feel in adolescence?
Moms, you do great work. I am not here to criticize you, I here to (hopefully!) bring enlightenment. People in the fitness industry are profiting from your fear and that makes me angry. They perpetuate myths and lies that keep you in bondage and from enjoying life with your family and setting your kids up to succeed.
The truth is that you wont get big and bulky, you don’t have the genetic makeup for it. Even guys, who have 50x more testosterone and growth hormone than you can’t workout once and wake up the next day looking like the Hulk. It just doesn’t happen, as much a some guys wish it did.
The truth is that you lifting heavy (heavier) weights will build strength and bone density and a little lean muscle mass. Lifting heavy weights will allow you to enjoy your kids and even grandkids because you won’t be crippled with osteoporosis. You will have strength and endurance to love and live and you will be free from the fear and marketing machine of the fitness industry. I want that for you and that is why I’m writing. Please start a heavy weight rebellion. Tell marketers and fear mongers to take a hike as you press your 35# dumbells overhead and pull 135# off the floor.
If you want help, message or email me and I’ll get you connected with people I trust and who have my same values of wanting you to succeed and get stronger so you can enjoy life and family more.
Until then, power to you my friends.