The 4 Horsemen will usher in a new age of fitness. The traditional versions of Conquest, War, Famine and Death are represented in our focus on Goals, Competition, Nutrition and Metabolic-conditioning. We firmly believe that strength, power and fitness are best achieved by utilizing CrossFit methods and the 4 Horsemen of Lifts: Squats, Presses, Deadlifts and O-lifts.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Women and strength training

(Monika hitting a pulling and Dani locking out a ring dip)

Now it seems to me there is a stupid myth out there that women shouldn't do strength training and if they do, it should be to tone and sculpt and involve a two pound pilates ball, or a 1/2 pound stick and a step-up board. This is total and utter BS! First off, women are not some special group of people, they are more than 1/2 the population and the same training that benefits men will benefit women. They might be XX and we are XY but we still share all the same important anatomy (legs, arms, torso, stomach, liver, pancreas, intestines, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.) and our bodies function and respond to hormonal stimulus in almost identical ways. Although the intensity and volume of stimulus needed for adaption to occur differs between the two genders, both benefit in the same manner from the same stimulus ie. Strength training is good for women. I think this perpetuated fear of strength training comes from a notion that if women lift weights they will develop monstrous muscles. Now unless they start using steroids this probably will not happen (see hotties in pic above). You can press 115#, squat 225# and deadlift 315# and still have a slender girlish figure. It's all about muscle density - by strength training properly you can building strength without "bulking up". Body-builders use lower weights and higher rep schemes (12+ reps) to greatly increase the volume of a muscle cell (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy) where as power/strength athletes use heavier weights and lower rep schemes (3-8reps) to increase the contractile potential (strength) of the muscle cells they already have (myofibrillar hypertrophy). Additionally, having stronger muscles means you burn more calories/day and this more often than not will result in a decrease in body fat. With less fat and slightly more muscle you will essentially be denser/firmer (not bigger) or more "toned" and we all like a nice firm butt. More importantly though women need to be strong, as being strong prevents injury. Women are active and active people can get hurt but if you can support a heavy load in a perfect position, you are less likely to injure yourself with a moderate load in an awkward position. Strength training in particular should be done by all women as this will dramatically increase bone density and decrease chances of osteoporosis later in life. The main point is that women like men should use strength training in addition to cardiovascular exercise and proper nutrition as a means to improve daily life. Now suck it up buttercup and get under the bar!


Sean B-H said...

and women lifting heavy weight is hot!

Dani Aldred said...

Yes, well put. A firm butt. How is Italy Murph? I've been to the garage a couple of times with Sean while you've been away. The lifting platform is very nice. Good job guys.

Michael Murphy said...

Sean I have to agree with you fully on that one. Dani, I can't wait to start lifting hard when I get back. I'll see you at the party.