Monday, June 23, 2008

How many times do I have to say it?

I feel like a broken record. So many women are still afraid to lift heavy weights, and I'm not really sure why. We had a trainer come in today, she's awesome by the way, and Jason wanted her to use the 20kg for TGUs and Snatches. She totally had it in her, but she was nervous and unsure of herself. Once she successfully completed reps of each movement on each arm she said, "I tell my women clients all the time to use heavier weights and then here I am not doing it myself until someone tells me to."

It's as simple as getting through everyday life. If I had to wait for someone else to help me carry in the dog food or to open a jar lid that was screwed on too tight, both my dog and I would go hungry. (Not that I eat food that comes in a jar.) Who wants their life to stop because thay can't do something? Certainly not me.

Just the other day I bought a four draw filing cabinet (that wasn't put together already.) I let one of the sales people scoot the long rectangular box out to my car and load it. Thank you. I honestly didn't think it was that heavy, but then I got home and had to move the damn thing myself.

Once I got it out of the car, I had to travel about 30 feet, then up a flight of stairs, around two corners, and finally another 15 feet to my office. This thing was not only heavy but awkward, I must have stopped and cursed at it a few dozen times. Honestly, it'd still be sitting in the back of my car if I was 80% or more of the single female population.

Point being, if you can't make it through daily life what purpose is there? If you can't pick up your kid to give them a hug, hoist around a few bags of mulch to make the flower bed look nicer, or more simply than that just stand up for yourself, what's the point? What's the point of leading such a sheltered life where someone has to do something so simple as carrying in the dog food for you?

I don't want that. I never will. And neither should you. Stand up for yourself.


Dan Hubbard, M.Ed., CSCS. said...

Do you think it is 20% of the female population that isn't afraid of heavy weights? I think it is more like 5%. Days can go by in the gym and I don't see a female lift more than 20lbs.

Thank You Pamela for saying it!

Pamela MacElree said...

I might have been kind with my percentages. However in all fairness to the majority of women we work with, a good percentage are interested in strength gains.

One thing I forgot to mention is that with strength gains comes fat loss, but who cares about that?

Michael said...

Women are strong. Mentally they can handle a ton of details, sort and create, and deal with us men-at the same time. Emotionally they can cope with their challenges, your challenges, their sister's best friend's crisis, and still have an ear for us men. And women physically? From the date we opened, CFNYC has seen similar if not better strength gains in it's women when compared to the men.

Get under the bar or bell and it's just a matter of time.

Pam, CFNYC is good, and we have settled into our new (temp) home. After the CrossFit Games, we should talk about having you up for some KB fun. mike at crossfitnyc dot com

Pamela MacElree said...

Mike, sounds like an excellent idea. I'm holding you to it!

Jen's Gym and Potomac Crossfit said...

I don't get it. I don't get why women are scared of getting strong. Maybe they think if they get strong they become less feminine, which we know is not true.

Today I went under the bar working on getting my Thruster back.
15-9-3 75lb thrusters.
After that I did have to take it easy with my KB weights. It's a game I have to play with my shoulder.

Pamela MacElree said...

Jen, keep working at it, your progress already is good. Not to mention your persistance.

And if I had the answer to the strength question, I might be able to retire!

Melissa Byers said...

Fantastic write-up, Pam. For me, it's not that I'm afraid to use heavy weights - it's that I underestimate how strong I really am. I need to start pushing myself more, instead of waiting for someone else to push me into bumping up the weights.

Pamela MacElree said...

Hey Melissa, I know what you mean, it took me a little bit of time to realize that I could actually do a lot more than I thought I could.

In the back of my mind I always know that if I have to I can drop the weight, but I might as well see what I have in me. Keep me posted I'd love to hear how it's coming along.

mel said...

I know! We either want our curves or we want to look like men. Some want to be so scrawny you could knock 'em over with a feather. 50 pound feed bags are pretty awkward too, but boy are they a lot lighter these days. No they are screwing me on how much is in there like with flour or sugar, not that I eat that, they are still 50 pounds. But If I wasn't setermined to get a deadlift PR each time I did them, I'd still struggle with those bags.
A friend told my mother-in-law she would get big thighs doing Crossfit. She told them better big and firm than big and flabby. I told her mine had gotten smaller. Women's lib has really screwed with what the ideal woman should be, many going to one extreme or he other, I'll take the middle and fit road anyday.

Lisa said...

YEAH, Pamela! This is right on. I love the liberation I see when women start putting weight on those bars. So many have walked into our gym, looked the bars and plates with intimidation, and commented, "that is the guy zone", thinking they would never go there. Then, they start putting on their own weights, deadlifting, squatting, putting weights over their heads, and a light in their eyes happens, a fierceness comes over their faces, and it's suddenly the women who are all gathered around each other, helping each other put MORE weight on, cheering each other through another heavy rep. It's REALLY inspirational and REALLY rewarding to see the confidence that happens in those women after that. It fires me UP. Thank you for writing this article.

brithassler said...

I work at a high school as an athletic trainer and have been doing crossfit for about two years. The best conditioned athlete in the school (because of crossfit) also works out with me and a handful of football players, but when I do conditioning programs for girls sports or if they come in the weight room it is "how do I make my calves skinny" or "I really just need something to work my stomach", I try to explain the benefits of crossfit but this misconception of getting bodybuilder features is hard to overcome so I end up having to disguise crossfit type workouts. I just dont get it

Pamela MacElree said...

brithassler, if you can get them to do a disguised workout, then just keep disguising them. They'll see the changes for themselves.

Thanks Lisa, I know what you mean, it's awesome when I see our women pick up heavier dumbbells and kettlebells, the look on their face is priceless, and I'm so happy for them that they are able to notice their increase in strength.

Mel, I'm with you, curves are good, most men will tell you that! Keep up the good work.

kettlebell goddess said...

Love this post!! Men in my life are always telling me i need to let them help more....but yep...if i wait for them to do it...? yeah. i have those everyday experiences you talk about all the time. heres a good one, i put together 5 bookcases at 8mo pregnant for my husbands fathers day gift. not to mention all the other stuff on other occasions...a fish tank stand, a desk with a hutch, the crib, changing table, yard word, the list goes on.

Jason Struck , RKC said...

strong women are sexy.