You don’t have to go far in the average gym to find someone willing to give you bad information. People are full of ideas and advice about women and weights. And most of them are wrong. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common myths floating around like the alligator in the sewer stories. The difference is, of course, that there really ARE alligators in the sewer. And snakes that pop out of your toilet, heh heh.
It’s tempting to think when starting out that you need a whole array of belts, straps, gloves, and suits to begin strength training, especially if you see a lot of folks in the gym all decked out like medieval cyborgs. Well, the truth is that you don’t. Here’s what you need and what you can do without.
The other day I got an email from a woman who asked, “I’m 31. Is it too late to begin a fitness program?” Only in our youth-worshiping North American culture could such a question even be asked. In most other cultures in the world, the concept of aging equaling inactivity does not exist.
Above: Champion powerlifter and site reader Gayle busts out the biceps curl reps.
I was sitting on a cold, paper-covered exam table when the doctor told me I was too fat. The sterile, crinkly surface rustled as I shifted awkwardly, trying to conceal my embarrassment and anger. I had gone in to find out why my hip hurt so much. The doctor explained that my extra weight was putting pressure on the joint and was the likely source of the pain. Then he said simply, “Lose weight,” and left the room.
How do you start out if you’re an overfat beginner? Not by taking the usual advice, that’s for damn sure.
In the quest for optimal health, it’s easy to go overboard and drown yourself. But urine luck today: Guest author and whiz kid Matt Stone argues in favour of “If it’s yellow, let it mellow” and against over-hydration. Are you peeing your brains out?
And many more questions answered by me in this fun, fearless, femmechat interview with the excellent Summer Innanen! Click thru to check it out.
So you’ve hired a trainer or a coach. Good for you! This is an important and useful first step in keeping yourself accountable, learning the basics of the lifts, and having a plan that’s tailored to your needs and goals. Now, don’t be an asshole and cock it up. You have to hold up your end of the bargain too. Here’s how.
Beginners often wonder: How much should I lift? How much CAN I lift? The answer is easy: Lift the right weight for YOU. Here’s how to figure it out.
Many swimmers don’t combine weight training with swimming. That’s a mistake. If you’re a swimmer, I highly recommend that you support your swimming with some strength and conditioning work. Here’s how.
Nowhere will you find a more passionate defender of the hip-extending, spine-protecting, pants-holding-up muscle group known as the glutes than Bret Contreras. He’s made it his life’s work to give you an ass that won’t quit. In this interview, I talk to him about pelvic floor dysfunction, low back pain, athletic performance, gender issues in training, and above all — how to get glutes like gravity-defying bowling balls.
Resistance is that force in you that throws rebellious tantrums, whispers sweet self-critical nothings in your ear (or screams them in your face like a drunken guy at the bus stop), keeps you stuck in self-destructive habits, and glues your ass to the chair when you know you should get up and do something.
Unless it’s a truly horrific, traumatizing event (for instance, being run over by a steam roller driven by all those girls that made fun of you in high school), the worst part of an injury/illness isn’t the physical pain. Sure, physical pain can be epic. It can nag and nag and nag. You can get to a point where you’d truly consider eating a rat poison smoothie if you thought it’d bring pain relief. But usually, once you get past the immediate event and the first few days of acute pain, the worst part of any injury/illness is psychological.
Stefani Ruper is the author of PCOS Unlocked: The Manual, a guide to polycystic ovary syndrome, a health issue that many women struggle with — without even realizing. In a Stumptuous Files podcast, I talk to Stefani about the value of ancestral-style diets, women and body image, her experience with disordered eating, her work on PCOS, and the F-work — feminism — in the “Paleosphere”.
“I see beautiful, inspiring, real women on a daily basis who struggle with their body image because they don’t feel they measure up with who the media tells them to be… I feel like this is even more poignant in mothers who often feel like their bodies have been ruined when instead they should be respected for creating, sustaining, and nourishing life.”