Regular readers of this site will know I’m not a huge fan of activities that involve public judgement of women wearing bikinis. Nor am I wont to fuss too much about “femininity” as it pertains to weight training. Feminine is as feminine does, and we all do it in whatever way is right for us (or not at all, as the case may be — rock on, butches).
Nevertheless I wanted to share an example of what heavy weight training can do for women who are interested in presenting a more conventional physique. Amanda Graydon of Precision Nutrition recently competed in — and won — her first figure competitions. Fitness/figure is basically women’s bodybuilding without the massive doses of androgens that characterize pro women’s bodybuilding and create the physiques that we associate with “bulking up”.
Here are some shots of Amanda at her competition. I think we can all agree that by the standards of heterosexual femininity, she’s doing very well.
Now here’s the thing. Despite her benign appearance — she’s a lovely, sweet woman as well — Amanda is a freaking powerhouse. She’s a couple inches taller and about 15 lb heavier than me. In clothes, she looks like a tiny blond dancer, which reflects her figure skater experience. If you just glanced at her in workout wear, you’d think she was just a nice girl who likes to do a few Pilates classes to keep trim. But to get to that contest shape, she had to train like an animal. And she is damn strong.
Check out this video of OMGBFFA, Amanda, and I training. Notice what Amanda’s wearing? That’s a 20 lb weighted vest. Yes, that’s correct — she’s doing what me and OMGBFFA are doing: flipping tires, smashing 20 lb medicine balls, pullups on rings, etc. She’s doing it better, she’s doing it faster, and she’s wearing a 20 lb vest. She made us both look like wimps, which is saying a lot.
The point here: Lift heavy weights, girls, ’cause them’s the results. High five, Amanda!