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Gender Specific Programs

February 9, 2009


I am not a fan of programs designed for women.
Here are 5 reasons:

5) programs for women are mostly long cardio sessions

4) programs for women don’t include heavy weights (15 lbs for squats is NOT heavy)

3) programs for women that do include weights are usually the machines. I don’t do the machines.

2) programs for women are usually less work and less comparative difficulty than ones desined for men so that we wont “get bulky”. As if.

And the Number One reason that I’m not a fan of programs designed for women is that most programs are marketed to women in general. Which means they’re a combination of lots of cardio, low weights, high reps, machines, and a total waste of time. I’m not going to gain a ton of strength with three pound weights. Maybe a little strength, but I’d gain it so much faster and so much more strength using progressively heavier weights.

All this is of course my opinion only and not based on any sort of factual evidence.

I read these womens fitness books at the store occasionally. Magazines as well. Even the “good” books at big book store chains sell women crap. They tell us that if we use high reps and low weight we’ll loose weight and not get bulky. Now, here’s a fact, women (and men for that matter) are not going to get bulky by lifting heavy weights. You need a caloric surplus to gain mass so if anyone is at maintenance or below for calories, they will not get bulky regardless of gender. But that person might gain some strength because strength and mass are not the same. A person can have a huge bicep with not much strength if the bicep is pumped with a bunch of extra interstitial fluid.

Programs for women just as a whole tend to be sub-par. No one wants to tell us women what we really SHOULD do because it just wouldn’t sell. No one thinks women are willing to work hard and put real sweat into what we’re doing. But we are. Stop doubting us and give us real programs. Start listening to our needs and give us programs to build our strength so we don’t have to hope there’s some guy around to protect us after we get done with our wimpy cardio workout.

My solution to this dilhemma- I never buy programs designed for women. Ever. I buy mens programs only and follow them. I might have to adjust a few things here and there because of my decreased strength, but I’ll get to doing the 3 sets of 12 pull ups one of these days.

Women are not wimpy. And our programs shouldn’t be either.

Lastly, please help me name my kettlebell!!! I’m begging here for more suggestions :).

9 Comments leave one →
  1. robfitness permalink
    February 10, 2009 9:27 AM

    Well how about Princess, Tata, Tasha, Bertha, Mirna, Ali. Just some that popped into my mind. I just posted my picture of my new addition as well. Hope all is going well for you in school and play. I’m still struggling and just don’t know about this blogging anymore. I am slowly losing my ambition and really don’t think that anything I have to say is important enough to blog about. Who knows!
    Time for meet to get out of here and run some errands.
    Thinking about you and hoping that your day goes smoothly for ya.
    Take it easy….

  2. February 10, 2009 10:53 AM

    I kind of like Princess, too :).

    As for my day, so far so good! Almost done with lunch and then I have a spare half hour before returning to work. I’ll head up to my daughters room and do some taping to prep for painting. Taping squares is a pain in the butt.

  3. ladlam permalink
    February 10, 2009 2:54 PM

    Rob stop yer bitchin’ and post! Post anything man, I’ve got nothing better to do than read it while I’m at work, so you’re doing a community service by keeping me entertained 😀
    And Michelle, awesome post! I honestly have to hold my laughter in when I see some poor lady at the gym doing dumbell curls with a 1kg weight. I mean firstly, how are you going to lose weight with dumbell curls? Secondly, 1kg? Just put the weight down and lift your arm up on it’s own, it’ll have about the same effect!
    On another note, my martial arts’ instructors wife is a sprinter and recently started a strength program – she can leg press something like 3 times her weight and puts most of the guys at the gym to shame, and she’s tiny. Love it!

    • February 10, 2009 6:43 PM

      Rob wanted to let you know I’m going with Princess ______. I’m looking through Russian names (luke’s suggestion) for what the other half to princess will be. I’m almost thinking Sophie but not sure how russian that is. Then maybe Dutchess for the next one or something. And of course for the big ‘un when I get it will have to be Queen.

      Luke, your workout the other day looks killer! And yeah, glad I don’t go to the gym. I’d have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. At least I know they wouldn’t be able to beat me up but they might group together and sabotage my locker or something. I remember back in HS being able to leg press as much as the football players. I was 110 pounds tops. If even that. Put ’em all to shame ;).

  4. ladlam permalink
    February 10, 2009 7:26 PM

    Which workout? Yesterdays or the one from the weekend? They were both pretty painful 😀
    Haha I love watching macho men waddle over to the leg press machine and put on like 200lbs. Come on dude, you weigh more than that on your own! You might as well do squats!

  5. Chris Brown permalink
    February 10, 2009 9:27 PM

    Well. Said. If only this caught on like wildfire! Unfortunately there’s all those infomercials and exercise programs on tv (along with whats in most of the books/magazines) trying to convince their target market otherwise.

    Way to show up the football players too!! 😉

  6. ladlam permalink
    February 10, 2009 10:26 PM

    Wait, you mean that standing on a vibrating platform WON’T make me lean and muscular Chris? Nooooo!!

  7. robfitness permalink
    February 11, 2009 5:22 AM

    Well I am going to brag a bit and say I know I can leg press at least 540-670 pounds, Luke (Ha ha) can you do that! 🙂 Then again like I mentioned in my comment to you I can only bench press 110 at the most and then I can only do 5-6 reps of that. Arms are my weakest.
    Some of the name I mentioned to you are Russian or at least I found them online under Russian baby names. I like how your giving them the dual names. How much does the “Queen” weigh?
    You know I love the gym and since I really only pay attention to myself and what I am doing. I guess I am missing what you all are mentioning.I know what your saying but I don’t see it. Then again many times I am at the gym when few others are so maybe all the hardcore gym rats are in at that time.

  8. ladlam permalink
    February 11, 2009 3:18 PM

    Hey Rob, not too sure what exact figures I can leg press. The highest I’ve done before was 140kg I think, which is 308 – never really tried above that 😀 I wouldn’t feel too bad about the bench press either, that’s about what I could press last time I tried. I’m sure I could do more now, but who cares anyway!
    Oh and I’d say you don’t know what we’re talking about because anyone doing weights at 4am is bound to be hardcore! Try going at mid day when all the mums are around 😉

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