Over the last several years I’ve really tried to emphasize women training and lifting. I’ll remind a lot of you that in 2008, it was taboo to suggest that something like CrossFit should include strength training, yet nowadays women who lift are a regular part of the “online training culture”. The functional fitness and strength training communities produce women who not only perform well, but also look very good. It’s important to note the aesthetics of women in these training methodologies since women’s fashion includes physical appearance as well as accessorizing (clothing in this case). It’d be naive to think that appearance wasn’t an issue in either gender, but more foolish to think that female society doesn’t revolve around looks and fashion — training communities are no different. However, the functional fitness and strength communities like to poke fun at the body building communities.
The only difference between a bodybuilding community and other training communities are the means to an end. Everyone here has seen girls running around in panties, sports bras, and knee-high socks while doing a workout. We’ve also seen figure competitors pose for photo shoots or get on stage in hardly a bikini. I’m not complaining about either scenario, but they aren’t very different from one another. Figure competitors aren’t in a dehydrated state constantly throughout the year, and in order to develop the musculature needed to win they have to lift weights, eat properly, and they are usually pretty damn strong.
Direct your focus to :44 seconds.
There’s a lot going on here, but I want to direct your attention to Trish Warren squatting 135 lbs for the photo shoot. It’s not that she’s squatting it, it’s that she’s just repping it out like it’s a fucking joke…because it is. Here’s a gal that is trying to be seductive in this photo shoot while also showing off the physique that she’s built. She’s probably trying to catch a pump in her quads for the pics Regardless of how she’s built this physique, she has definitely done it by using barbells and dumbbells and eating properly. Some may suggest various fake aspects of her — steroids, boobs, tan, etc. — but they aren’t any different than what other women use in other training communities (including the functional fitness community). Trish is definitely strong. She can probably hit an easy set of 40 full range of motion push-ups, then stand up and squat 225 for a set of five, then rack the bar and run 400 meters in 60 seconds. The specifics are irrelevant; what matters is that she trained differently yet has similar capabilities because she has established a good base of musculature by getting strong and vice versa. The functional fitness female is similar — she looks great on the account of developing strength and musculature while eating well. In either case, the results are the same.
Regardless of whether narcissism is existant (in wanting to show off the newly crafted body in the gym, photos, or competition) women can get great results from busting their ass and training hard. Strength training can easily be programmed with up tempo barbell complexes, circuit training, or conditioning. To me, it seems like the best results stem from girls who are strong, yet also do high-rep lighter weight training on the side (I’m not suggesting this should be the case, it’s just my observation of seeing women in CF and globo gyms). Results won’t be quick for most girls and they should maintain their patience in a program. Most girls that have athletically appealing bodies have developed them over time, have a predisposition to that body type, or are using. Either way, training hard will be necessary.
With that being said, since being a girl and lifting weights is so en vogue, it almost seems like some women think that they get to stop there. “I do one strength lift before my conditioning workout and now I’m smug,” kind of seems to be the internet attitude. Reference the above video to see Trish smashing out about 40 reps with 135 (she also makes Marzia Prince look thin) and you’ll see that she’s not really impressed with doing one strength lift a day. Observe the following video:
Annie Moniqui clean and jerks 105 kg in that video. That’s 231 pounds that she’s pulling, front squatting, and then sticking overhead. Weighing 58kg, or a little less than 130 lbs. That’s pretty damn impressive.
Now that you are a female who trains, you no longer get a cookie just for doing the lifts. Instead, devote yourself into that training and consistently improve. Don’t just get stronger than the anorexic girl who rang you up at the super market, get strong for a woman that trains. Eat right, train hard, and do it consistently. The activity of lifting revolves around performance, not attendance. You are now held to higher standards. Do something about it.
And if you needed more motivation, here’s a Finnish girl who is doing a completely dead hang chin-up with 105.5kg total weight (including body weight). This should motivate some of you dudes, too.