Sunday, November 29, 2020

Muscle, The New Femininity (Part 2) :

Muscle, The New Femininity (Part 2)
๐Ÿ‘‰ Muscle, The New Femininity (Part 1)

Muscle, The New Femininity (Part 2) :

To a society obsessed with body image, and increasingly concerned with health, it couldn't be a better time. As muscle is metabolically active, it burns calories 24 hours a day, even during sleep. Thus the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Unlike with running (which, in excess can break down muscle tissue), in weight training you can only hurt yourself by being careless.

Pumping iron strengthens bones, joints and ligaments as well as muscle, increases growth hormone production (the real fountain of youth) and can be done at any age, which means that senior citizens now have a route to renewed vigor which will allow many of them to discard the canes and walkers. Don't laugh; it's already happening!



But getting back to the femininity issue, if we can accept that the essence of female form is curves (rather than the straight lines of the stick-thin fashion models), we're left with two choices for the substance of those curves: fat or muscle. For most of us the choice is a no-brainer. Consider this: why do women wear high-heels? To look taller? No, to make their calves look shapelier. And their calves look shapelier because they're muscles being flexed.

But what is "enough?" Or "too much?" I must stifle a grimace or a laugh when someone expresses a fear of becoming "too muscular" to me. Right, and you'd better stop taking piano lessons because you can't afford the dress you'll need to perform at Carnegie Hall. Unless a woman has unusual genetics and is taking boatloads of illegal pharmaceuticals to boost her testosterone, she's not going to add much size. In fact, since muscle is so much denser than fat, she'll be smaller, even if she weighs more. Thus my clients can ignore the bathroom scale, relying instead on the mirror, skin-fold measurements and their improved performance in the gym.

Most women training with weights are still using only a fraction of their capability. Take calves: women will train them with fifty pounds on a machine, unmindful of the fact that in a two-mile run they're subjecting them to thousands of repetitions at bodyweight multiplied by G-force. One of my clients, Leslie, an overweight mother of two, in her forties with no athletic background, had already been training at her YMCA when I began with her. But she'd been training like the rest of the women there: cardio, and light reps on the machines.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Muscle, The New Femininity (Part 3)


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