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  1. #21
    pesce is offline Senior Member
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    2nd CaptShady, good stuff. I train in Andrea Chang's studio in Seattle, and to a point from an earlier posts in the thread, if I want to see functional strength, it's right there.

  2. #22
    pyotr is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mc View Post
    this article really got me thinking about the assertion "real women lift heavy weights"

    hmm. what does that mean? here it means "pick up something that you can't lift more than 10 times with perfect form" for "gaining physical strength "

    hmm.

    while lifting heavy has many benefits, and plainly it's very meaningful to lots of gals (i have my kj autographed beast in my office; my TSC 2nd place UK cert on my wall), and that's great, there are a few assertions in this post i'd like to engage that may offer some practice-oriented alternatives.

    just by way of context, let me say that i too have certainly encouraged women (and men) to consider lifting heavy for body comp goals, asserting this is more likely to be more effective for those goals than low effort cardio. I was wrong. and on a number of levels.

    First, attitude: After working with a lot of folks, pushing "lifting heavy" is largely a turn off on the one hand, can be experienced as disrespectful, and is vague in the extreme. what does "lift heavy" mean? Do 1 rep maxes every time one goes into the gym? alway push to even the ten rep max?

    second: It seems the idea of "lifting heavy" is somehow seen to be "good" and light is "bad" or useless. lift heavy may really be actually a kind of stand in, it seems, for intent - and the rkc is surely a school of strength, but strength is practice first - load, incidental. To clarify what i'm trying to say, in a school of strength, strength is about focus, tension, practice - load is a consequence of practice.

    let me break this down a bit.

    Sissie Weights I think when pavel has talked about "sissie weights" and pink dumbbells these are describing weights that can be *easily* thrown around without focus on technique - they are therfore in that context not useful to the practice of strength. As the popularity of convict conditioning has shown, however, one doesn't need anything beyond the self for strength development.

    Suddenly with a heavy weight, one generally is more focused, true, but that doesn't mean one is any better at moving the load - or any more ready to do it.

    So what is the goal? if it is specifically to lift something heavy, once in awhile, on demand, then "lifting heavy" also not essential for strength. I'll come onto that in a sec.

    To Lift heavy One does not need to Lift Heavy But it's also important to get, i think, that not everyone's goal is to lift a heavy thing, nor, i have learned, does it need to be, and second, to repeat myself, it's not entirely necessary to lift heavy in order to lift a heavy thing.

    If you read the interview i did with asha, you'll not that she trained mainly with a 12kg kb to do the 24kg pistol. Right now, she's said in posts she's exploring what can be done with the 16 to get the 32 happening for the press. That's effectively *light* weight, gtg'ing it, to do a unique, and otherwise unpracticed lift. If we focus on the beast challenge result - the single rep max - and miss her path to getting there, we miss the practice of strength. Asha's latest challenge was a fifty storey run up stairs in full firefighting gear. You know to what she attributes her success? VWC and VPP - way way submaximal work.

    Likewise, I've been writing a lot about really light weight for heavy results, with more focus on repping form rather than foregrounding load, coming back to the notion of lots of volume for the perfect rep. I lift relatively heavy (still sub max) once a week for any particular move i'm training right now (as per instructions from Dan John). In those posts you'll see references to powerlifter and yoga master Fawn Friday's use of high volume, lower volume work approaches to get her single Big Lifts too.

    MAss Another point in the article is about mass.
    sure testosterone is a part of the picture, but it's pretty important to get that it's not the key ingredient, or all mean guys would be ripped. Women achieve mass the same way men do: lots of volume at particular loads to stimulate hypertrophy (check anything by Kraemer on this point. ); they also eat to support it. Take a look at rkc II Claire Booth, competetive natural body builder, for an example of the WORK for herself and the BB'ers she trains, to get mass. Remember too few competetive bb'ers are natural.

    So, as with men, if you don't work it, you don't get it. Most of us do not work at that kind of volume for that kind of hypertrophy, or eat for it either. But also take a look at Tracy Rif's arms to see hypertrophy from swing volume big time. That's not cuz she was trying: that's a side effect of the kind of volume she does (and that seems to be required for hypertrophy). IF a gal is doing that kind of volume/intensity, that's the adaptation.

    Also, while there was some debate about this, when speaking with three dozen gals on a health and fitness forum, none of them were concerned about bulking up. so this seems to be a lack of knowledge thing for some gals coming into fitness. So this seems to be an eaasily and quickly dispelled myth for most gals who get into training.

    tone - i've also heard that there's no such thing, but
    actually there is and it can be taken two ways: first it's tonus. it's the passive semi contraction that muscles generally hold - unless you're asleep, then it sorta relaxes. More muscle fiber compacted from working muscle, more tonus? dunno. But muscle toning, as ya likely know, is simply a colloquial term for leaning out and muscling up.

    strength = increasing resistance.
    That's not quite the formula you'd see in siff or kraemer or Zatsiorsky. getting stronger requires increased demand for adaptation. One can increase the demand for adaptation by changing one of a number of variables including resistance. but volume, recovery, intensity, occlusion, asphyxia even, are all components that can be tweaked for strength, too.

    as for why someone would ever use a five pound weight?
    let's try fear as a good one. fear sets up a threat response that also sets up a greater potential for injury. pushing someone beyond what their comfort zone is when they're not ready, and see how much they learn to hate and fear working out with you. i know; i've been there, on both sides of my less intelligent self.

    And while deadlifting one's bodyweight may be important for some of us, it's not essential for people to still be healthy, active and strong. bodyweight exercises themselves show that there's many ways to be challenged to be strong without touching external resistance, and able to tax only % of one's own weight.

    as an aside: with respect to resistance training for women, we may consider benefits to bone mineral density - an issue for women in particular - resistance training has been shown to help with bone mineral density loss, but not "heavy" and likewise but stop and start exercises like soccer and racquet ball are just as good, it seems. The best resistance training? dynamic. so swings/snatches ought to be super. Doesn't have to be particularly heavy; seems it has to induce change of stop/start adaptation.

    Other non-heavy actions we know are also great for strength: rowing is a huge benefit for strength/power/endurance - likewise as said swinging and snatching, which does not have to be done with a heavy weight to be effective; forces are generated and managed in other ways.

    Gaining Physical Strength
    in sum the article posits physical strength is important. Super. Agreed. But in my own practice and working with others, i've had to come down of the assertion i've seen so many places that "lifting heavy" is key - whether for body comp or anything else.

    The practice of strength is important; a particular load i'm finding is just an effect of practice. For context: consider that pavels RTK program uses 20 rep sets of deadlifts after always submaximal ladders of 15 - 30 reps. so again, to be strong, requires practicing strength, which doesn't equate to having to lift heavy - much or even often.

    Likewise,
    Take a look at the interview with andrea du cane, and tell me this gal is not strong.
    as for the "something you can't pick up more than 10 times"

    I think i get the spirit of the article: there's a myth that women are as afraid of lifting something heavy as they are of bulking up. in my experience working with women of all ages most have neither issue. What both genders lack is knowledge of how strength is a practice, and how to practice it.

    The best thing is your pal asked you to help her. Smart to get an RKC.

    again, these are just my reflections within my own practice with myself and the folks with whom i've been working.

    best
    mc
    If the lift heavy statement wasn't taken out of context to a seemingly esoteric level, shoot me now please. Lift heavy means do work.

  3. #23
    Maelstrom's Avatar
    Maelstrom is offline Administrator
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    Great articles! Thank you so much for sharing - its always great to have more information to point people at with this subject. Some of my clients are terrified of getting "bulky" - if it were only that easy to gain muscle mass! *sigh*
    _____________________________________
    Adrienne Harvey, Senior PCC Instructor, RKC Level 2, CK-FMS, Fitness Strategist, Content Strategist
    Personal journey blog, recipes, workouts and fun:
    http://www.giryagirl.com

  4. #24
    Shawn M is offline Senior Member
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    "To Lift heavy One does not need to Lift Heavy"

    Really???

  5. #25
    RJ79 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn M View Post
    "To Lift heavy One does not need to Lift Heavy"

    Really???
    She is going to blind you with science. Its purely semantics. Does westside train heavy? I'd think everyone would agree they do. Do they use submaximal loads? Yep. Some may say because they are submaximal they are not heavy.

    It was a good blog post neg. I agree with everything you said. Women who frequent a blog called precision nutrition will have a much different way of looking at things than the general population.

    Best to not think to hard about this. My .02

  6. #26
    ronaldgillcrist is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mc View Post
    this article really got me thinking about the assertion "real women lift heavy weights"

    hmm. what does that mean? here it means "pick up something that you can't lift more than 10 times with perfect form" for "gaining physical strength "

    hmm.

    while lifting heavy has many benefits, and plainly it's very meaningful to lots of gals (i have my kj autographed beast in my office; my TSC 2nd place UK cert on my wall), and that's great, there are a few assertions in this post i'd like to engage that may offer some practice-oriented alternatives.

    just by way of context, let me say that i too have certainly encouraged women (and men) to consider lifting heavy for body comp goals, asserting this is more likely to be more effective for those goals than low effort cardio. I was wrong. and on a number of levels.

    First, attitude: After working with a lot of folks, pushing "lifting heavy" is largely a turn off on the one hand, can be experienced as disrespectful, and is vague in the extreme. what does "lift heavy" mean? Do 1 rep maxes every time one goes into the gym? alway push to even the ten rep max?

    second: It seems the idea of "lifting heavy" is somehow seen to be "good" and light is "bad" or useless. lift heavy may really be actually a kind of stand in, it seems, for intent - and the rkc is surely a school of strength, but strength is practice first - load, incidental. To clarify what i'm trying to say, in a school of strength, strength is about focus, tension, practice - load is a consequence of practice.

    let me break this down a bit.

    Sissie Weights I think when pavel has talked about "sissie weights" and pink dumbbells these are describing weights that can be *easily* thrown around without focus on technique - they are therfore in that context not useful to the practice of strength. As the popularity of convict conditioning has shown, however, one doesn't need anything beyond the self for strength development.

    Suddenly with a heavy weight, one generally is more focused, true, but that doesn't mean one is any better at moving the load - or any more ready to do it.

    So what is the goal? if it is specifically to lift something heavy, once in awhile, on demand, then "lifting heavy" also not essential for strength. I'll come onto that in a sec.

    To Lift heavy One does not need to Lift Heavy But it's also important to get, i think, that not everyone's goal is to lift a heavy thing, nor, i have learned, does it need to be, and second, to repeat myself, it's not entirely necessary to lift heavy in order to lift a heavy thing.

    If you read the interview i did with asha, you'll not that she trained mainly with a 12kg kb to do the 24kg pistol. Right now, she's said in posts she's exploring what can be done with the 16 to get the 32 happening for the press. That's effectively *light* weight, gtg'ing it, to do a unique, and otherwise unpracticed lift. If we focus on the beast challenge result - the single rep max - and miss her path to getting there, we miss the practice of strength. Asha's latest challenge was a fifty storey run up stairs in full firefighting gear. You know to what she attributes her success? VWC and VPP - way way submaximal work.

    Likewise, I've been writing a lot about really light weight for heavy results, with more focus on repping form rather than foregrounding load, coming back to the notion of lots of volume for the perfect rep. I lift relatively heavy (still sub max) once a week for any particular move i'm training right now (as per instructions from Dan John). In those posts you'll see references to powerlifter and yoga master Fawn Friday's use of high volume, lower volume work approaches to get her single Big Lifts too.

    MAss Another point in the article is about mass.
    sure testosterone is a part of the picture, but it's pretty important to get that it's not the key ingredient, or all mean guys would be ripped. Women achieve mass the same way men do: lots of volume at particular loads to stimulate hypertrophy (check anything by Kraemer on this point. ); they also eat to support it. Take a look at rkc II Claire Booth, competetive natural body builder, for an example of the WORK for herself and the BB'ers she trains, to get mass. Remember too few competetive bb'ers are natural.

    So, as with men, if you don't work it, you don't get it. Most of us do not work at that kind of volume for that kind of hypertrophy, or eat for it either. But also take a look at Tracy Rif's arms to see hypertrophy from swing volume big time. That's not cuz she was trying: that's a side effect of the kind of volume she does (and that seems to be required for hypertrophy). IF a gal is doing that kind of volume/intensity, that's the adaptation.

    Also, while there was some debate about this, when speaking with three dozen gals on a health and fitness forum, none of them were concerned about bulking up. so this seems to be a lack of knowledge thing for some gals coming into fitness. So this seems to be an eaasily and quickly dispelled myth for most gals who get into training.

    tone - i've also heard that there's no such thing, but
    actually there is and it can be taken two ways: first it's tonus. it's the passive semi contraction that muscles generally hold - unless you're asleep, then it sorta relaxes. More muscle fiber compacted from working muscle, more tonus? dunno. But muscle toning, as ya likely know, is simply a colloquial term for leaning out and muscling up.

    strength = increasing resistance.
    That's not quite the formula you'd see in siff or kraemer or Zatsiorsky. getting stronger requires increased demand for adaptation. One can increase the demand for adaptation by changing one of a number of variables including resistance. but volume, recovery, intensity, occlusion, asphyxia even, are all components that can be tweaked for strength, too.

    as for why someone would ever use a five pound weight?
    let's try fear as a good one. fear sets up a threat response that also sets up a greater potential for injury. pushing someone beyond what their comfort zone is when they're not ready, and see how much they learn to hate and fear working out with you. i know; i've been there, on both sides of my less intelligent self.

    And while deadlifting one's bodyweight may be important for some of us, it's not essential for people to still be healthy, active and strong. bodyweight exercises themselves show that there's many ways to be challenged to be strong without touching external resistance, and able to tax only % of one's own weight.

    as an aside: with respect to resistance training for women, we may consider benefits to bone mineral density - an issue for women in particular - resistance training has been shown to help with bone mineral density loss, but not "heavy" and likewise but stop and start exercises like soccer and racquet ball are just as good, it seems. The best resistance training? dynamic. so swings/snatches ought to be super. Doesn't have to be particularly heavy; seems it has to induce change of stop/start adaptation.

    Other non-heavy actions we know are also great for strength: rowing is a huge benefit for strength/power/endurance - likewise as said swinging and snatching, which does not have to be done with a heavy weight to be effective; forces are generated and managed in other ways.

    Gaining Physical Strength
    in sum the article posits physical strength is important. Super. Agreed. But in my own practice and working with others, i've had to come down of the assertion i've seen so many places that "lifting heavy" is key - whether for body comp or anything else.

    The practice of strength is important; a particular load i'm finding is just an effect of practice. For context: consider that pavels RTK program uses 20 rep sets of deadlifts after always submaximal ladders of 15 - 30 reps. so again, to be strong, requires practicing strength, which doesn't equate to having to lift heavy - much or even often.

    Likewise,
    Take a look at the interview with andrea du cane, and tell me this gal is not strong.
    as for the "something you can't pick up more than 10 times"

    I think i get the spirit of the article: there's a myth that women are as afraid of lifting something heavy as they are of bulking up. in my experience working with women of all ages most have neither issue. What both genders lack is knowledge of how strength is a practice, and how to practice it.

    The best thing is your pal asked you to help her. Smart to get an RKC.

    again, these are just my reflections within my own practice with myself and the folks with whom i've been working.

    best
    mc
    Yeah the tip is a good one. This exercise is hard, but it is very good in defining. It is a very important little tip - glad it helped.

  7. #27
    negf03 is offline Senior Member
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    Just thought of this - someone else did a survey of whether women would rather look like Jessica Biel or Jessica Alba. Jessica Alba, the less muscular of the two, won by a surprisingly large margin. The women commented that Jessica Biel was too muscular.

    This is just ridiculous, but doesn't surprise me one bit! Jessica Biel has a HOT body! My BF and I are always talking about how much we respect her because she seems like the one of the only women in hollywood who actually trains.
    Neghar Fonooni, RKC II, NASM, ACE, FMS
    [URL="www.neghar.blogspot.com"]my blog[/URL]
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  8. #28
    myomytv is offline Junior Member
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    I definitely get a sense of pride when I lift heavy! I surprise myself sometimes - which is also great. Having someway to progress is always very motivating.

    Great post
    [FONT=Lucida Console][SIZE=3]Marianne Kane Founder and Editor of [/SIZE][URL="http://www.myomytv.com"][SIZE=4][I]http://www.myomytv.com[/I][/SIZE][/URL]
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  9. #29
    Lizanneh is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mc View Post
    @Lizanneh,
    if you click on the link in the paragraph you quoted, you'll have it, as well as the population. and no it wasn't readers of my blog, they were participants on the precision nutrition forum from a wide range of backgrounds and practices.

    mc
    Thanks, MC. I clicked the link before I asked, but I didn't see the context about where the survey was posted.

    I'd say that people who have purchased Precision Nutrition and frequent John Berardi's forums are better informed than the average exercising female. Your survey seems to bear that out. I would consider it a biased sample and would think Leigh Peele's survey of 2000 women, which was controlled for many factors, is a better assessment of what the average woman thinks.
    Liz Muirhead, HKC
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  10. #30
    Shawn M is offline Senior Member
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    Working with women in Police, Fire, Military, and athletics, they want to survive, perform and win so the focus is in what I see as a healthier place.... not "how do I look" but how well does my body work...the age old 5x5 with 82%ish = heavy. These women are stong, they have to be, they lift heavy and they look great...the gym is a safe controlled forum for exploring some limits and learning about what your body can do...if you can't overcome in the gym the rest of the ugliness in the job and the Boys Club is much much worse....certainly a different group of women...probably wondering if doing precision nutiriton will increase their 1000meter Versa Climber time rather than how they look...how wonderful to be liberated from that, and how interesting weights are when you are trying to increase you numbers. The women I know who fall in love with weights are no longer bored with the whole thing because they are challegning their training log and have a clear goal of getting stonger, going heavier and keep their mind on the bell because it is significant enough to get their attention. As rif says "if you bored the weight is too light"
    Last edited by Shawn M; 04-16-2010 at 10:04 AM.

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