August 23, 2011

Pretty Strong for a Girl

At McKenna's Gym today, strength-training master Mike was telling us how he had overheard a client tell another client that she was "pretty strong for a girl."  Mike told us that he disapproved of that comment because it implied that women were somehow still on a lower level or less able than men.  Shortly after, I watched as my longtime friend, Michele, back-squatted over 200 lbs with unbelievable determination and mental toughness and did it twice.  She's been doing this training for about a year now. My daughter also did her best back squat today and so did I (55kg/121 lbs).  We started in June and both of us could barely back-squat the bar alone at that time.  

When I first started this training, I thought that I was in fairly decent shape for my age.  It didn't take me long to discover many muscles that had gone into dormancy that wondered why the heck I was waking them up.  I don't know if I've lost weight because I threw out my scale a long time ago, but I have lost 1 1/2 inches off my waist.  I can see muscles in my arms and legs (and even my abs - OMG they are still in there!) that I haven't seen in a long time.  My daughter, who is very slim and trim and runs every day, now has beautiful definition in her arms and legs.  She can squat almost to the floor and pop up like a jack-in-the-box with a bunch of weight on the bar.  She excels in the cardio section making jumping rope seem like  an easy walk in the park.  Each class runs about an hour and includes the lifts (first and foremost and my favorite part), other strength routines that include working with kettlebells, single leg squats or deadlifts, kettlebell presses, ring rows, etc., followed by some kind of heart rate-raising routine such as tabata rowing, jump-roping, kettlebell swings, etc.  Sounds deadly, huh?  It's not.  It's pure fun.  Oh yeah, some days there are parts I can't wait to get through, but I love it.  It doesn't beat you up like some boxes and it gets results.  And, more importantly, it makes me pretty strong for a girl...or anyone else for that matter. 

So, yeah, I'd say we were pretty strong for girls, but then again, I bet there aren't too many guys out there that could do what we did today, either.  

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