When you ask the fitness industry what a woman’s body should like and how a woman should train,the answer you get depends on a lot of things; the persons fitness background – competitive body building or figure competition,modelling, training , values, belief and experience determines the answer you get.
If you ask someone who’s been into heavy weight lifting for a long time, she’ll likely advice everyone to do the same. And tell you that is what is guaranteed to give you result – lift heavy
If I’m a cardio queen, I will have you jumping jack till you faint
The same goes for Pilates, Yoga etc.
Even though all this is being done to make women stronger, we’re slowly building a divisive, hateful and exclusive community and tribe.
A Community that is solely dependent on the coach’s values, experience and belief. A tribe that is set in their belief and seems to look down on those who don’t want more muscle or who want to be leaner and fitter.
The same thing goes for celebrating + size bodies, they’re becoming hateful and exclusive community calling slimmer people derogatory names.
Some women have discovered they want to look a certain way, that’s OK.
But to make it look like women who don’t accept your ideal don’t know what they’re doing and should be shamed; that is wrong.
The truth is that a very low BMI is considered unhealthy and a high BMI is also a health risk. We should all strive for balance where every body despite your own fitness community is allowed to thrive and be comfortable in whatever they perceive to be their ideal.
Don’t shove your own value, ideal body and belief in another person’s face or make derogatory remark about them.
There should be respectful room for everyone in this beautiful industry
You’re a woman and you can deadlift 200kg – Good for you. There’s a room for you
You’re a woman and you hate weights and prefer body weight training – Good for you. There’s a room for you. There are bodyweight exercises that will give you a tighter and sculpted look without you even looking at weights.
You’re a cardio queen – Good for you. You can cardio all you like and add in push up, chin ups plus other exercises and you have a balanced routine.
You’re a woman and you want to look good without being muscular – Good for you. There’s room for you.
You want muscles- there’s room for you.
You want curves– there’s room for you.
You want a leaner, fitter body- there’s room for you.
There should be freedom for people to decide what they want. Decide yours but in that freedom make sure you respect other peoples choice and their decisions on how they want to look.
One size cannot and will never fit all
Some women are dealing with high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and one health challenge or the other. In some cases, that’s why they started an exercise routine and what they want, for some it’s aesthetics, for some its weight loss, for some it’s postpartum fitness and for some it’s just curves.
It should be about their goal, and values, not yours. First do no harm.
When I hear trainers and coaches who should know better telling women, that muscles can’t happen to them, it is not really all the truth. There was a time I believed that.
But I’ve discovered that there are certain training that you’ll subject a woman to, testosterone or not, supplement or not and you’ll have a muscular woman.
I have seen women develop muscular and bulky legs from squatting
I’ve also seen women develop muscular legs and body from running uphill with a male trainer, lifting weights with him and basically doing what he does.
There are women that already have a body type that is muscular, do you tell them that lifting heavy weights won’t do anything to them?
There’s a place for every exercise in the fitness industry. One is not better than the other. They all have their place in a proper exercise routine.
At the end of the day it comes down to your choice. What do you want and how do you define your femininity?
Are you deadlifting 200 kg because you can or because you want to prove a point to men?
Do you want curves because it makes you more confident, or because everyone is talking curves and you feel it will make you more attractive to men?
Decide what you want and the type of body transformation you want and how it will affect your life when you get it.
The fitness world and magazine definition of a woman’s body changes over time depending on the owners of the magazine.
Recently it’s the butt, with people showing crazy workouts, butt supplements , butt implants and butt whatever.
Your femininity is not defined by how many kg you can lift or how many side lunges you can do or how big your butts are.
You’re not in a competition with someone else, unless you are.
Femininity does not come in the way you look or what weights you lift, its something that is in the inside of you. It comes from your emotions, self belief, empathy,how you communicate and inspire and nurture others.
That’s why there are certain acts a woman will commit and people balk because its not ‘feminine’. Femininity comes from the inside and not what you wear or how you look.
It’s about respecting the choices that other people make for themselves. No one should define femininity for you and you should definitely not define it for others.
Don’t tell someone she looks like a man. That’s her choice.
Be you and be feminine in a way that is all you, comfortable and authentic. Not someones definition or someones fight against an industry that they’ve supported before but now deems fit to fight.
You don’t have to mimic anybody or do something alien to you to be accepted. There’s no need for FOMO. Don’t feel threatened by someone else choice and definition.
You can be slender, strong and feminine
You can be muscular, strong and feminine
Lifting weights won’t emancipate you and make you more of a woman
Not lifting weights won’t emancipate you and make you more of a woman
Cardio, HIIT,whatever is not where your emancipation lies.
It comes from within you and leads you to your goal.
If you feel you have to break free and fight the magazines and the media perception of how you should look, that feeling is coming from within you, nobody is holding you bound.
You can set yourself free if you really feel those magazines are holding you bound.
No one and nothing should have the responsibility of making you you feel weak, strong, small, significant or less significant. All this thoughts come from inside of you and magazines and coaches prey on it.
I have seen slender confident women.
I have seen overweight confident women.
And I’ve seen muscular confident women.
Most women genuinely want to transform their body because it will make their life and health better. They want to be their for their kids and loved ones, don’t want to have pregnancy related diabetes and other health challenges.
As trainers and coaches we must create more inclusive and compassionate fitness environment and promote more diverse types of fit and healthy bodies.
We come in different shape and sizes
The body transformation that works for you, that you can realistically achieve, that makes you stronger, more confident and healthier is your ideal body.
There is no ideal body. When all the different ideal bodies come together with love and respect, we’ll make the fitness industry a more colorful, healthy and comfortable place.
Till then, define your own Femininity.