Thursday, May 23, 2013

Women should

Ladies, we need to talk about that silly little fitness routine you've got going. You're doing it all wrong.

Are weights or Crossfit your thing? Don't do too much of that, or you'll get "bulky" and look too masculine. Do you like running? Well, you're doing too much cardio and you won't get "toned." Do you enjoy cycling, surfing, hiking, paddling? Why are you trying to be, like, a real human being with interests? Most importantly, why don't your fitness goals specifically cater to your boyfriend?

I'm being facetious, of course. It's just that there's been a spate of recent online articles offering women-specific fitness "advice," often amounting to a list of sexist generalizations and occasionally referring to women as "females," as if we're seahorses or something and not actual people. And if there's anything that gets my metaphorical panties in a twist, it's a poorly-constructed sentence starting with "women should."

From "Women: 6 Things You Should Never Do in the Gym":
PLEASE don't come to the gym just to spend hours on the treadmill, elliptical, or any other piece of cardio equipment and consider that a legitimate workout. It's not. It's a waste of your time and energy and, more importantly, is NOT going to give you the results you want to see in your body.
There's some truth to this, condescending tone notwithstanding. Doing too much of anything is not going to produce great results, however, I'm disappointed that the author chooses to speak to her audience with so much disdain:
If you want to do cardio, consider adding high intensity interval training (HIIT) to your routine. HIT gets your heart rate up and the fat burn going in half the time. And as for that idiotic misconception that women will get bulky and jacked like a dude if they lift weights...STOP using that as an excuse to just do cardio. I train my butt off and I'm a whopping 122lbs. Bulky? I think not.
It's great advice; high intensity interval training will make you fitter and faster and stronger. The fact is, many women do worry about "bulking up," but it doesn't make them idiots. There's a lot of misinformation out there, and the general consensus seems to be that women with muscles are unattractive and unfeminine. (Bonus points for the irrelevant humblebrag about the author's weight.)

Ladies, please stop reading (and writing) this garbage. There's lots of good information and dialogue out there, no self-loathing required. So when some random douchebag on the internet says something like this...
Women often bring drama to the gym and have more trouble detaching from everyday life-struggles when training.
...know that just because he has a personal trainer certification, doesn't necessarily mean he knows what the hell he's talking about.