It wasn't so long ago when weight rooms and gyms were the exclusive domain of men. Women exercised, but it was at home in their living rooms, usually in front of the TV set with Jack La Lane.
Along came the 70's and women begin to ask for - no, demand - equal status with men. Not only in the workplace, but in the home, the country club and the health club. By the 80's women were training right along side men, mimicking their movements and sharing their equipment. Everyone new women were physically different from men, but the prevailing attitude was that a muscle was a muscle, and who new better how to train that muscle than the bodybuilders who have devoted their lives to that specific cause?
Throughout the 80's there was a drawing of lines between proponents of aerobic exercise and resistance training. Muscle-heads beat their brawny chests and declared their physical prowess, while aerobicizers held two fingers to their necks and rejoiced in healthy heart rates. As it turned out, neither group held the answer. As we entered the 90s it became obvious that the best way to train was neither aerobic nor anaerobic: it was a combination of both.
New showed that resistance training was more then a muscle shaper- it was also a critical element in controlling that nemesis of all women, fat. Increasing the body's muscle mass is the most effective, non-chemical way to raise a person's metabolism- the rate that the body burns calories. This is the principle endorsed by Deborah warehouse's best selling book, Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell, and has led even more women to weight rooms in search of a healthy degree of muscle mass.
But while we know more then ever about controlling fat and body shaping, the fact remains that American women are not getting in the best shape of their lives. Moreover, most women are very displeased with the shape they are in. I have experienced this with my own journey of weight loss and gaining a particular idea of muscle mass. I spend hours talking to women who are so unhappy with their bodies, they have know idea which program will work for the. Most agree, they do not want large muscle but shapely bodies with muscle tone. Women also agree that their trouble area lies in their waist hips thighs and buttocks. In greater numbers then ever, women are training with weights, yet most are abjectly disappointed with the results they achieve.
Some women are more then disappointed: They are blocky, square waited miniature versions of men who designed their programs. And while research says that weight training should be decreasing body weight, millions of women are still subjecting themselves to starvation diets in an effort to get thin.
Hmmmm... could there be something wrong?