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Thursday, September 6, 2012

69

Lift Heavy, Eat All the Things

If you have any interest in becoming a lady who lifts very heavy things for (mostly) fun and (zero) profit, Stumptuous is always the best place on the internet to start. If you have no such interest, you'll still like this piece on old broads pumping iron.



69 Comments / Post A Comment

rootmarm

Stumptuous is such a good website. I've been following one of her programs for about 6 weeks now and being stronger is fantastic.

PistolPackinMama

Then join the Pinner Fitocracy group and be amazing so I can follow you and be inspired. Yes!

freelee

@PistolPackinMama Is there a link to the Fitocracy group? I searched but didn't have any luck. I would love to join in and talk about lifting things with ladies.

RK Fire

@freelee: Did someone say Pinners Fitocracy group?

Welcome and hi!

ImASadGiraffe

@RK Fire @PistolPackinMama YAY Fitocracy! I've been bad about updating but we're doing snatches tonight so I will have a 1RM to update later (hoping for 105#).

RK Fire

@ImASadGiraffe: 105lb snatch?? Damn girl. Daaaaaamn.

p.s. Have *you* thought about doing a meet? I'm just getting into the high 50s-low 60s now because of technique issues. Do I even lift?
p.p.s. Should I stop with the barbell sports cheerleading? Is it obnoxious? It is probably obnoxious.

ImASadGiraffe

@RK Fire Girl, only a few months ago (April) I was at 80#. On a good day. Then I switched gyms with a great Olympic lifting coach/athlete and we drilled technique hard. I would suggest going back to basics, lifting from the hang, really working on overhead squats/snatch balance, etc. I went backwards to work on tech and then my numbers just shot up.

I'm doing a CrossFit competition in December and one of the workouts has 95# snatches for way more reps than I've ever done. I'm nervous.

ImASadGiraffe

@RK Fire Also, no, you are not obnoxious at all!

RK Fire

@ImASadGiraffe:
I am actually on a beginner cycle right now. (It's actually from Greg Everett's book and it pretty much goes after all my weak points: snatch balances, OHS, any kind of shoulder work beyond jerks.) I'm a little sheepish about admitting this because I've been focusing on olympic lifting for a year now, but it is what it is.

Good luck on the Crossfit competition. That does sound pretty intimidating but you just have to take it one rep at a time!

HeyThatsMyBike

@PistolPackinMama Woooo 'Pinner Fitocracy Group!! I love that group!

cuminafterall

Lifting heavy things is really really fun! I just started about a month ago and it makes me feel like a BAMF.

phlox

I just signed up for a weight lifting class this morning!

redheaded&crazy

i haaaate weight lifting so much i find it so boring and not fun and unpleasant but i want to be a person where, when i flex my arm, it doesn't do that thing like in cartoons where the muscle sags down into a u-shape. conflict. (i realize this conflict could be resolved by sucking it up. but that's clearly beside the point)

OhMarie

@redheaded&crazie I'm with you. I'm trying to fix this myself by doing like 5 push-ups at random times during the day. So far it is only kind of working, but I also never want to do 5 push-ups.

RK Fire

@redheaded&crazie: I love lifting and I feel this way about any kind of cardio or conditioning. :(

rootmarm

@RK Fire me too! I would rather scratch my own face off than run. With lifting you get to take little rests!

RK Fire

@rootmarm: I've been trying to psych myself up on the idea of sprints but I can't seem to manage to do it. Even the conditioning I like involves short bursts of carrying heavy things.

ImASadGiraffe

@rootmarm @RK Fire I am with you on running. Lifting > Running.

rootmarm

@RK Fire have you ever tried kettlebells? They're actually really fun and use a lot of short explosive movements like swings. Lauren Brooks makes really great DVDs.

frigwiggin

@ImASadGiraffe

Sitting around watching TV > lifting > running

RK Fire

@rootmarm: I have! I go to a Crossfit so they have a lot of different equipment. Lately I've been warming up doing overhead kettlebell carries.

damselfish

@RK Fire That nonsense about "finding the exercise that speaks to you" can DIAF. The exercise I find enjoyable isn't exercise I can do as often as they tell me to (like... oh, skiing.) Yeah, I'll just go skiing every other day.

Exercise sucks, and I just suck it up and hate it the whole time. :(

MilesofMountains

@RK Fire Same. I'll lift heavy things and walk for hours, but do not ask me to go faster than a brisk walk. Running is the worst thing in the entire world.

HeyMatilda

This is so exciting! I've been lifting for 3 months now and seeing results but I want to bump it up. Hopefully this will help (especially since I can't afford Crossfit)

down the rabbit hole

hooray! I've also been lifting for about three months and am starting to get super nerdy about it so I love NEW RESOURCES. It's way more fun than other forms of exercise I've done in the past.

Jillsy Sloper

@down the rabbit hole Resources! I recommend the 70's Big blog, which is usually has a post targeted to female trainees on Mondays; and reddit.com/r/weightroom, which is good has a weekly thread for women on Wednesdays. Both of these are good the rest of the time, too, but also very very male.

Also Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe, if you haven't read it yet. I competed in a powerlifting meet last spring, and almost everything I learned was from Starting Strength.

scoutee

@down the rabbit hole both great resources above (but the "very very male" qualifier is definitely necessary). another awesome lady lifting blog is gubernatrix - gubernatrix.co.uk - and if you're into oly lifting definitely check out nick horton over at the iron samurai - theironsamurai.com.

RK Fire

@scoutee: Ahh, thanks for the suggestion on the Iron Samurai!

up cubed

@down the rabbit hole : I also really like http://www.mobilitywod.com/ for working out all the stuff that comes up when your muscles are working hard.

sarah girl

I have read so many things about the benefits of lifting (especially for ladies) but I'm so scared to try! I'll be real, most of the fear is about going into the weight area of the gym which is usually 100% clique-ish men... but I also worry a LOT about proper form and not hurting myself.

MoonBat

@Sarah H. Does your gym have a lot of machines? Lifting with those will help tremendously with form. And squats are especially daunting with free weights. Do them with no weight, hands on your shoulders, in front of mirrors and watching to be sure that your knees track down over (not past) your toes, regardless of your stance. When you can do 100 weightless, slow squats and not have your knees yell at you, then add some weight. IF the mens are looking at you instead of doing their usual competitive testosterone bs, I promise they're not critiquing the amount of weight you're using.

Judith Slutler

@Sarah H. meeeeee toooooo. I like the concept of doing it but I'm so self-conscious about the idea of exercising in front of other people. I am starting to try and become more physically active again, but I'm going to first do Couch to 5K and try some bodyweight exercises in the privacy of my room, then see if I can graduate to lifting.

cuminafterall

@Sarah H. I was also dudebro-averse when I started lifting weights! What helped me was doing research outside of the gym. I figured out what exercises to do and watched videos of how to do them. Then I could go to the gym, do my thing, and get out of there. Also it turned out that the dudes pay me no attention. Which is great.

I would encourage you to try the free weights, even if you start out with light dumbbells and work your way up to barbells. Form can be tricky, but there are a lot of online tutorials (Stumptuous has a great series called From Dork to Diva). Youtube also has a ton of instructional videos on weightlifting form.

MilesofMountains

@Sarah H. The clique-ish grunters definitely take some getting used to. I mostly just ignore them. Now, if I could just figure out how to get them to stop monopolizing the squat rack for 45 minutes at a time, most of which is spent flirting with the smoothie girl...

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@MoonBat: 100... in a row? Even with no load I think my quads would lock up from blood pump somewhere around 40.

KatnotCat

@Sarah H. 99.9% of the cliquish men seriously do not care as long as you have reasonable gym etiquette (ie; don't "claim" 3 benches with your stuff, don't leave weights all over the place, let people work in on machine, etc). Really, truly, promise. Most people in the gym, especially those in the weight room, just want to get their own workout done.

Women's Health has a great manual for weightlifting (The Big Book of Exercises), even though the magazine isn't the best, I really find that book hugely helpful.

MoonBat

@ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS Slooooow!
And you can break it up into sets of twenty to start with. I got this from a trainer who works with women who compete. Seemed legit. I know my knees are way stronger, I don't have to wrap to squat anymore.

up cubed

@Sarah H. : tabata it! 20 second on, 10 seconds rest for 4 minutes.

freelee

I am a goddamn superfan of lifting things, talking about it, getting stronger, feeling like a badass. Let's do this.
I am constantly making up new routines that I can do (for free! in a park!) so I have been using the pretty-good app "Workout Trainer by Skimble" to make them up. If anybody is interested in doing some, I am sure there is a way we can sync/swap.
Also, (pro-tip?) an athletic trainer friend just told me that I need to stop running and start doing sprints. He said that it will be a total game changer. Starting this week.

Judith Slutler

@freelee Last time I ran regularly, all I noticed from doing sprints is that it made me sooooo hungry. So. hungry.

freelee

@Emmanuelle Cunt - You mean you didn't look like this?
That was my trainer friend's compelling argument: Who have crazy awesome bodies - marathon runners or sprinters? Case closed.

(un?)related to being SO HUNGRY - I took dandelion extract last night and have been painfully, insanely hungry all morning. So.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@freelee: It is interesting, there are several types of muscle and a couple ways that muscle develops, depending on the environment. Running distance and running sprints involves two types of muscle; do a search on 'twitch muscles' to find some info on the difference.

cliff notes: distance running will pare down muscle and work against building strength; incline or HIIT (sprints) will prevent this.

olivia

I can't say enough good things about CrossFit for getting good at lifting heavy things. My deadlift went from 93 pounds to 155 pounds in 2 months, and I was starting from zero exercise, although I was not overweight. It's pricey, but if you can afford it, it's worth every penny. If you can't afford it and have self-motivation, most of the movements and exercises can be done at home with minimal equipment.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

BRB, going to move into that website and live there forever.

Judith Slutler

Also though I have a question, what is up with that website being so rabidly anti-vegetarian? Does a person really have to eat meat in order to get enough proteins and be strong? Talk to me, ladies with weightlifting experience.

RK Fire

@Emmanuelle Cunt: Honestly, most of the convention wisdom among powerlifters/weightlifters is yes, it's really hard to be a vegetarian and get enough protein. The rule of thumb is 1-1.5 grams of protein/1 lb of your bodyweight. 4 ounces of meat only gets you about 20-25 grams, eggs don't really get you anywhere.. and.. yeah. I think some people pull it off, but none of the internet lifting celebrities (I'm being tongue in cheek here) are vegetarians nor do they seem to know any strong vegetarians.

ETA: Maybe smaller people have an easier time with this? I'm usually shooting for 136 grams myself and it is a bit of a stretch for me. ALSO! It really depends what your goals are. I think folks who do more of a mix of conditioning and lifting (crossfitters, everyone who isn't focused on strength/barbell sports) could probably swing it but I don't think there are many role models to point to among powerlifting and olympic weightlifting that are vegetarian.

cuminafterall

@Emmanuelle Cunt The anti-veg thing is annoying, true. A lot of sites that focus on Paleo eating have this really intense pro-meat bias. Sorry, nope, I'm staying vegetarian. But I'm not going to carb-load either.

I eat Greek yogurt like it's my job. Also eggs, beans, quinoa, and tofu (only once or twice a week). Sources seem to differ on how much protein you actually need (some say 1 gram per pound of kg weight, others say 1 gram per pound, others say more) so I just try to get A LOT.

SarahP

@Emmanuelle Cunt There are actually competition-winning veg*n lifters/body-builders--a simple google of "vegan weight lifter" gave me so many useful hits to link you to that I was afraid of looking like a spammer. So do it yourself. (I know you're vegetarian and not vegan, but you know you can get protein from dairy/eggs, so you'll have an even easier than the vegans.) But I definitely recommend this article by Jack Norris, an RD who always writes well about vegan nutrition without being at all propaganda-y.

From the article: "The largest study of vegans to date [2003] shows that they consume about .9 g of protein/kg of body weight and obtain 13 percent of their energy from protein.7 Thus, if a vegan eats 18 calories/lb, which seems to be on the lower end for serious weight-lifters, he or she will naturally consume 1.3 g of protein/kg of body weight, likely meeting protein needs. However, if more carbohydrates, such as pasta, are primarily chosen to increase caloric intake, the percentage of protein may be less."

RK Fire

@cuminafterall: My god, if it was 1 gram per kg of weight my food planning would be sooo much easier.

SarahP

@SarahP Ugh, sorry, "have IT even easier than the vegans." I don't want to have to re-edit all my html just to correct a missing two-letter word.

Judith Slutler

@cuminafterall That is basically my meal plan too, like a ton of legumes, eggs, and greek yogurt plus usually 2 400g packages of tofu a week. And carbs that are low on the glycemic index. I've come to really love brown rice.

All of this would probably be easier if I could count calories without immediately going nuts and starving myself! oh well

rootmarm

@Emmanuelle Cunt I am vegan and pretty much TLDR her food stuff and focus on the workout ideas. There are tons of vegan athletes!

ImASadGiraffe

@cuminafterall I have trouble eating enough meat, partially because I don't want to eat meat at every meal. I use a protein shake mixed with milk instead of water, but I know there are some protein powders that are vegetarian/vegan friendly, which might help with protein needs.

scoutee

@Emmanuelle Cunt how is it anti-veg? or is it just pro-meat? i read the latter but am interested to hear how it's the former

TheBelleWitch

@Emmanuelle Cunt I used to do weight-lifting pretty seriously - had a personal trainer and everything! - and he was uber-skeptical about my vegetarianism. He thought I needed to eat meat, I said no, and I had no problem building a perfectly reasonable amount of muscle. It may be more difficult if you're doing the competitive bodybuilding thing, but those diets are insane anyway. The whole meat-is-macho thing seems pretty ingrained in the weightlifting community, but I enjoyed being all SUCK IT, CHICKPEAS FOREVER.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@Emmanuelle Cunt: A big compnent of that also, is that creatine (creatinine) occurs naturally only in meat. (One can supplement this easily, however.)

Slutface

I like lifting small weights with lots of reps. Feeling the burn! My Physique 57 dvds were the best Christmas present last year.

Passion Fruit

@Slutface Hmm, did this work for you? I keep hearing that it doesn't/is ineffective/is silly (see: entire comment thread).

ETA: I do almost no exercise myself, so I can't say, ha.

Slutface

@Passion Fruit Well, yeah, I wouldn't do it for over a year if it didn't. I lifted heavy weights for YEARS and while it gave me amazing upper body strength, it made my thighs huge. I put on muscle very easily especially on my lower body. Phsyique 57 has been the only thing that's slimmed down my thighs but helped me maintain my upper body strength. Everyone's body type is different (I'm pear shaped) and responds different to different exercises though. Do what works for you.

Passion Fruit

@Slutface I am fat/apple-shaped, so I'm not quite sure what would work for me. It's good to know that low-weight/high-rep actually does work, if not for building major strength, then for maintaining strength and slimming down.

RK Fire

Just to put a bug out there: if you find that you really enjoy lifting, and like finding out what's the most you can lift, you may want to consider signing up for a powerlifting or olympic weightlifting meet. Just a local one. It's an extremely supportive crowd, from the guys who might seem like stereotypical meatheads (but are actually quite nice and smart) to older ladies and men who are lifting a lot of weight.

Jillsy Sloper

@RK Fire Yes! I had so much fun at my powerlifting meet (though my spouse almost died of boredom). There were about 15 women competing, and all ages, shapes, and sizes were represented. I got outlifted by everyone, but I hit three big personal records and was super proud of myself.

RK Fire

@Jillsy Sloper: Yes yes yes and congrats on the PRs!

olivia

@Jillsy Sloper Awesome on the PRs! My gym had one recently but my snatch and clean and jerk PRs are pretty low, so I didn't sign up...regretting that now!

EternalFootwoman

I really love to lift. But I like ultrarunning more. Every time I try to lift heavy, my running winds up suffering. So I lift to run, but I'm always conscious of how my lifting could be different. Sigh, dilemma.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@EternalFootwoman: ULTRARUNNING.

I just like that word.

Susanna

Ladies (and gents) - has anyone attended one of those Kieser or back training gyms?

I have scoliosis and a connective tissue disorder and am wondering if it would be right for me...

cosmia

Stumptuous! I love this site. She's from Toronto too, so I like seeing her mention places I recognize.

pama

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