The Stigma of Women and Weight Lifting + StylishlyFit Week 6

September 5 – September 18, 2016 Fitness

I failed…. I’m sorry… I missed my StylishlyFit update last Sunday! No excuses. I hope you’re still interested in reading today’s update!

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind! We have so much going on and so much to plan for! All exciting things but they add to the everyday to-do lists so managing my fitness is going to become much more important. It can be easy to let other important activities take precedent over workouts, and I’m guilty of this at times, but I’m working really hard not to let this happen. The only reason I can work as hard as I do is because of my fitness.

So from Monday, September 5 to Friday, September 9 it was pretty much normal activities but after that, it was A LOT of driving around. Peter and I drove to Sacramento, California where I was visiting my best friend while he went to Lake Tahoe for a wake boarding bachelor party. After that, he picked me up and we drove to Napa Valley to stay there for two nights. After Napa Valley, we went to San Francisco, then finally home.

Let me tell you; it’s hard to workout while traveling. We try really hard to maintain the intensity, but we haven’t been able to stay disciplined to the same degree when we’re home. Below are the workouts I did over the last two weeks.

Kayla Itsines Week 16 Resistance (Legs)

  • Warm-up
    • 1 Mile Run
    • Butt Kickers
    • High Knees
    • Toy Soliders
    • A Skipps
    • Broad Jumps
  • Strength
    • Deadlift 3-3-3-3-3 (70% increase each round)
    • Thrusters 10-8-6-4-2 (60%, 70%, 80%, 85%, 90%)
  • Conditioning
    • 1,000m row buy-in
    • 20 Latteral Burpees
    • 10 Overhead Squats
    • 5 Pull-ups
    • 250m row
    • 50 wall balls cash-out

LISS – 40 minute light jog

  • Warm-up
    • 800m Row
    • 100m Pincher Plate Carry
    • 3×15 Latteral Lunges & Latteral Hops
  • Strength
    • Backsquat – 2 at 60%, 2 at 70%, 2 at 75%, 2 at 80%, 2 at 90%, 2 at 95%
    • EMOTM for 6 mins
    • 3 Power Cleans
    • 20m Sprint
  • Conditioning
    • 100 double under buy-in
    • Then 3 Rounds w/1 min rest in between
    • 2 min AMRAP
    • 5 Cleans
    • 5 Front Squats
    • 5 Push Press

Kayla Itsines Week 16 Resistance (Arms)

  • Warm-up
    • 2 x 400m Run
    • 10 Deck Squats
    • 10 Burpess
    • 10 HRPU
    • 10 Scorpions
    • 10 Push ups
    • 10 PVC Pass throughs
  • Strength
    • Shoulder Press 3-3-3
    • Push Press 3-3-3
    • Push Jerk 3-3-3
    • Split Jerk 3-3-3
  • Conditioning
    • 21-15-9
    • HSPPU/Box Jumps
    • Rest 5 mins
    • 100 situps
    • 100 air squats

LISS – 40 minute light jog

  • Warm-up
    • PP with Bar
    • 2×10 single arm KB press
    • Side leg swings
    • Front to back leg swings
    • 10 OHS
  • Strength
    • Split Jerks 3-3-3-1-1
    • Hang clean from position 2
  • Conditioning
    • For time:
    • 75 double unders
    • 21 air squats
    • 21 box jumps
    • 50 double unders
    • 15 air squats
    • 15 box jumps
    • 25 double unders
    • 9 air squats
    • 9 box jumps
    • 1 mile run cash out

2 mile run and strength training at the hotel gym

Run across the Golden Gate Bridge!

Song of the Week

The song of the week is Beautiful Life by Lost Frequencies ft. Sandro Cavazza.

Women and Weight Lifting

Often, when I speak to friends and family about my fitness regime, I get less than enthusiastic reactions. They understand the things I do for this blog; shopping, putting together outfits and other typical “female things” but as soon as I mention my workouts questions arise.

Which leaves me to wonder; can you be strong and stylish?

Body image and confidence is the real reason women aren’t lifting weights. We aren’t supposed to be strong. Women and weight lifting just don’t go together in the minds of some individuals.

There is a stigma with being a woman and being strong (fit). Even more so, now with the growing exposure of CrossFit and women lifting heavy weight to Michelle Obama and her pumped-up biceps. The initial reaction is that you’ll get bulky. A perceived outcome of becoming stronger. Or that you shouldn’t look strong. You shouldn’t be lifting, and that it’s just meant for men.

I get it. I understand why people say this. The recent popularity of women being strong is not something that is common to many women. Most of my female family and friends have never lifted weights or trained to become stronger; it’s an unfamiliar territory. When you’re not aware of something or doesn’t make sense to you two reactions occur; they become curious and open minded and want to find out more, or they shut the door, look at you strangely, and don’t try to understand it.

This seems to be what is going on with the topic of women and strength.

I’m not here to say one is better than the other. You need to live your life following a path that makes you happy. I’m simply sharing my experiences, observations, and research.

Skinny vs. Strong

Before I started doing CrossFit, I was skinny. The typical skinny, no definition, no strength, and afraid of lifting weights. Yes, I admit it, I was afraid of lifting weights and looking bulky. It’s just because I didn’t know any better. But luckily, I have Peter and he open my mind to the world of CrossFit and encourage me to give it a try.

After about a year of strength training (on and off, with our travels we haven’t been disciplined), I’ve become stronger. I feel healthier, more energized, happier, and yes fitter, than I ever have. I love the feeling of being able to successfully complete a heavy lift, doing things I never thought I was capable of doing before. It’s definitely a confidence booster.

Being strong rather than skinny in the niche that I am in is definitely a difficult one. Fashion is about being skinny, runway models and magazines posterize skinny as the norm, as the way you should look.

I want to share that you can be strong and stylish. Only because you lift weights doesn’t mean you’re not feminine. I want to be a different type of role model in the fashion blogging industry. I truly want women to feel more confident and strong, and I want to achieve that by sharing with you that skinny doesn’t mean stylish.

Being stylish is about having confidence in all aspects of your life, especially your body image.

I love strength training which is why I started sharing these StylishlyFit Sundays with you. I want to show you the other aspect that contributes to me feeling confident and living a stylish life.

Is strength training right for you?

Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends lifting heavy weights as part of a healthy lifestyle?

If you want to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently, Mayo Clinic recommends two or three 20- or 30-minute weight training sessions a week.

Since lean muscle diminishes with age, your body will naturally increase the percentage of body fat if you don’t do anything. Not only can strength training help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass it can also help you develop strong bones, manage your weight, enhance your quality of life, manage chronic conditions (arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression, and diabetes) and sharpen your thinking skills.

You don’t have to go all into strength training just start incorporating it into your fitness routine and if you don’t have a fitness routine yet consider joining a gym or a CrossFit box. Give it a try and see if it’s for you! You don’t have to commit to anything if you don’t love it.

It took me a while to become comfortable at the gym, but as I started to look and feel better – I can confidently say “Yeah, I’m a stylish woman who lifts heavy weights.”

Stay StylishlyFit,

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