Pole Vaulter Allison Stokke
There is an interesting study on perception and strength in men and women. Check it out HERE.
It's about the sexes underestimating their strength, but one glaring sentence jumped out at me.
"far more women than men felt that strength was not important nor should be exhibited."
This perception is one that needs to change. The only fitness quality that produces movement is
strength. Endurance requires movement from muscles to tax the system and flexibility allows movement, but movement is created by muscles. If you don't do something to build or at least maintain them throughout your life, they will decrease. They don't suddenly fall off of a cliff. The decline is gradual by the decade. That is why watching the scale alone tells us little about what is going on inside of us. We need other measures of fitness, other measures of feedback. That is where strength training comes in. It is the most elegant and highest yielding fitness tool. The results are almost magical in nature. While we are embracing more as a culture, there are still pockets of resistance. Mention weight training to the average woman and she will exclaim, "I don't want to look like a man." This is hardly the case. Women don't produce enough male hormone naturally to get excessively large muscles. Secondly, it is a lot of work to be the most outstanding in your field. When the same women start playing tennis are they in fear of being forced on to the Grass Courts at Wimbledon?
Strength training in general brings about many positive markers in health. These would include but are not limited to muscle strengthening, better sleep, better blood chemistry, stronger bones, resistance to injury and cosmetic improvement. Literally the most important thing you can do as you age is to focus on strength training.
Speaking of upper body strength we are keeping you abreast of the improvements in Robin White's efforts to turn back the clock and REVERSE the aging process. She is weighed and measured on the 10th of every month. Many times measurements of weight, lean body mass, percentage of body fat, etc can be skewed by food intake, muscle glycogen, bowel movements and dehydration. We have only been looking for a trend. So far she is getting stronger and improving in all areas. We have been dealing with some exercise form issues with leg training, but those have been overcome. Her increases in upper body strength have been very good. She's been focusing on her neck, since an aging neck is visually unacceptable. Check this LINK.
The previous updates are HERE.
The progress continues. Our plan is to avoid excessive body fat loss. Rather we are focusing on increasing muscle size and lean body mass. Our focus this month was on the upper body and neck and we were not disappointed. Here are the STATS-
Body weight-127.2, up 1.2 pounds! (Yes Robin is gaining weight!)
Hips-36.125, Up .125
Waist-24.5, Exactly the same
Waist/Hips Ratio-.678, More extreme
Chest-34.25, Up .75 inch!
%Body fat-17.07%, slightly down
LBM-105.33, Up 1.3 pounds!!
Neck-13", Up .375 inches
So Robin significantly increased her upper body size and neck size. Her ultimate goal is adding more lean body mass, which would increase her hips, neck and chest measurement. She doesn't want to lose too much fat since the fat stores in the feminine areas of the buttocks, breasts and face would diminish and reduce her curves.
The focus next month will be an intense increase in leg work,.... and the addition of CREATINE. Until then,... train hard and focus on strength as you age.