Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sweat Your Ass Off

"How much ya bench?"

It's a phrase that hearkens way back to my senior year in high school. 1994 - Emilio Estevez, Chris Farley (RIP), Adam Sandler and the rest of the SNL gang talk pop culture and unleash a can of 'roid rage.

How much ya bench? by Shakey74

I've been thinking of how much I bench lately during my workouts at the YMCA's Central Parkway branch.

I previously mentioned that I've integrated some resistance training into my revived running program. The trainer and I both agreed a strengthening program would work best with the muscle I already have thanks to my year of on-and-off running.

The goal of this effort is to work on building my muscle mass, especially where my upper body and core are concerned. My legs and glutes are getting a regular workout because of my Couch to 5K running, but the rest of me could stand some attention.

People have long debated whether women should use light weights or heavy weights. "But I don't wanna look like a bodybuilder!" some girls exclaim as they grab a set of two pound weights for their arm curls.

The thing is, women don't have nearly as much testosterone as men, and that's what is responsible for creating those massive pecs and delts in the How Much Ya Bench parody. Testosterone synthesizes with proteins to rebuild the muscle fibers damaged by weight training.

Worry not, ladies. We will never look like Ahnold (well, at least not unless you start taking steroids, but that's a different story).

Some of us are focused on building our muscles, and that means repeatedly destroying our fibers through repetitive movement. I've learned that heavy weights can be a good thing if it means you're doing reps to the point of being unable to perform them. Shape Magazine says people should work out until the point of fatigue/exhaustion, ensuring your muscles will recover bigger and stronger.

Experts recommend that you lift a weight that will cause you to reach exhaustion in 12 to 15 reps. Something to keep in mind next time you pump iron.

Get it, ladies!

Disclosure: The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati is one of my clients and has provided me with a limited membership to experience their facilities. All opinions are my own. 

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

1 comment:

Becca said...

Omigosh! I could not agree more. Squats, dead lifts, bench press, couch to 5k, and yoga. I swear by the combo (as a fellow 1994 grad). Tons of reps with light weight is a sure fire way to damage your joints in my humble opinion. Keep up the good work! :)