Skepticism

Skepchick Quickies 2.2

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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19 Comments

  1. It’s always disturbed me how seldom you see women that are actually in great shape with visible muscle tone. Most of the time, with very little help from the media, there’s a huge gulf between women striving to have a washboard stomach with no visible musculature and bodybuilders.

    I’m all for changing this.

  2. I don’t think I’d worry. I, for one, like the looks of a well-muscled woman. Now, I don’t mean the steroid-taking, muscle-bound kind. (But, then, I think steroid-taking, muscle-bound men look freakish, too.) Work out to your heart’s content. If anything, it’ll only make you comelier. (Do we still say “comelier”?)

  3. My mom is naturally muscular, and I also am to a certain extent. It’s amazing how easy being a tiny bit different can make a kid feel like a freak. My mom always felt “fat” because the 50s-style puffed sleeves didn’t fit around her muscular arms, and I felt the same way in the late 90s when knee-high boots were too tight around my muscular calves.

  4. Booyeah, more potential excuse for me to lift my little weights each night!

    I had foot surgery in May and after being in the wheelchair, I was bummed about losing calf definition but rather enjoyed my new hard upper arms! Turns out pushing my fat ass around in a wheelchair is a good workout! So once I was out of the chair I wanted to keep up what I liked to call my “Wolverine” muscles (my husband jokes “Schmulverine” but that’s mostly because I pretend I have claws with my knitting needles). Okay there’s still fat over ’em so nobody can really see any muscle, but it’s amazing how much that small amount has increased my strength. Day to day lifting is so much easier, and it’s letting me put more fragile detail on my show cake I’m working on because I know I can lift the pieces easily via Schmulverine power!

    If it turns out there are health benefits, so much the better. If not, oh well, it’s still useful.

  5. Muscles are good. As a ballroom dancer, I appreciate strong legs and toned shoulders on a woman. Those are the women who can sweep and flow with reckless abandon and make it look beautiful.
    When those biceps and triceps start popping, let’s see a picture.

  6. Yay strength training! I’m too busy/lazy to get back into that, but I loved it. The scale said I gained weight, but I felt great and for the first time I had visible biceps. So kudos to you!

    BTW, I think those muscular women in the articles are gorgeous.

  7. I like cardio more than strengh training as a personal choice but I think an athletic look is always more attractive than an anorexic look. I personally love the way I feel at the end of a long run. And I get such a rush from doing a 5K like the Susan Komen that has hundreds of people involved.

    I’ve never seen anyone who can get the bizzaro muscles without 8 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week of specialized weight training and crazy attention to diet and some steriods on the side.

    In my case when I did strength train I gained weight and lost inches at my waist and neck.

  8. @kimberlychapman: Booyeah, more potential excuse for me to lift my little weights each night!

    More and more research shows a use it or lose it approach. It goes equally well for muscles, joints, bones, and brains. My wife lifts regularly and has much better biceps than me. Fortunately due to my freakish monkey arms I can still beat her in arm wrestling. At least I used to be able to…

  9. @catgirl: I had my “freak” moment at junior prom. I took off my shawl, and my date said, “oh my god! Your arms! You’re bigger than I am!” I was a gymnast, so my arms were very well defined- it took me years before I would lift a weight again (even without it, my arms are muscular).

  10. Has there ever been a discussion amongst skeptics about the most efficient/safe/healthy exercises to increase muscle tone? That would be interesting. I’ve always wanted to try to embiggen my muscles but never really knew the best way… and there are 1298309894879812 videos out there that all tell you different things..

  11. I’ve always enjoyed lifting weights more than cardio. It’s just so immediate. The women in my family all tend to be squat and solid. I will always have huge thighs and calves.

    When I get some extra money again every month, I plan on getting a membership at the YMCA again so I can take advantage of their awesome weight room. And I guess the cardio area too but that’s not nearly as fun.

  12. @tempestbrewer:

    Yeah, and there’s also the fear of getting inured by using weight machines incorrectly. I once tried out a personal trainer to build some strength, but she just didn’t believe that I actually wanted to do anything other than get skinny, so she wasn’t very helpful.

  13. I’ve run into that phenomenon before – my mom’s a dance teacher and there was a time about 10 years ago when all the girls were terrified of getting visible muscles. If my mom would point out the correct way to use a muscle and they saw any little bulge, someone would shreik “ewwww! but it’s going to get all bulgy!” I’ve always been proud of my strength, personally.

  14. And furthermore, brainy girls are pretty hot as well. At a coffee shop today I saw a rather attractive young lady with an athletic build, like a swimmer. She sits down with her cappucino and pulls out a textbook on chemical engineering.

    I would have thought, “I’m in love,” if I weren’t twice her age and married and stuff.

  15. WTF is wrong with people? In my not so humble opinion stronger is better (till you get to the obscene edges of muscle mass of weightlifting and body building). Smart is damn hot … and giant plastic boobs are awful.

    Why do all these stats keep me looking at normal from such a long way off? Screw you normal, I’m a long way from you and damn happy to be there.

  16. @ Tempestbrewer

    I’ve been in and out of the gym for years and have read countless articles on the best way to train. Currently there is quite a lot of debate about the best way to build muscles. The research hasn’t really concluded if doing 3 sets of exercises of 10 – 12 reps is more efficient than doing one set of exercises at 10 – 12 reps. Building muscles requires you to fatigue the muscles sufficiently to get microtearing and your body will build the bonds back up. Some research indicates doing one set of exercises at the highest weight you can finish 10 – 12 reps is sufficient to cause that to happen. Other research points to doing 3 sets builds muscle more efficiently.

    Because the research doesn’t point to a clear victor, I’m satisfied doing one set at very high weights when I hit the gym for the simple reason it saves time. My goal for exercise is to slim and control body fat. I’m overly muscular as it is. I spend the majority of time on cardio and yoga.

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