How & Why to Be Strong – Part 2
Women at CBF exemplify a well-timed revolution in fitness because they are building muscle. Back in the fitness Dark Ages of 21st century, being feminine meant being anorexic, weak, and helpless. The ideal female was supposed to look like Twiggy. Boomer women weren’t often encouraged to build muscle.
They are now. Nowadays women can be every bit as shaped and strong, in their own gender and age-appropriate way, as men. The happy and growing body of research shows that regular strength training restores muscle in older adults.
This cool video, called The Physical Transformation of the Female Body, highlights the evolution of the female body as related to exercise, including the start of vigorous aerobic workouts by movie stars like Jane Fonda to today’s women pumping iron in the gym and proudly displaying defined muscle. (The video used to have a great soundtrack, but YouTube removed it due to copyright issues, but you’ll get it.)
Once upon a time, women feared if they developed muscles, they’d look like a guy. This should never have been a concern unless they planned to take male hormones and spend hours each day in the gym (like the female body-builders in the video did). Women have smaller skeletal frames and less testosterone, therefore naturally smaller muscles than men. However, a cross-section of a woman’s muscle can be just as strong as a male’s – at every age.
Both Boomer women and men are wise to develop muscle because if they don’t consistently train their muscles, age-caused hormonal changes (menopause in women, andropause in men), it vanishes (sarcopenia) at a rate of about 1 lb. per year, starting at age 50.
Boomers at CBF train hard. They get it.