Saw this photo on MSN.com today. It links to articles from Women's Health and Men's Health magazines, respectively. At first, I was put off my the fact that the woman was shown doing a wimpy single-handed dumbbell lunge while the man was shown doing the awesome push press (eye roll). Intrigued by the possibility that I could learn something new, I decided to explore...
Not suprisingly, the "Best New Exercises for Women" include body weight resistance work on Swiss balls or light bumbbell isolation work (last time I checked, this crap wasn't new). There were a few core-focused exercises such as mountain climbers, L-raise (which is similar to a superman, except for the Swiss ball), and something called a McGill curlup (see below). This is new to me, but I can't for the life of me figure out how this will help build a strong lower back.
CRUSH IT, girl! That muffin-top will be gone in no time!
After reading through all 9 lame women's exercises, I decided to see what was touted as the "Best New Excerises for Men". Lo and behold, here are some movements I am familiar with! (...none of them "new", but whatever):
Pushup, barbell push press, mixed grip chin ups, pistols (see below), and straight legged deadlifts. Oh yeah, and they threw in some bicep and tricep isolation crap. But, it's for guys and they want the gun-show arms, you know?!
His legs were burnin' so bad, he had to remove his shirt
Overall, the men's workout incorporated movements that involved more muscle recruitment, less isolation. That means, more fat burning! Why, oh why, aren't women being taught the same principles? If it will work a man's muscles effectively, why not a woman? The fitness media bias has got to change.
BTW, a major pet peeve of mine is when fitness magazines don't specifying weights/frequency. In both articles, there is NO mention of a prescribed weight for the exercises, nor a suggestion of reps/sets/or frequency that these exercises should be performed. So, I guess its just up to the reader to figure that out. Real useful for the novice reader.
In conclusion (yes, this rant is ending!) I DID learn something from this article: I learned how lucky I am to train with women and men who understand what its like to really work! And, that our coaches don't care if we are women or men - we are all strong and capable of pushing ourselves to the limit. No bias, no excuses. Thank you, CrossFit!