by Shondelle Solomon-Miles
I cringe whenever a woman says to me, ' I don't want to lift weights' or 'Strength is just not that important to me’. Not so much because I think there is something inherently wrong with not enjoying strength training, weights but because of the REASON most women give as to why they don't.
Most women are more concerned with how their body looks rather than on what it can DO. Some may argue with me on this, and I'm open to the debate, but in the realm of fitness, when it comes to the practical application in life, there are not many things more important than strength.
If you’re in an earthquake and the ceiling falls on your head, your ‘six-pack’ won’t do you one bit of good, but if you’re strong enough to push a 100 lb. piece of cement off your body, you might have a chance of saving your life or someone else’s. What if you’re starving and all you have to eat is a bottle of almond butter, but you cannot open the jar? Your ‘skinny’ jeans won’t come in too handy then, now will they?
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look AMAZING and I love my skinny jeans just as much as you do. In fact, appearance is a significant component of your self-esteem, and consequentially, your quality of life. However if you look ‘HOT’ (for most women that means thin and ‘toned’) but you don’t have the functional strength to carry your own groceries-in a single trip, or God forbid, you have ask your spouse to help you open a bottle of spaghetti sauce, then who the heck cares if your clothing size is in the single digits? The opposite of strong is weak, and who wants to be weak? Not me, and I bet neither do you!
Ironically, in a society where most women fulfill the same responsibility as their male counterparts, many still hold onto the belief that to be ‘strong’ is to be ‘masculine’. Women have been conditioned to believe that strength is something only men need, and that women who can move their own furniture carry their own groceries and squat their own body weight are somehow ‘less feminine’. I’m calling BS on that one!
When did a strong woman become an oxymoron? Is it a sin that I don’t need the young boy at Home Depot to help me carry my sand bags to the car AND I can put it in the trunk by myself? And guess what? When I’m done lifting sandbags, I can STILL come home, take a bubble bath, put on a pretty skirt, paint my toe nails, and do whatever else ‘feminine’ women are ‘supposed’ to do.
So here’s the bottom line ladies: There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with having or wanting to have a ‘six pack’, and you should not be burned at the stake if you cannot open your own jar of spaghetti sauce, but strength is EXTREMELY important, especially as you age, because the weaker you are, the more dependent you become and the more likely you are injure yourself in the most mundane of activities (like walking).
So ladies, being strong and having a few muscles to show for it, does not make you any less of a woman. It is after all 2016, and last I heard ladies, you can be slim, sexy AND strong!
If you need help getting fit, lean AND STRONG, holla at your girl! I can help you!
Train Hard. Eat Clean. Live Live. Be Awesome.
Shondelle, The TransformologistShondelle Solomon-Miles discovered her passion for fitness and body transformation upon graduating from Columbia University in 1996. Since then, it has been Shondelle’s personal and professional mission to improve and transform lives via the vehicle of health and fitness. She does this through constant education and certifications (she has over a dozen!) as well as coaching individuals and groups at her gym - CrossFit 954.