The trend that was started on instagram about a year ago and i truly believe the reason that the competing industry has taken off so much is because of all the fitfam posting about competitions. It leads people to believe that they are not "that fit" unless they reach that level of conditioning. Many people email me saying "I don't want to compete but I want to get in shape." It saddens me that there is even a disclaimer statement. It's totally okay just to want to get in shape for no other reason then your health and wellness.
What comes along with the mass of instagram competing is what it takes to compete and that is a very strict diet and lifting weights. This is not just lifting casually. The trend is to see who can be the toughest, who can lift the most, who can be THE MOST BADASS. I'm so guilty. I want to lift the most, run the fastest, be the most athletic and I think everyone feels that a little deep down. I love the idea of being strong, and I think that many women love that too.
I also believe that the fitfam has saved many girls from vicious eating disorder cycles. Metabolic adaptation in my opinion in life changing for so many, and I believe that instagram is the reason that it has become so popular. I think that lifting weights gives these girls an escape route. They begin to feel empowered and strong and learn to tailor their diet to actually feed themselves appropriately, gain weight in a slow fashion so that they can psychologically deal with it, and they are able to live normal lives.
However, personally, I believe that this has gotten out of hand and created a mindset that one size fits all and it just doesn't. It's wonderful that we are accepting of women becoming stronger, but that look is not for everyone. I guess I'm not like the normal fitfam girl, but I don't want to make gains. I feel this has just created another outlet that girls can never be satisfied and that they are never good enough. I know this is not the case with everyone and I'm making generalizations here, but I just want the girls out there who don't want huge delts to be okay with that.
I don't want for my arms to get any bigger. I don't want to bulk. I don't want to cut. I don't want really care that much even if my glutes get bigger even though that's always nice just because I wish I could bottle up what I have, but I'm just content and I want that for others too. I truely don't want to change anything. This does not mean that I think I'm perfect by ANY MEANS but I just want so badly for girls to get to a point where they are comfortable in their skin and can just accept who they are.
You have to tailor your goals to your training and nutrition. That's partly why I started training for a marathon because I realized that I was doing things in my training that were based on my aesthetics and not my overall dreams and goals. That made me feel hypocritical. On top of that, there are so many women out there who do not want the ripped, shredded muscular development that seems to have taken over the world. Maybe they just want to lose some weight and get leaner but not have defined capped shoulders or massive quads. That is totally okay, and their training should be different based on those goals.
Weight training works to shape the muscle. Weight training works to build muscle therefore increasing the metabolic rate which is ideal for everyone essentially. I'm able to eat a lot more food now at the same weight because I have replaced fat with muscle. However, it should be of note that girls don't need to be trying to deadlift 300lbs or shoulder press 50s unless they truely want the muscular development that goes along with that. The "skinny fat" look is so hated on and personally, I think that look is beautiful too. I think crazy muscular development is absolutely gorgeous as well on a female. I think my point is that we are shoving heavy lifting and no cardio down everyone's throat and that just simply doesn't align with everyone's vision of what they want to look like.
I lift heavy for my size. I do about 12-15 reps on my sets because I just want to hit the muscle groups and maintain what I have. I love hitting PR's on deadlift when I'm not in full marathon mode because that makes me feel empowered and strong, but I don't increase weight at all anymore with any of my other lifting days. I run ... a lot. Some people hate running, and that's cool too.
To wrap this up, if you love to run then run. If you like to lift, then lift. If you like to play tennis then play tennis. If you like yoga then do yoga. Our bodies will all look very different based on how we train and that's okay. There is no right way. There is no wrong way. The most important thing is that we are all staying healthy and moving.
With love and personal goals,