I don’t even know who Sean Flanagan is, but brother, you keep preaching!
Let me say it loud and clear for those in the back:
SAY NO TO PINK DUMBBELLS.
I would like to also say no to gloves but that is for another day.
There is little, within the realm of bogus fitness B.S, that gets my gears all twisted up more than pink dumbbells and “trainers” that encourage you to use them.
- It insinuates that women need to have pink girlie weights to workout. Poor Pam can’t go over and touch the heavy dumbbells or barbell with the boys.
- They fundamentally go against the VERY BASICS of science in regards to how you are able to gain muscle, or the popular term for women ” tone up”, which, spoiler alert is the act of building muscle then leaning out so you can see it.
- The reason is really grinds my gears? Lifting weight is ESSENTIAL, especially as we age, due to muscle loss and osteoporosis. Women, especially, need to lift weights to prevent muscle loss and osteoporosis. The trick to lifting weights is stressing the muscle and, sister, you CANNOT DO THAT if your weights weigh less than your purse!
Breaking it all down.
Issue 1: Leave the girls with the girlie weights
Girl weights, girl pushups, girl section of the gym, girl boss….For the love of all things holy can we stop minimizing the absolute badassery of women?!
You don’t need girl weights. I am not even going to get into the science of why here. That is point 3. What I want to get into is the fact society has broken us up into categories that begin with “girl”.
“Oh, good for Pam she is a girl boss”. You don’t hear men described as men bosses. NO. They are just a boss.
“We better make girlie pink weights so Suzy feels comfortable lifting the weights and doesn’t gain muscle”. NO. Sister, you do not need different weights OR a different section of the gym. You walk your confident self over to the REAL weights and lift those suckers better than the boys.
Nothing gives me greater pleasure than teaching someone how to barbell squat and they send me updates saying:
- They are lifting heavier than the guys at their gym.
- The guys are barely hitting paraell and they are going a$$ to grass.
You go girl!
Not sure where to start or how to use them? I can help.
This is slightly off topic of point 1 but I do believe ties into the pink dumbbells and females having to be separated by “GIRL” titles:
I know in today’s society it is taboo to say “I want to win”. Now a days we just have to want to show up. I wasn’t raised that way. I want to win. It in in my blood and it is why I workout and train.
But you want to know something? When I competed in CrossFit I wanted to beat THE BOYS. When I train for triathlons and trail races I want to be competitive against the boys. I am blessed in riding we aren’t broken up by men and women, so there is no concern there.
I will NEVER forget the first time I was in a CrossFit gym. I had been working out at home, using Outlaw North programming, but decided to make it to regionals I had to actually go to a gym. I showed up in my baggy hoody. I kinda half assed the fun warm up we were put through, which was basically tag for adults. I am, and will always be, awkward in group activities like that.
Next was bench press. I was paired up with a male athlete and the trainer kept a close eye on me, being the new person. When it was my turn the client and trainer both said “Here, I will lighten the weights”.
I smirked and said “No need”, and dropped my hoody like some kind of badass in a boxing movie.
If cameras had been on me it would have shifted to slow mo as I drop the hoody and walk over to the bench. The next words, and truthfully I can’t remember if they came from the trainer or client, were “Holy crap you are jacked…”. Now, I find Crossfit to be a bit more progressive in the recognition of women badassery but there was still that misconception that because I was a girl I would need lighter weights.
And for those saying: You were imposing those beliefs, they could have just done so because you were new. Throughout the whole first day it was mentioned multiple times how I was “Keeping up with the boys”.
I show up to show how friggin badass and tough women are. That we don’t need special divisions, weights, areas of the gym, special titles to show a girl made it to being a boss.
I show up to prove women don’t just “Keep up with the boys”.
So sister, put down those damn pink weights and show off how badass you are. They aren’t doing a damn thing for you anyway.
JUST SAY NO TO PINK DUMBBELLS.
Issue 2: They don’t do a damn thing
My eyes bleed seeing people promoting pink dumbbells. Well, maybe not bleed yet but tears do fall.
You are being MISLED. MISLEAD and money is being made off your back for it!
Sister, do me a favour. GO weigh your purse, bag or back pack right now. I will wait. Just humour me.
I will just drop this here for some hold music while you do this.
Fab. Now, friend, if your purse weighs more than your weights you are doing it wrong. If you have a baby, and carry your baby around, and your BABY weighs more than your weights. You are doing it wrong.
To see results you must have progressive overload on the body. The progressive overload principle basically states: In order for a muscle to grow, strength to be gained, performance to increase, or for any similar improvement to occur, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced.
Or, to put it another way, your body will not change or improve unless you force it to.
No matter how perfect your workout is, muscle will not be built, strength will not be gained, and performance will not improve unless you show your body that these are things that absolutely NEED to happen in order for it to survive.
Read that again.
You know how you get rid of that turkey neck arm? WEIGHTS. Heavy a$$ weights. You need to provide muscle to give the arm some actual SHAPE. Pink weights won’t do it.
You know how you grow a booty? WEIGHTS and heavy ones!
Long term results require lifting within a 5-8 rep range to FORCE your body to change. Popular home workouts are great to get started or use during “Shreds” for high rep circuit work however to see real change and muscle growth there must also be heavy lifting within properly structured programs.
Issue 3: Bad Health Advice
Ok, so fine. A trainer wants to target women that are petrified they will look like the Hulk if they touch real weights.
So, why is it my business if “trainers” want to sell the business of pink weights and fru fru workouts?
Because they are not only misleading women but they are causing long term health problems.
My mother in law has osteoporosis. When doctors, myself and her son, begged her to start lifting weights she got pink dumbbells.
Ok, in fairness I think they are blue but either way they are under 5 pounds.
You want to know what has NOT improved? Her osteoporosis or strength. In fact, she is recovering from a broken bone as I write and struggles to use crutches due to lack of strength.
Here are some cold hard facts for you sister:
Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade.
Now, I couldn’t find a study that specifically speaks of women. I am sure they are out there I am just so riled up right now that I need to keep writing. Never the less.
Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetimes. This number is higher for women.
Less muscle means greater weakness and less mobility, both of which may increase your risk of falls and fractures. A 2015 report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research found that people with sarcopenia had 2.3 times the risk of having a low-trauma fracture from a fall, such as a broken hip, collarbone, leg, arm, or wrist.
Shit, you may be thinking, I am over 30! What can I do to combat this!?
LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS IN A PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD PROGRAM.
Yes, this means if you workout at home you need heavy dumbbells and a barbell, as you progress. Yes, this means you will likely need to get a membership to a gym.
No, this does not mean you are alone if you have no idea what to do or where to start. I am developing a YouTube channel with workouts here:
And I am also creating a membership website for those that can’t afford the 1:1 training.
I do not want any woman to be left behind due to funds.
But, let’s get back to research.
Women are at an increased risk of osteoporosis over men. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
This CANNOT BE DONE WITH PINK WEIGHTS.
To wrap up…
At best trainers that promote light weights and no progressive overload are misleading you. At worst they are directly contributing to long term ill effects on your health.
10 years ago I was that woman too afraid of judgement and “Doing it wrong” to dare go into the “mens” section of the gym. Too afraid to lift heavy. I now have my own business as a coach to help empower other women to realize how truly badass they are.
You are a badass. Not a girl badass. Just a badass.