By Cassye Delphy, ©43fitness.com | A cure for the common mum
I know, I know. Not everybody is still hung up on the idea that ladies who lift weights will grow facial hair and walk around readjusting their newly-sprouted man parts. But not everybody is still NOT the majority, and despite numerous articles and scientific studies to the contrary, the dreaded stigma still exists. I hear about it almost every day, and as long as there is a shadow of a doubt about if, why, and how women should be lifting, I feel obligated - NO compelled - to work tirelessly toward ‘debulking’ the myth.
I am 44 years old. I’m the mother of a primary schooler and I drive a station wagon. My family resides in the suburbs on a street that is the geographical equivalent of homemade apple pie. We have 2 dogs, 1 cat and a freshly mowed lawn (most weeks). My gym is located less than 1km from this neighbourhood, and I’m just one of the multitudes of mums in there most mornings.
By most accounts I’m an excruciatingly average gym-goer, save my regular display of muscle definition and bikini-clad confidence at the community pool in the summer. I also happen to perform 30 unassisted pull-ups on Mondays as part of my new 5 x 5 program, and will deadlift 1.5 times my bodyweight by the end of this month.
So my question is this: with reportedly so much information available and plenty of useful equipment in such close proximity, why am I still in the workout minority? Why aren’t there oodles of buff women out there literally littering the landscape?
You wanna know why? It’s the myth. And the myth is comprised of a bunch of other little myths which collectively fuel the big myth. Like the myth that women are dumpy and misshapen after kids and after 40. The myth that encourages a woman to pick a weight that completely disrespects her ability to lift it. The myth of endless hours on masochistic machinery. The myth of 756 leg lifts in an effort to ‘tone’. The myth of spot reduction. And my favourite of all the myths – lifting heavy weights will make a woman look/act/sound (you pick the verb) like a man. And don’t even start on about those old stereotypical images of she-men from 1974 or whenever forever ago. Yes, steroids exist out there, but if you’re not using them, you won’t look like a man. End of sentence. Oh, and by the way, women’s bodies simply do not produce anywhere near enough testosterone to ‘get big’.
So my advice to average women everywhere? Get over it. Get over your fear and your intimidation and your inability to see how crazy you are by doing the same things but expecting different results. Nothing else will reshape your body like resistance training. And if you see me out and about looking fit it’s not because I’m a triathlete or a marathoner or whatever other sporty fanatic I might appear to be. I am a bodybuilder, and I look this way because I lift and lower heavy stuff on a regular basis (and I’m not a man).
Cassye is not your conventional 40+ suburban mum. She’s a newly minted transformee and obsessive blogger who’s paying it forward by sharing her strategies for success with nutrition and exercise, along with support and encouragement for women who are seeking change.
Since her transformation, Cassye has lost 10kg of fat and 3 pants sizes by eating clean and lifting heavy. Her story was featured in two articles last year, and her mission is to continue to spread the good word of fitness in an upbeat and entertaining way. She’s found a new passion in writing, and her award-winning blog covers many topics from workouts to nutrition details, and sometimes rants about trying to balance it all as a mum, wife and part-time teaching assistant. Helping people is her biggest motivator, and she considers it her life’s work. Cassye is committed to leading by example and has influenced not only her readers from around the globe, but co-workers, her local gym’s members and complete strangers because she’s so approachable. She’s just a mum who was fed up and did something about it.
Her 1-year transformation anniversary was June 9, 2013.
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