via Stronger Athletics
April 27 2015
This conversation has been coming up quite a bit with friends and also floating around on social media as well.
I was scrolling though my instagram feed and got so mad looking at all the rubbish “fitness gurus” that have such a huge following on instagram. I’m not going to name any names but it’s atrocious that this type of training and body type is marketed and successfully so to women.
Why is it as women that we are afraid of looking strong? Why is it that this is considered to be unappealing in our culture to be a strong looking woman? Everything that’s marketed to us is about looking more girly, more feminine, skinnier, dainty and generally in my opinion a lot of the time unhealthy. It blows me out some of the women you see on social media that have huge success as personal trainers and fitness figures, you see all the adoring comments and praise for how these women look but to me they just look scary skinny. Why is a wafer thin woman with sports clothes on considered fit? What is wrong with being a STRONG and capable woman?
This used to be me. So I can tell you from experience I used to be like most girls and afraid of lifting weights with the fear of getting “bulky”. Once I started strength training, it surprised me how liberating it was. It took the pressure of focusing on being skinny and I could actually focus on my health and wellbeing. I started seeing my body in a positive light, I could see what I was capable of not what I was lacking. I could set positive goals based around things I was doing in the gym and not a stupid number on a scale.
Skinny is not necessarily healthy, I was talking about this with a friend the other day, the times in my life whereI have been my skinniest and felt my worst (during periods of extreme stress and unhappiness) was when I got the most comments about how good I was looking.
How fucked up is that!
We see it all the time at Stronger Athletics, girls come in where they have been yoyo dieting and eating incredibly low calories for an extended period of time. Have tried shake diets, starvation and lemon detox type diets. They are weak, their metabolisms are under functioning and generally feel pretty shit about themselves. Its incredibly rewarding watching these girls blossom from gettingSTRONGER. To see a girl go from not being a to do a push up to deadlifting body weight+ or do a chin up is so exciting! Taking the focus off body composition or numbers on a scale is an obvious relief for so many, and the results happen without all the unhealthy behaviours!
Learning that I didn’t have to starve myself or cut out whole food groups to stay lean was literally life changing (sorry but it was). I used to have so much food anxiety when eating “clean”, if I ate something that wasn’t on my very small list of foods I could eat then I felt guilty and would beat myself up about it or do some extreme amount of exercise to counteract it. Yes I was thin, but I had very little muscle tone and very little strength. The most ironic part is I’m probably the leanest I have ever been right now and I haven’t done any “cardio” in over 18 months. I have more so called cheat foods in my diet my calories are 2000 a day and climbing I do no cardio and yet I’m the strongest and leanest I’ve ever been. Weird.
Except it’s not weird. We are all just so damn misinformed. And so many girls are worried about getting “big” from doing weights, or it not being a successful form of fat loss because it doesn’t involve 60 minutes of high intensity cardio. Its simply not true.
“Girls avoiding weight training “incase they get too big” is like someone refusing to go jogging in case they become an Olympic sprinter.”- Ben Carpenter (body builder)
I can tell you this much, its really hard for a female to grow any substantial amount of muscle- even when your actively trying its really difficult. Women grow muscle 2-3 times slower then men. Hormonally and physically we are not built to grow large amounts of muscle in a small amount of time, so even if you train like your boyfriend you wont end up looking like him. So GET IN THE GYM, don’t be afraid to break the norm, ditch your unhealthy habits and body image issues, lift some shiz and I promise you that you won’t look back.
Become a STRONGER girl TODAY!!
You can train with Kelly and her coach at Stronger Athletics
The Barbelle Club caught up with Kelly for a bro session at Stronger Athletics this last week.
Between curls, we talked...
What's happening Kelly?
I'm hungry...I've been tracking my calories loosely for the last 18 months. Previously I've trained on a diet of around 1500-1600 calories which is not really enough to sustain my current goals. As part of my preparation for competition, I've begun "reverse dieting". The goal is to increase my calories incrementally without gaining body fat. I'm at about 1700 currently and hungry...We're heading to 2500 (which I'm really looking forward to). I feel like I need a re-feed day about once a week. This goes off my energy levels. I can get dizzy.
I've really noticed that if I concentrate on the quality of my macro sources, it impacts the consistency energy levels. If I get my carbs from sweet potato, they're steadier than if they're from Easter eggs ;)
Today you've been doing some stiff leg deads, some weighted lunges, wide grip pull ups and some other things...In terms of training, are you missing doing any particular excersize or movement so far on this program?
I miss hand balancing and the gymnastics strength movements...and extra glute work...
Thanks Kelly x
Photos : Barbell Media
I'm really excited to introduce you all to Kelly Mulder who is coming on board with The Barbelle Club to share with us her training log in the lead up to her first body building competition.
Kelly is a 27 year old student and teacher of Vinyasa Yoga, but she's also lifts. Heavy as she can! Her sporting background is equestrian and her athletic background has seen her focus and train in a wide variety of disciplines. She's been a long distance runner, specifically training for half marathons.
I met Kelly when she was training in Crossfit. Like many of us, Crossfit was her introduction to lifting. She's since undertaken more specialised strength based training, predominantly lifting with Ryan at Stronger Athletics, where she is also coaching.
I've know Kelly for a couple of years now and I've always been impressed by how such a young chick can juggle life like a zen master. A busy life, coaching across different disciplines, training like a boss, raising two young girls and somehow attaining the holy grail of being both mobile AND strong!
This is going to be a really exciting journey for Kelly and we are stoked to be able to follow along! I'm interested in her exploration of a purely aesthetically focussed pursuit, especially as she's coming from a performance based background. I'm interested to see how she goes with the training and the diet. I'm also really hanging to see what kind of bikini she rocks at comp ;)
What's happening Kelly?
I'm training for my first physique competition..... SCARY!!
We decided to do a competition as a bit of a challenge. I have never done anything for a purely aesthetic purposes... So thats new and interesting. Also going through the processes of preparing physically and mentally for something like this will be a great learning experience.
Can you tell us a little bit about your training over the years?
All of the types of training I have done are very different and I think I can take good things away from all of them. I think the main thing is to remain open minded about your training and keep it varied. There are good and bad aspects of just about every form of training. I try to take the positives from everything I have tried and not limit myself to sticking to only one form of training specifically.
The idea that yoga and strength training/powerlifting are paradoxical is a misconception. Some people think that they are conflicting pursuits, but I actually think they compliment each other really well.
What about strength training?
I used to think, "back in the day", like a lot of girls that too much strength training would make me bulky. Now I wish I had started years earlier than I did. Imagine where I would be now!
But, you can only do what you know at the time and I'm glad I'm better educated than that now.
Can you tell us about your diet and how that's evolved with your training?
My diet has changed dramatically over time. I grew up vegetarian and was until i was 19. I tried paleo and "clean eating" for a number of years but now i use IIFYM. This has been more effective and actually healthy and balanced for me than anything else.
For as long as i can remember i have been obsessed with being healthy, to the point where it was no longer healthy. If I ate something "bad" I would be really upset and mad at myself to the point of purging sometimes. IIFYM as taught me to have balance. To some people, it might seem extreme to weight your food etc. but for me it has been the best thing ever.