last comment: 19/03/08

Being Strong

I always wanted to be strong. When my parents had the village shop I loved to get stuff from the storage to bring it to the store. We got it delivered in these crates with wheels but to the store it was some steps to climb so we had to carry everything. My mum always was worried that I would hurt myself and told me off. But I just enjoyed carrying stuff and I was so proud when I managed to heave a box of 12 coke bottles up those steps for the first time.
Strong, ...

On the other hand I never was a tomboy. I loved my dolls and got caught once putting a necklace around Mira’s neck – only that my friend Mira was very much imaginary as well as was the necklace. I had quite a bit to do to get that damn thing fixed, that’s how they found me fiddling in the air standing on the staircase – Mira was taller then me!

So I had an interest in girly things and I liked to wear skirts. But this thing of wanting to be physically strong never left me. What a lovely coincidence that I met this young chap at this quarry lake where we used to go as students. Nice rear, strong shoulders, … do I have to tell you more? He is my hubby of 23 years now and he brought me to weight exercises.

... versatile ...

... and with a very particular sense of fashion!

From Bum Girl to Shoulder Lady

I always was more a bum rather than a boob girl, and I wasn’t happy about it. Not that I wanted to have more boobs, it rather was about having less bum. I needed quite a while to realise that is was exactly that feature which attracted him to me in the first place. And he was the one to explain that my rear was perfectly fine – at that time it actually was – but that my shoulders could do with a bit of an up-lift. That if I would get a bit wider in the back I would look more balanced and would have more of an hourglass rather than a pear shaped figure. When I then, some 20 years later, saw my previously not too bad shape pretty much neglected and chubby I remembered those words and started working out seriously with focus on the shoulders.

Posture Ladies, Posture!

The nice side effect is that the posture changes quickly to the better due to the muscle strength in the back. With the shoulders held back, the head lifts up and all of a sudden it is easy to look confident. From all that my back pain vanished and the addiction for the sport kicked in. Now the first time in my life my shoulders are wider than the bum. Now at the age of 46 I really like myself. There are still bits and pieces to work on, but with most of it I'm on 'maintenance level' now.

You may find that I’m a bit too muscley for your taste, but that’s okay. The exercises give you a wide spectrum of just shaping up a bit, balancing a few things out, or getting athletic. That's the nice thing: You are in control!

But if you actually wanted to achieve a change of the shape, then the only way is proper weight exercises. As opposed to fitness exercises where you would basically keep the shape just a bit smaller.

I already can hear fitness addicts scream at me that this is wrong. Well, if you do fitness to an extent that you burn almost all the body fat - of course you are ending up with a different shape than before, but that might not be the one you want.

Assessing the needs

The important thing is to assess your needs.

If you want want to be able to get from 'A' to 'B' without a vehicle, then you need fitness exercises.

If you are doing some kind of sport and you feel that you can't improve anymore or are even on a decline, then certain weight exercises can be helpful.

If you want to change your shape, you definitely need weight exercises the proper way.

If you want to socialise, visit the bar of your gym.

Combining weight and fitness exercises

This has to be assessed on an individual basis, although I will explain this a bit further whenever it fits in. If you wanted to do both it really has to be the right balance and timing of the sessions for the best benefit. If you decide to do serious weight exercises the standard fitness exercises won't work for you. But there is a certain way of fitness training that goes well with weights.

But let me give you an example of what I mean with 'change of shape'.

From apple to pear with fitness

Please only lough a bit about these sad excuses of drawings - I really Do need to find somebody who actually can draw! (Although I like my little donkeys)

Imagine you are an apple shape: You have slim legs, but a wide pelvis and a big belly with big boobs, and big arms.

Imagine that your shoulder bones are actually rather small, what is hidden by the chubbiness.

Now imagine you would start doing fitness exercises and losing all the fat. Given that your skin decides to shrink, you would end up as a pear: slim shoulders and arms, a wide pelvis and in the worst case a flat bum, what actually is 'no bum'.

From apple to hourglass with weights

Same starting point as above, but now you are doing weights.

You would build muscles on shoulders and arms, the tummy, bum and legs. These muscle need energy to be moved during daily life, so you would loose fat , even with no change of diet. This would be a slow process, which could be sped up by appropriate diet which is actually not low calorie, but high protein.

The further you would develop the faster the improvement, but still - it's not something to be done in a jiffy. What is good because your skin would need the time to shrink.

By the time you would reach the point where you have as less fat as in the case above you would have shoulders as wide as your hip bones, hence an hourglass figure, and you would have a lovely round bum.

My scribble, doesn't even show any changes in the bum area, but I guess you are catching my drift. The purple dots are exactly in the same place in all 3 pictures, as well as the belly button and the bit that is supposed to be the legs. The only lines that different is the waist in the first one and the shoulders in all 3 of them. Even in these scribbles the change in proportion is visible only by a tiny lift in the shoulders. And that is an effect you can actually achieve with weights, it's not just a trick on paper.

You would weigh more due to the muscles which weigh quite a lot, but you wouldn't look like it.

The last time I was a size 8 in my top bit I was in my 20s and I had less than 60kg. Now I'm approaching the 50, am more proportionate and weigh 65kg. Imagine the amounts of food I can eat to support this muscle weight. I usually have something like 2000 - 2300 Kcal per day, depending on how hard I'm working out and whether or not my hormones are driving me mad.

It works for me, it works for hubby, and it works for a lot of the guys in the gym. All I'm offering you is to learn more about it. But as usual - it's your choice. You have to feel good with it and you will have to put in the effort and the time.

You know where to find me when you want to know more. I will need some time to gradually fill this place. If you need the info quicker: Drop me a line, and I will get back to you.

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Author: Rika