Take a break from the bulk….

recovery needed  One of the most clever sayings I’ve heard–“real men don’t lift weights, they lift women.”  This from Nigel Lythgoe, producer and judge from So You Think You Can Dance.

Let me put this in perspective, before I continue.  I’m not against weight lifting or strength training–in any form. I believe there is a fitness routine that is well suited for you.  And doing you, not someone else, has always been my stance.

Yet not everyone is sold on the grunt, squat, and lift routines pervasive in gyms everywhere.  Same goes for running for extended periods of time.  You could say this holds true for any activity or career.  Knowing your (or your client’s) goals is therefore essential–BEFORE you jump headlong into an exercise regime.

I realize this sounds pretty basic.  However, if you were to visit the gym where I work out, you’d rethink that.  It appears most of the trainers know one thing and one thing only.  You guessed it–squat, lift, grunt, repeat.  Add in a little cardio just to keep it interesting.  The women they train seem to be the recipients of endless squats, with a few variations on sit-ups, and some cardio.  The guys–they get lunges with dumbbells, lifting, and some cardio; maybe.

Ladies if you’re looking to build thighs the size of a football player, keep doing those endless squats.  Guys, if you wants overbuilt backs unable to rest comfortably on a floor or even bed, keep up the grunt and fart routine.  For those of you who want something else, read on.


Lengthen–this word may have dubious connotations behind it in the dance world.  For some, it may mean simply extend.  For others, it’s code for “lose weight.”  Here, I’m using it to suggest lengthening out contracted muscles.  For women, I suggest routines which lengthen their thighs, arms, and abs.  ESSENTRICS & CLASSICAL STRETCH fit the bill well.  Leah Sarago’s BALLET BODY also works wonders for this.  You will have muscle–the long and lean kind most of us want.  No you don’t have to give up your running, CROSSFIT, or your strength routine.  Same goes for the guys.  If bulking up is your desire, no need to give that up.  Lengthening routines simply stretch out overbuilt and overly contracted muscles.  Your abs will look even more cut, if you give CLASSICAL STRETCH a try.  Why? As your body starts to stretch out, your abs will appear longer, because your back will be straighter.  Now everyone will be able to admire (including you) the work you put in, building that six-pack.  Correct posture is essential in these workouts, and you will notice the benefits of this, beyond appearance.

So guys, if you’re really serious about weight lifting–but down those barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells.  Lift your lady.  Perhaps a little instruction might help first.  Any experienced ballet instructor can give you and her pointers.  Think of him/her as your second personal trainer; and weight lifting guru.

Ladies, if you’re not seeking to cultivate thighs the size of a Heisman recipient, ease up on the squats and lunges.  Long, lean limbs are not as out of reach as you think.  Sure genetics have a lot to do with it, but so do you.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.



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