Friday, October 3, 2008

Women Should Not Lift More Than 3 Lb. Dumbbells, Part 2

In my original post, which you can read here, I didn't mention the specific trainer, celebrity or even the show but everybody else on the internet has so it's no secret.

Apparently, I'm not the only person appalled at the advice that Gwyneth Paltrow's trainer gave during her taped segment on Oprah recently.

Check out the posts at Oprah's own message board which is filled with exercise aficionados and fitness pros alike taking swipes at the notion that woman should never lift more than 3 pound dumbbells. As many people pointed out, most women carry purses, grocery bags, children, etc. that all weigh more than 3 pounds.

Let's be clear here, sometimes 3 pounds is the right weight for starting out on certain exercises or for deconditioned folks or exercise newbies. However, saying that a woman should not increase her resistance above that is ridiculous.

Strength, fat loss and bone building all require the body to be challenged with more resistance as our bodies adapt.

You need weight bearing exercise to help prevent osteoporosis. And, how is doing hundreds of reps with a 3 pound dumbbell going to help you lift your child or grandchild, or help you get up if you fall.

"But, but...what about toning", I imagine some of you are thinking. Read this from Craig Ballantyne.

There are some knowledgeable trainers out there who believe that lower weights work better for women. Valerie Water's Red Carpet Ready is one such program. However, Valerie uses challenging bodyweight exercises, doesn't restrict women to 3 pound dumbbells, and doesn't expect her clients to work out for 2 hour sessions, 6 days a week in 80 degree heat. (Remember, we're not talking about getting in super shape for a role, this is Gwyneth's and supposedly Madonna's regular exercise schedule.)

Not to be totally negative, I do think Tracy's resistance band set-up at Gwyneth's house looked interesting and would be worth exploring more.

If you want to read what others are saying about this, check out the links below. Warning, although highly entertaining, some of the blogs contain course language so if you are easily offended stay away from the last two.

Clothes Make The Girl

Daily Spark

The Fitness Fixation

Boston Herald - Tony Gentlicore blog

I love this quote from Tony Gentlicore:

I’m pretty sure if she were still alive today, Susan B. Anthony would shit a pink dumbbell if she knew there were women still walking around with this “I’m a frail, delicate creature” mentality.

Amen, Tony.



Vicki said...

Where would I be with only using up to 3lb dumbbells? I am sure that I wouldn't be as tone as I am and I am sure that I wouldn't be able to lift patients when I assist the local ambulance crew. What would I tell them? "I'm sorry, I was told I couldn't lift more than 3lbs therefore you will just have to get yourself up." Now how is that for customer service.

Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan said...

Thank you for this post! As you know from the post you linked to on my blog, that old "light weights for tone - heavy weights for bulk" thinking makes me go nutty.

Love the title of your blog. Way to lay down the science!

Mickey said...

Hi Melissa,

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you got a chance to read Part 1 of that article. Women Should Not Lift More Than 3 Lb. Dumbbells

It's hard to believe that I wrote those posts over a year ago and the trainer in question is still making lots of money scamming celebs and others.