The Arkansas Activity Association publishes sports performance related materials. The importance of having text medically fact checked is critical. For women they have limited information to go on. Every sport has a risk of injury or possible health issue. Football can cause concussions. Soccer can put the knees and ACL at risk. Women are given extra caution when playing sports. This is really not out of concern, rather a dated notion the female body was not designed for strength or power. Female bodybuilders push their bodies and physiology to the limit. All athletes should train with caution, but that is no reason to say that women must restrain themselves. Women use multiple methods to obtain a particular look. branch chain amino acids , creatine, or pharmaceutical assistance. All women who compete or have muscle are not on steroids. The idea that there is a natural form of bodybuilding is false. Supplements are not natural even though they are not performance enhancing drugs. Women may have a higher risk of injury, but this can be prevented through proper training techniques. All female bodybuilders do not have muscle dysmorphia . The suggestions given are not about being safe rather a person showing their bias against women looking a certain way.
Women and steroids
Anabolic androgenic steroids increase muscle mass and strength. This is a synthetic derivative of testosterone. When injected or taken by pill into the female body it enhances physical fitness capacity. During puberty boys get a strength spurt that comes from the increase in androgens. When women use it they gain this physical strength spurt, however the other attributes come with it. Virilization can occur with AAS use. Side effects could include clitoral enlargement, facial hair growth, acne, possible hair loss, and deeper voice. It should be noted that steroids may not cause viriliztion depending on the type, dose, and number of years used. Anavar is popular among women, because it does not have as many side effects. It would be erroneous to think taking steroids will produce physiques on a bodybuilding stage. A majority of that comes from diet and training.
Some think that women can only gain muscle with steroids. That is not true, because women’s bodies can experience muscular hypertrophy. Fitness, figure, and bikini competitors also have been known to use drugs. The argument against substances is that it is not natural. Neither is are supplements. Protein powders, BCAAs, and basic mass gainers are not natural. They are the products of chemistry, sports nutrition, and biomedical science. If an athlete wants to be considered completely natural, they would just lift and consume particular food. The sustenance could not be genetically modified either. Literally, a person would have to grow their own food and raise their own cattle to be completely natural.
Supplements will never be banned, because it is a rapidly growing industry. Now that women are active athletes it will only get bigger. Drugs have the potential to be dangerous whether or not they come from your doctor or someone else. The irony is that women do not constitute the majority of AAS users. Athletes do not even make up the biggest portion of the statistic. It is average people attempting use them as a fast solution to weight loss. This almost seems like a non-sequitur seeing as women can choose not to take them or take little dosages to avoid major damage to health.
The Female Body Is Not Naturally Weak
Women on average have less muscle than men. This does not mean women cannot build and strengthen their musculoskeletal system. The statement in the text can be disputed : ” taking into account the peculiarities of the female body, their naturally weaker muscular corset compared to the male, uncontrolled burdens and incorrectly distributed loads can lead to injuries such as tendinitis of the ligaments or even muscle break.” There is no muscle corset it is an organ system. Ligaments can be strengthened, but there is debate about if women’s tendons respond to exercise in the same way. Stress fractures, tendinitis, and ACL tears can be avoided through weight training. Female bodybuilders would not have as many injuries as a soccer, football, tennis, or soccer player. When competing posing may be exerting,but does not cause injury.
Muscle tears happen when too much force is exerted on them. This is what happen when an athlete lifts more than they can handle. Back and neck injuries can occur. This is not even mentioned in the writing by the Arkansas Activities Association. Injuries can be prevented by proper form, having good posture, and having a training partner to assist you. Weight training is not that dangerous. The Dr. Thomas Best study was not a good example to use, because female high school athletes are still growing. Contact sports pose a greater risk of injury. Women get injured at higher rates simply due to the fact of biomechanical differences and lower musculoskeletal mass. Weight training can protect women’s bodies from sports injuries if they use weights.
Women Can Still Get Pregnant
The reason women produce estrogen is for the production of eggs. A certain level of fat is require to go through the menstrual cycle. There has been concern that women risk fertility if they train too hard. The only way that would happen is if a woman get ammenorhea. Female bodybuilders only decrease their fat levels for competition. When not competing fat levels go up including weight. The muscles are covered with a smooth layer of fat. A female bodybuilder can get pregnant. Doing this sport does not pose a huge risk to fertility. Sports which may require dramatic reductions in weight may have an effect. Gymnastics and marathon running could effect women’s fertility if their body fat remains too low for a period of time.
The largest factor has to do with age. Women are born with certain mount of eggs. As time passes more are lost and it becomes more difficult to have a baby from a woman’s mid-thirties onward. Male fertility also declines with age, but at a slower rate. Another factor is the timing and frequency of copulation. Women have a 28 day menstrual cycle. Ovulation happens on the 14th day. If the egg is to be fertilized, it depends on when sexual intercourse happens and what phase of the menstrual cycle. On the 8th day chances of getting pregnant are higher. Weight can also have an impact on fertility. Women who are overweight may struggle to get pregnant if their periods are irregular. Women who are too thin simply because they have limited body fat. Some studies have suggested smoking and drinking could negatively affect fertility. Medical conditions and diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis make it difficult for women to become pregnant. When examining these factors bodybuilding is not much of a threat to women’s fertility.
Women Who Compete Do Not Get Psychological Problems
There is a tendency for people with less knowledge of the sport to believe women who compete have a mental health issue. Body image disorders have become prevalent, but it mostly effects women. Muscle dysmorphia effects men more than it does women. Women are more likely to suffer from anorexia or bulimia. Women doing weight training or bodybuilding do get psychological problems from it. A level of stress comes from high level competition, but this is normal. For some competitors this is just an expensive hobby, which they retire from when it is no longer fun. Women experience a psychological benefit from exercise. Gaining strength gives them more confidence in their bodies and other areas of life. Women state they have a more positive self-image.
The use of drugs can be dangerous if done in large amounts and recklessly. The endocrine system and by extension the nervous system can be altered. There is little evidence to suggest that roid rage actually exists.Many types of drugs can alter mood, but steroids do not turn a person into a violent psychopath. Women’s brains are not “masculinized” either. Female bodybuilding did not decline, because of steroid use. It was the result of lack of promotion and the limited support that women’s sports have in general. Too many still think that women and muscle is an unnatural combination. That is anatomically and physiologically incorrect. Women have just now been able to develop their bodies and present it on a platform. Exercise may also help prevent depression or mood decline symptoms.
Women can be bodybuilders and there are some health considerations that they should be mindful of. Drugs have risks and side effects. If an athlete decides to use this method they should educate themselves about them. Once more, taking AAS or supplements is not going to create a physique. The majority of the appearance is related to exercise intensity,training method, nutrition, and diet. Competing without them is possible, but will certainly take longer and be more difficult. The Arkansas Activities Association makes it sound as if bodybuilding was not meant for women or they should avoid it. The benefits of bodybuilding include increased muscle and bone mass. Weight training can be an excellent method of weight management. Any amount of exercise can be beneficial to the circulatory system. Bodybuilding is not bad for health unless massive amounts of drugs are taken or an athlete engages in over training.