Women are no longer focusing on just simple weight loss or attempting to be slim. There is a desire to put shape to their bodies or enhance physical fitness. Training and exercise can be more complicated than just rudimentary movement of the body. The problem currently is that exercise physiology and fitness literature has not caught up with the number of women entering weightlifting or muscle building activities. There are levels that are documented for men,but rarely are there reliable guides for women for what their novice,intermediate, advanced lifting ability should be. A proper pathway should be established depending on the fitness goal in mind. If it is muscular hypertrophy,strength gain, or just health maintenance lifting can be used for all of these. The question proposed is how much should a woman be able to lift ? There are multiple factors in how much strength a person can gain. Age, sex, body type, health condition, diet, and training methods are the essential factors in relation to physical strength. Women being different in terms of physical fitness capacity have to work harder to attain a certain level. Although it may be a challenge a simple guide can help.
Women can vary in terms of somatotype. This does have impact on full potential. The average woman can have 46.2 lbs of muscle. The body can contain up to 40% of total muscle mass. Based on this information it can reveal much about baseline and natural strength. When baseline is used in this context it refers to the amount of muscle before training. Natural strength is that amount of force the body and generate prior to training regimen or change in diet. Women have lower amounts of muscle mass. That means the average woman does not have huge amounts of physical strength. Starting off it will be difficult. If one remains consistent with the program and diet it can become easier as time progresses. The common misconception is that the female body is not capable of strength. Women can experience muscular hypertrophy through load bearing exercise.
Brooke Enuce prior to weight training and the results after the exercise regimen. These photos are years apart.
Women have less to build upon, but gain substantially more in the process. The rate and amount of gain depends on genetics. A woman who already has significant strength prior to a training program has an advantage. Women who are more slim or contain a higher fat to muscle ratio have to work harder. Despite genetic advantages building strength and muscle is not a fast process. From crossfit athletes, bodybuilders, and weightlifters reaching higher physical fitness capacity takes a number of years. They may make it look easy, yet it can be complicated. This should not discourage women. While comparisons are normal,it should be realized that having realistic goals will prevent mishaps. Some quit because results do not come fast enough. This is a mistake too many people make. Women have been told they are the “weaker sex” but that is not a true statement. Women’s muscles respond to weightlifting exercise. Type II and type I muscle fibers can be found in women’s bodies.
The question of bulkiness is raised when discussing women and weights. It becomes a ridiculous fear that some women have about how their bodies should be. Really there should be no debate considering “bulky” is not a reality of exercise physiology. Spot Me Girl even states : “One concern that many women have is that lifting heavier weights might lead to huge muscles and a loss of femininity.” Personal trainers constantly say it is impossible for women to get bulky. That is correct, but it is not impossible for women to get muscular. Being a muscular woman does not mean they lose their femininity. Muscular development can vary from woman to woman. Lifting does not make women inflate automatically. There is one aspect of this that can be disputed : ” The reason why weight training won’t lead to big, bulky muscles is that you don’t have testosterone levels as high as the guys do.” Women who can very in somatotype and size could have the potential to be stronger than some men. Certainly, women who train seriously can surpass a man who does not. Smaller and thinner men would most likely struggle to match a woman of more muscular mass. However,elite female athletes performance does not match their male counterparts. The reason has to do with endocrinology : “In fact, with 15-70 ng.dL of the natural hormone in your blood, that’s almost 15 times lower than the 300-1,000 ng.dL the average man will have.” Bulky is nothing more than a term that is both relative and subjective. Even the biggest female bodybuilders are not as large as one would assume.
The contest weight of female bodybuilders is less than that of the average man. Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia ‘s weight is 160 lbs. According to BMC Public Health from accumulated data the average weight was 177.9 lbs ( statistics from both men and women). This was based on data collected in 2005 and put into the report in 2012. According to the data, the muscular women are not “bulky.” Compared to their male counterparts in fitness women’s weight is low. Many time the “large” female bodybuilders are smaller than they look. Women should not be afraid to build their bodies. There are numerous health benefits. The physiques women create are bulky rather body sculpting for aesthetic representation.
There are certain safety precautions that a neophyte should take. It is important to consult with your doctor before embarking on a new fitness regimen. Once your health condition is deemed good for exercise, then a training regimen can begin. Technique is critical for avoiding injury and gaining more results from your training. Muscle soreness or more serious tears to the tissue can also be avoided. Basic rules should be applied when dealing with weights. Do not use more momentum to cheat in a lift. This wastes energy and could cause physical harm. Note that movements must be controlled and remain under tension. Training past the point of fatigue is not advised. If pain is chronic stop to prevent damage. Have a spotter help you when weight training. Do not start off with the heaviest weights . Their should be a gradual progression in amount. Starting off intense could shock the body. The suggestion is to choose weights appropriate for your abilities. However, knowing your potential is not going to be automatic. Once technique and safety precautions are known, then a woman can embark on lifting.
Two questions emerge when selecting which weights to lift. How much should be lifted depending on size and how much should one lift to induce muscular hypertrophy ? There are multiple factors that determine this. Lifting too much can cause injury and lifting too light weights will not produce dramatic results. Women who do lift select the lightest weights,but that is not going to improve strength to its highest degree. It can enhance muscular endurance if done fast enough in terms of repetitions. What can be extrapolated from this is that weight must be heavy enough to challenge the muscle,but adjusted so that repetitions can be done easily.
The objective is to achieve progressive overload. When microtrauma occurs then when rest happens muscle will grow. The body will eventually adopt to training and therefore become physically stronger. There is no way to predict just how high physical fitness capacity can go for an individual. Training is both trial and error based.
There are general guideline for how much a woman can lift. Anatomy and physiology are important to understand in this relation to women’s training methods. The average woman does not have an immense amount of strength to start off with. The weakest area would be the upper body compared to the lower body. Women will find building the lower body easier compared to the upper body. So assuming the woman lifting is healthy,but not reached her full physical fitness capacity this is the general guide lines for women . The charts below are samples of weightlifting range determined by body mass and experience level. Novice (N) refers to women just beginning. Intermediate (I) refers to women with some lifting experience for a certain period of time.Advanced (A) is the level in which a woman attains a high physical fitness capacity.
These charts do not take into account the vast difference in natural strength levels between women, so the amount they can lift may not be exactly what is show on the guidelines. Women who are really small may not be able to do the novice level lifts. Women who are larger may go beyond the novice and intermediate lifts. Looking at the values in bench press, it is clear they are lower compared to lifts that involve the upper body. Building the upper body can be a harder task for women. This is not impossible to do. The process takes time, a specific diet, and a particular method of training.
Even the highest performing female athletes have difficulty building upper body mass. If you are not seeing progress, then there may be some error in training or diet. Rest is also pivotal to strength gain. That is why strenuous activity should be avoided during rest days. Exercise is good for you,but doing too much of anything can be harmful. It is advised that two rest days of no training should be taken. Consulting with an experienced personal trainer or weightlifter can help a person design a training program. The general guideline provided can at least give a woman an idea about targets to track progress.
The conclusion that can be drawn is that what determines how much a woman can lift is reliant on muscle mass, natural strength prior to training, and experience. Thin women looking to add strength and mass are going to struggle more compared to women with more mesomorphic body types. Endomorphic women can see a reduction in body fat if exercise sessions and nutrition is adjusted. When discussing fitness, people tend to overemphasize appearance. Women have an irrational fear of looking “too muscular” or “too strong.” Women can look any way they want and just because it makes some uncomfortable should not matter. It is unfortunate that some women internalize subtle sexism and seek to adhere to narrow definitions of proper female appearance and behavior. Thankfully, these dated attitudes are being challenged. Lifting has benefits beyond just superficial appearances. Strength training can lower the risk of osteoporosis, obesity, and sarcopenia . Muscle can burn more calories, which helps regulate body weight. The psychological advantage is that more women have better moods and more confidence. The theory is that large amounts of endorphins are released during exercise which improve a person’s emotional state. Energy can also be enhanced. The text continues, but there are minor errors. It claims you can gain strength without bulk. Bulk does not exist only the increase in muscle mass. Toned and bulky are only terms used to describe the appearance of certain physiques. The women who get on stage did not get that way by just a few irregular training sessions.
Women and men do not just magically inflate with muscle from lifting a few times a week. Women can vary in the amount of muscle mass they carry. Whether it is a little or more,both looks have there beauty in them. Muscular women should not worry about losing femininity. Toning is nothing more than a term describing building muscle. As the last paragraph states “regular weight training and a controlled diet lead to better fitness levels, lower body fat, toned muscles and a sexy, feminine shape.” Muscle does not harm the female figure, rather it enhances it. It adds shape to the lower body and while making the upper body appear bigger. The result is a waist that looks smaller with a hourglass look. It is questionable that lifting causes better menstrual cycles. Having too low body fat may cause ammenorrhea. The body requires fat for the cell membranes and women need it for ovulation. This is why women need to be mindful of tracking their periods during the off season. Competition may require low body fat to present a defined physique, but this is only done a few times a year. Women who compete in sports such as gymnastics or long distance running are at higher risk . Seeing as some bodybuilders compete at 12% bodyfat, women should take the off season to check on menstrual health. Too much intensity in training could also be a risk factor for ammenorrhea. Keeping track of training progress, changes in the body, and diet can ensure an effective fitness program. Women should be able to lift various ranges of weight if the right exercises and technical approach is utilized.
Brian Maher is the owner of Philly Personal Training and writes for the Philadelphia Enquirer . He has an extensive knowledge of fitness and personal training. Maher wrote in 2015 about how building muscle can be beneficial to women’s health. The difference with his approach is that he does not condemn the idea of women having powerful bodies: ” in fact, by the time you finish reading this article, I guarantee that you’ll actually want to put on muscle!” Unlike most fitness materials there are constant warnings for women not to fear “bulking up.” What this does is perpetuate false information about anatomy and makes women not be active. Muscles are seen as masculine, but that is not the case. Women can benefit from building muscle and weight training just like their male counterparts. Gender bias in relation to the body and lack of knowledge of health science could be putting women at risk. Seeing on average women will live longer it is critical to maintain health. The medical establishment has just realized how important physical activity is for healthy aging and preventing chronic illness. Bian Maher’s simple explanations are refreshing and a good introduction for women getting involved in weight training. Fitness books or videos may be too complicated for novices to understand. That is why it is pivotal to explain complex subjects related to exercise and fitness in a way that readers can comprehend. The health benefits women can get from muscle are increased strength, metabolism, and maintaining musculoskeletal health.
Women can gain strength through a weight training program. To build strength it is suggested that one lifts heavier with fewer repetitions. Building muscular endurance usually involves using light weights with more repetitions. While this improves fitness one may wonder how does this apply to everyday life situations. Extra strength can be useful in tasks of daily living. Moving objects or carrying children and groceries becomes easier. For women it is a greater benefit, because you will become less reliant on a man to move something for you. Lifting weights alone would not be the best for developing power. Plyometrics appear to be the best at developing power. Weights can build more physical strength rather than power. Too often these measures of fitness are confused, but there is a difference between the two. Power is the period of time in which maximum muscular force can be generated.
A common myth is that weightlifting is bad for women’s health. What health science reveals is that it provides benefits to both the skeletal and muscular system.
If strength is to be increased there must be a gradual increase in weight lifted. This is known as progressive overload. Once a certain amount can be lifted with minimal effort that means it is time to move on to higher weight. It would be too dangerous to start off at high intensity. The risk of muscle tears or rhabdomyolysis are injuries and medical conditions a weight lifter should be aware of. Adding muscle can contribute to burning fat. Women have a harder time losing weight due to hormonal differences. Maintaining a healthy weight is the best way to avoid obesity, heart disease, or diabetes. Blood pressure can even be managed with a change in diet combined with exercise. Keeping excess weight off requires commitment to eating a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis. Simple weight loss probably is not enough. Even if a dramatic loss in weight happens from a change in nutrition its not thoroughly protecting the health of the musculoskeletal system. As a person ages they lose muscle and bone mass if they are not regularly exercising. Maintaining a level of strength can allow elders to be more independent and have less health challenges.
These women are all senior citizens and in great shape. Their ages range from 65 to 80. Aging should not mean you become incapacitated or lose independence.
A big concern for seniors is mobility and loss of balance. Falls can be fatal if a hip gets fractured or broken bones happen as a result. Bone fractures can cause multiple complications. The spine and hips are trouble spots in terms of rates of fracture. Hip fractures can be induced by a fall and could be potentially lethal. Fractures in the spine can occur even without a fall or loss of balance walking. The vertebrae can fall victim to compression fractures. This means they can basically deteriorate to the degree in which back pain and height loss can happen. Sometimes this also causes a hunched posture to develop. Any amount of exercise can be beneficial. It is never too late to start doing physical activity. Weight can increase as a person ages which is related to changes in metabolism.
Metabolism does change through a lifetime. Muscle has the ability to alter metabolism. The definition of metabolism refers to the chemical processes that occur to maintain life in an organism. Food consumption is the fuel for the human body. Food can be converted into energy and contribute to functions in cells. According to Brian Maher: “Metabolism, the process by which your body creates energy from food, slows at a rate of two to three percent every decade after the age of 20. ” Age becomes a factor in health and fitness condition. Adding muscle mass can reverse this change in metabolism that causes age related weight gain. Women’s basal metabolic rate is lower compared to men’s. This means a woman at rest is burning less calories. Muscle in comparison to fat tissue burns more calories. Seeing as there is a difference in body composition, this explains why have an advantage in metabolism. However, if women build muscle, their calorie burning potential increases. Maher states ” a pound of muscle burns roughly six calories each day compared to a pound of fat, which burns only a fraction of that amount at about two calories per day.” What can be extrapolated from this is that the more muscle that is on the body the more calories can be burned even during sleep.
Metabolism is also present in other living organisms. Humans are heterotrophs meaning they require nutrition from other organic substances. A person can consume vegetables or meat,but they cannot generate their own food. Autrotrophs can get their nutritional requirements from inorganic matter. Plans are an example of autotrophic organisms. Knowing this about the body and the relationship to health is essential. A balanced diet and eating the right amount can help with maintaining a healthy metabolism. Skipping meals can harm your metabolism. To maintain muscle mass enough protein must be consumed. The amount of caloric intake should be adjusted to the precise amount of physical activity.
Oddly increased definition is listed as a health benefit. There really is no health benefit that comes from increased definition. It does however,look incredible. What should be established here is the difference in what a person is training for. Training for aesthetics is for the purpose of making the body appear a certain way. A bodybuilder is not trying to get physically stronger, rather mold the muscles to a particular aesthetic. A track and field athlete is training to either run faster or build endurance for longer running distances. This is training for sports performance. Brian Maher did not explain the difference between the two. Before getting serious about an exercise program your goals should be known. The most basic of these is training for health maintenance. A woman does not have to train like an Olympic athlete to see improvements or results.
This is where Brian Maher’s assessments can be challenged : ” many women fear bulking up or looking masculine, but that’s scientifically impossible.” It should be noted there is no such thing as “bulky’ muscles. The unfortunate aspect of this is people cannot separate physical prowess from masculinity and female athletes are scrutinized for their appearance. Women do not “bulk up” but they can build muscle. Virilization only occurs with large amounts of anabolic androgenic steroids. Women do not need drugs to experience muscular hypertrophy. Steroids may not be as effective as thought (are steroids effective ? ).Depending on genetics. somatotype, body composition , and training method this determines how much muscle a person can build. The female bodybuilders on stage have spent years to reach a certain level. Their diets are high protein and vegetable based and combined with various supplements produces this hyper muscular look. Maher notes ” but even men with bulky muscles have to work extremely hard at it because it’s not how the body naturally responds to exercise. ” When lifting weights at high intensity microtrauma occurs. When a person recovers from a training session muscular hypertrophy will occur. That is a natural response to exercise, but it seems Maher contradicts himself. Changes in the body are a natural response to exercise stimuli. The results are different in terms of the development of total physical fitness capacity. The physical changes are gradual. No one will just automatically look like a champion bodybuilder in a couple of weeks.
Attaining mass and definition takes a number of years. Bulky muscles do not exist. When placed under the microscope there is no way to determine what is regular muscle or bulky muscle. Histology shows that and it seems that their is a different preference in relation to aesthetics. Brian Maher then delineates further : ” Because muscle weighs more than fat and is denser, it’s entirely possible that in the process of building muscle and losing fat, the scale won’t budge.” Muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle would weigh the same as a pound of fat. A muscular person of 165 lbs can weigh as much as an overweight person 165 lbs. The difference in ratio of body composition.It is also questionable of simultaneously building muscle and losing fat. There have not been many studies confirming this. Healthy weight gain comes from increased muscle mass. Weight gain in this context is not the result of increase in fat, rather more bone and muscle to the body. It could be possible that increased definition does have a psychological benefit. Women report when they gain physical strength, they feel more confident. Added definition may not be a physical heath benefit,but it can be a psychological one. Confidence in physical skill can translate to other areas of life. Another aspect to this is that physical strength can also be helpful in women’s self-defense. Women face higher rates of domestic violence from their intimate partners.
Domestic violence and violence against women is a global women’s health crisis. Women being smaller and having less physical strength puts them at a disadvantage when attacked by a man. Learning self-defense techniques and various martial arts can be a deterrent to violence directed at women. It would not be unwise to incorporate some self-defense in with weight training. Sheer brute strength may not be enough to protect one’s self, but skill is essential. Mastering the proper movements and situation response determine whether or not a person can effectively protect themselves. Sometimes just looking like you can fight can be a deterrent. There are men who fear physically strong women. Such men probably would not think to attempt physical attack. Muscle definition may not have a health benefit, yet it may have another one unrelated to a fitness application.
Building bone mass and specifically protecting the skeletal system becomes a greater concern when women age. According to Brain Maher when women reach age 30 they attain peak bone mass. Around the age of 40 the amount of muscle in a woman’s body declines as well. What this means is women are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. When lifting weights people only think that muscles are altered by exercise stimuli. Bones also respond to weight training. Bones are living tissue and will change with age. Ligaments and tendons are also strengthened due to weight training. Joints and connective tissues require as much attention in relation to physical health. Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones of the body become more delicate and porous, resulting possible fractures. Bone loss can happen due to changes in sex hormone levels. When women begin to produce less estrogen as they age, the skeletal system can be vulnerable. Menopause can be a risk factor for osteoporosis. Besides endocrine system explanations of the disease, the other risk factors include race, age, family history, and body frame size. White and Asian women are at higher risk for osteoporosis. However, this does not mean other races of women cannot get it. Some conditions of your health is genetically inherited from your family. Body frame size is also a big factor. Smaller or thinner people have less bone mass to work with. If they are not active enough bone loss from age could be more devastating.
The thinner women have a higher chance of getting osteoporosis compared to the women with more muscle mass.
A common misconception is that the thinner a woman is the healthier she is. That is untrue. Being underweight is just as severe as carrying excess weight. Too much weight loss can endanger musculoskeletal health. The best technique would be to increase bone and muscle mass to avoid age related declines in strength and mobility. Tabacco use and alcohol consumption could put a person at risk. Having a sedentary life style can also cause bone loss over a lifetime. The more active a person is the better chances they have to avoiding serious bone or muscle conditions and diseases. There is no cure for osteoporosis and some treatments are available. Prevention seems to be the best logical solution. Exercises that are load bearing help. Walking,running, or general push-ups can be enough to ensure the health of the musculoskeletal system.
Proper calcium intake and enough vitamin D can keep the skeletal system healthy. There is a recommended amount of calcium that women should have when they reach the age of 50. The amount should be 1,200 milligrams a day. One simple source of vitamin D is the natural sunlight. This can be a challenge for someone who cannot go outside or is at risk for skin cancer. There are foods that have vitamin D. Fish, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and certain cereals contain sources of vitamin D. Exercise and a balanced diet can prevent many chronic illnesses.
There is a notion that muscle for women is not healthy. Women building muscle is actually beneficial to health. Women’s life expectancy and life span tends to be longer than men’s which is why it is important to maintain a stable health condition. Too many people reach advanced age and are suffering from chronic illness. Women will be disproportionately effected. There is however a positive element. Strength training can reverse bone and muscle loss . Brian Maher’s fitness advice is correct , yet there were some errors . Increased muscle definition is does not have physical health benefits. Psychologically, it can make a woman feel more confident about her body. Many women have difficulties with body image and often women who weight train state it helps them overcome that. Muscle does not weight more than fat and bulky muscle does not exist. Women are constantly admonished that they “will not bulk up.” They can gain muscle,but this should not be viewed with negativity. Muscles do not hinder the female frame. Beauty is a relative concept and varies from culture to culture. The point should be improving ones health,not just solely about aesthetics. Philly Personal Training requires that its employees must have a bachelor’s degree in an exercise related field rather than just a certification. It just seems egregious that the owner of the business still makes errors in disseminating fitness knowledge. Despite this, what is known that muscle gain can contribute to managing weight, retaining bone mass, and the prevention of disease.
Cartooning,caricature , animation, and drawing are art forms. There has been a concern that there is not enough body diversity in animation or cartooning. The problem seems to be related to body image conformity and sex bias in media representation. This may not always be the case. Some cartoonists and animators may not know how to approach certain body types because they have been drawing in the same manner for so long. There are drawing guides and model sheets,but doing a new style can always be a challenge. Drawing the muscular woman takes a level of finesse. A general guideline can be designed for artists who want to draw the muscular woman in the right way. The thin hour glass figure has been used so long it is difficult to gravitate away from it. With simple instruction an animator,cartoonist, and artist can present various female bodies. Some of the rules still apply from basic drawing with slight changes in character design. The most important element is to expand one’s imagination when creating characters. Drawing a realistic rendition or cartoon requires set of directions.
Understanding the basics of the human body is critical for drawing. This is even helpful with more cartoon like art. The human body consists of the head, neck, torso, arms, legs, and the thorax. There are fingers attached to the hands and toes that are with the feet. Hair can come in various styles, texture, and general shape. The head contains the nose, eyes,and ears. There is also the mouth which contains 32 permanent teeth. Women have breasts and a wider pelvis giving a distinct look related to sexual dimorphism. Height and somatotype can differ among individuals. The attributes listed are the most basic elements of human anatomy. The body structure is simple to identify,but drawing it can be an arduous task. The best method is a simple one. When drawing a human figure, think of it in terms of shapes and proportion. Objects have shapes and the human body does too. The thorax of the body can resemble different shapes depending on body type.
When drawing proportions of the body are also essential. The limbs and body itself have different lengths as well as ratios. The arms can reach as far as the knees and the neck has a certain length. The eyes are a certain size, however they can be adjusted for drawing cartoons or caricatures. The face projects emotion through the position of the eyebrows. The basics of human body structure can be applied to both realistic renditions, caricatures, or cartoons. For a person attempting to draw, starting with an object that is not so complex and gradually moving to more complicated subjects is the best technique. Drawing chairs, fruit, or a general still life representation would be the best for beginners. The process of learning this skill takes considerable amount of time and practice.
One should also be able to distinguish between realistic renditions and more cartoon based works. The realistic renditions of drawing attempt to capture shadow and anatomical structure. They can be reproduced images or content that is original. The idea is to make the drawing as close to what is in reality presented. Cartoons and caricatures function on extreme exaggeration. Realistic renditions do not use exaggeration of features or anatomy. It is preferable to be well versed in both a cartoon like and realistic rendition. Trying something different can help a person grow as an artist. The art below depicts Nikki Fuller and Lenda Murray at the top. Notice these images are based off photographs and their likeness. Anyone familiar with these individuals can easily recognize them considering how life like the renditions are. The image below by David C. Matthews and the other by a Deviant Art contributor are not real individuals, but look like they could be.
The realistic renditions can be based off a person or an original creation. Online artists have produced characters in a more realistic rendition that are not based on individuals, but seem just as real in terms of morphic proportions and anatomy. Cartoons and caricatures are the opposite. The basic anatomy structure is still present, yet certain features are are highly exaggerated. Large eyes or for figures are a common form of cartooning character design. The caricature is nothing more than a cartoon version of an actual person. The point is not to make it so it imitates a photograph through drawing rather a representation as an animated cartoon character. The idea is to produce a comedic effect rather than an actual depiction of reality. Noses can be bigger or smaller than what a real person’s would look like. Fingers could be four or five depending on the decision of the cartoonist. Four fingers may from a perspective of animating could be more efficient than drawing five in numerous frames. Even a minute of hand drawn animation can take multiple drawings. Head shape and limbs are often drawn in a manner that would not appear on a real person. Some characters may not have shoulders or necks in their design. The realistic renditions are bound by anatomy and biology. The cartoon or caricature can ignore biomedical facts or physics in general. The cartoon offers a greater range of visual style.
Artists can vary in terms of style. This means a character can fall in various size and shape ranges. There are certain drawing styles that have become very recognizable. Anime has become an international phenomenon. This style of drawing is unique in terms of body proportions and facial expressions of its characters. Western animation and drawing can be at times more goofy looking or be an imitator of other styles. Realistic renditions can also appear in cartoons. That is rare, because the character design may be more so for comedic effect or the taste of cartoonists or animators. The depictions of muscular women can either emphasize the biceps, triceps, abdominal muscles, or legs. Another tendency is to depict muscular people of both sexes with large upper bodies and small legs. Other designs have a more balanced look between both sections of the body.
When looking at animations and drawings there is a certain level of muscularity. Some characters can be the size of a female bodybuilder or figure competitor. Others may have some lines drawn to show a certain level of definition. Then there are artists who go to the exaggerated levels imitating giantess art. A woman’s musculature would be larger than what could be humanly possible. Artists do have various tastes and it depends on what style you like the best. Always experiment with techniques and styles to gain a real mastery of drawing. Developing your own unique drawing style will take time. Every artist started somewhere; they did not become skilled overnight. Some character designs can be more complex,but their is one unifying factor. When drawing humans, the basic anatomy still applies. More liberties are taken with funny animals or mythical creatures. Sometimes its best to draw items before moving on to people. Style comes from years of practice. Character designs can change over time for a single cartoon character.
Approaches can vary, yet some are better than others. One way muscular women should not be drawn is similar to the male physique. The female body has wider hips and in comparison narrower shoulders. Women can have strong looking upper bodies, yet males have broader shoulders. The male body tends to be block like compared to the curvature or hour glass figure women have. These differences in body shape may seem minor,but one error can cause problems. Drawing muscular women the wrong way only gives the appearance of a male character with long hair. This has been done with the brawn hilda trope and at the other extreme amazonian beauty. It is important that one creates characters that beak away from the common stereotypes and tropes that are ubiquitous in all forms of media. The choice is still up to the artist to how they want their work presented. Sometimes the hyper exaggerated artwork can be a delight if done correctly.
The She Hulk rendition above works mainly because it is what you expect from such a character. What can be seen is the basic female anatomy still as the base. The hips and waist are still a certain size that is not similar to a male character. Marvel comics has recently given She-Hulk a different design bigger than what she has been before. Fan art renditions and Marvel’s official art demonstrate how to experiment with a different style and character design. The question remains how much muscle should be added. The answer can be however much you want to. It can be small amounts or large amounts. Aesthetics and preferences vary it all depends on what you are happy with presenting in terms of aesthetics. The most important part is to not be afraid to make your female character look physically strong. Remembering proper approach and technique can help you draw muscular women the right way.
Following the basic steps can help a person improve as an artist. Sketching an image and breaking it down into shapes is the fist step. Use a pencil and do not be afraid to erase mistakes. Once the basic outline is done then the pencil image can either be inked or colored. Keep in mind before starting that the body has a basic anatomy structure. It is important not only to get drawing texts, but anatomy books as well. The best artists have an understanding of anatomy, which aids them in the depiction of it. This technique is useful for more realistic renditions. It can also contribute to cartooning and caricature. What better way to exaggerate or do artistic hyperbole than to understanding what is anatomically real and warp it. The art of caricature is designed to warp a person’s features so much through artistic rendition, that they almost become a cartoon character. Cartooning and animating is rich boundless imagination. Whatever can be thought of can be drawn on paper. There are limited guides to drawing women with different body types,but these steps. can be a general introduction for artists attempting to do so.
Some really good news has come to the fitness world. The Ms.Olympia is coming back having been absent since 2014. Fitness Volt also made the announcement that the Olympia was returning with the open division for women’s bodybuilding. Jake Wood has to be thanked for his efforts in keeping the sport alive. Lenda Murray has also been an active promoter of shows even when the IFBB was lacking. However, Fitness Volt’s assessments should be questioned : “Now, the Women’s Open division was a controversial one since being dropped from Olympia weekend back in 2014.” The only thing that is really controversial is how people react to a highly developed female physique. There remains people who reject the idea of women being strong or looking a certain way. This subtle sexism becomes so obvious when discussing women competing and their muscular physiques. Fitness Volt then claims “And there just wasn’t enough interest behind it to justify keeping the division in the lineup.” That is not entirely accurate. Longtime and hardcore fans were devastated to hear that the Ms.Olympia was cancelled. There was still enthusiasm by supportive fans,but they were ignored by the IFBB. From 2014 to 2019, there were still small numbers of female bodybuilding contests and the Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix was filling the void. Hopefully, enough promotion and internet exposure will take the Ms.Olympia to new heights. It will be no surprise to see some of the former Ms.Olympia champions attend as audience members.
Women are getting more involved in sports and fitness than ever before. Yet, information has not caught up with the amount of women seeking training advice. Most are getting it from either fitness magazines or the internet. Sources of information are not entirely reliable or truthful. What This article attempts to do is give a basic introduction to what women can do to increase their physical strength and muscle mass gain. So many advertisements and commercials market weight loss to women as a healthy activity. However, making yourself as thin as possible is not healthy. It could lead to body dysmorphia or other psychological body image issues. Instead building strength and muscle mass can be better for women’s health. There are both mental and physical benefits,but there are certain questions and myths that remain. The first myth is that the female body is not designed for strength. Women’s bodies do respond to training stimuli. Another incorrect falsehood is that women make terrible athletes. Looking at the competitors in various fields women do demonstrate skills and strength just like their male counterparts. The questions arise are : how should a woman train to be stronger than the average man ? How do you start ? Can a woman even be stronger than a man ? Are there other training methods that do not require a gym or exercise equipment? These are questions that can be answered with exercise physiology and anatomy.
If a woman is attempting to train to be stronger than the average man, there are specific steps that need to be taken. The average woman has lower amounts of natural strength, but through training this can be increased. It is not biologically impossible for women to either reach the same level of strength of an average man or more with a certain diet and consistent training regimen. Olympic weightlifters, crossfit athletes,and bodybuilders clearly surpass the average man in strength. Body shape does not determine physical fitness capacity, rather somatotype. These classifications are more general and some people could possibly be classified as both. There are three somatotypes which include endomorphs, ectomorphs, and mesomorphs.Some people may not be overweight or thin rather an inbetween. Bigger muscles do not always equate to more strength. Bodybuilders have more muscle than Olympic weightlifters or crossfit athletes ,but may not be able to lift as much weight. This is the difference between training for aesthetics and strength. One is about appearance,while the other seeks to increase elements of physical fitness capacity.
Women can vary in their physiological capabilities. The elements of physical fitness include muscular strength. cardiovascular capacity. speed,flexibility, endurance and power. Athletic performance involves the musculoskeletal , respiratory , circulatory nervous , and endocrine system . All of the organ systems work together to produce a certain level of performance. Depending on what sport a person is competing in,some areas of fitness are more important than others. If a woman is attempting to gain strength she must lift weights and build type II muscle fiber. Running on a cardio machine would not result in a woman becoming physically stronger. It could improve cardiovascular fitness. Ideally, it would be best to have high capacities in all areas of physical fitness. A woman’s body can change due to stimuli from weightlifting. Deadlifts provide an answer of what a woman could do to attain equal or higher strength than an average man. The male novice weightlifter can lift close to 133% of their body weight. The novice female lifter can reach 101% of their body weight in terms of lifts. This is based off the information of Dr. Lon Kilgore from Practical Program For Strength Training.
The Rating System of Lifts According to Dr.Kilgore
Decent – 315 lbs or 1.5x bodyweight
Good – 405 lbs or 2x bodyweight
Great – 495 or 2.75x bodyweight
Decent – 115 lbs or 1x bodyweight
Good – 185 lbs or 1.5x bodyweight
Great – 225 or 2x bodyweight
The women who weigh between the 125 to 175 pound range lift more than the novice males or have an equivalent level of strength. Yet,the largest women cannot lift as much as the biggest men. Two factors explain this. Endocrine function allows men to produce more free testosterone. The majority of this sex hormone is bounded. Then their is height and body size. Men on average are bigger and taller than women. A bigger skeleton means more support for more muscle mass. Sections of the body also show differences in strength. Men have greater upper body strength and women are closer to men in the lower body. Seeing as body composition is different it means that men will gain strength and muscle faster than women under a training regimen. The rate of muscular gains depends on body composition, somatotype, and genetics prior to training.
Women can gain strength to be stronger than the average man, but it is immense compared to men of lower fitness levels. Overweight and thin men may not be able to generate the same amount of physical strength compared to a physically strong woman. While basic physics dictates that larger mass when accelerating generates more force ( F=MA) from a study of functional fitness added fat mass does not contribute to strength. Type II muscle fibers are important for explosive power. The amount present in the body can determine just how much strength can be generated. Men who are smaller or thinner can be stronger than a woman of similar body type, but have minimal strength in comparison to women of built body types. Men are on average stronger than women, but this does not mean every single man is stronger than women. Height and size can vary depending on nutrition and genetics. Age can also effect strength levels. A child still developing will not have the same level of strength as a full grown adult. Babies have more bones,but as time progresses certain bones will fuse. When the process is over the human body will have a total of 206 bones. Boys and girls have the same strength level until puberty.
When sex hormones are developing in a child’s body this will have an effect on the muscular and skeletal system. Boys gain a strength spurt in which muscles and bones become bigger . Around age 20 the chest and shoulders are done broadening. Muscle fibers do not increase in total number rather they just gain length and width . Heart and lung size increase enabling higher aerobic a capacity. Hemoglobin increases in the male body, which is required to deliver oxygen to the muscles during exercise. Girls do not gain a strength spurt or significant increase in physical fitness a capacity from puberty. This means that a woman has to train harder to reach a certain fitness level. It can be done, but it requires doing the right exercises and knowing where to start.
Starting out could be the most difficult part. It can be made easier by determining what the fitness goal or objective is. Here it is building physical strength. Prior to any new exercise regimen it is important to determine your personal health condition. Always consult with your doctor and schedule a general physical before embarking on a dedicated fitness program. Building a strong core is helpful to overall body strength. However, any type of exercise is not going to build physical strength. Yoga may be useful at improving flexibility,yet it would not be as efficient as lifting weights to gain strength. The suggestion of starting off with yoga would not be useful. There still is the benefit of getting some physical activity. Pilates and cardio are still good for burning calories. Yet, they do not increase strength dramatically in comparison. If strength is the only goal rather than endurance or other aspects of fitness, one should start lifting lighter weights and gradually increase it to induce muscular hypertrophy.
Yoga and Pilates would not be the best plan for starting a goal of building brute strength. Yoga and Pilates can build core strength to a degree. Single arm dumbell presses or plank exercises can be effective. The weakest area of a woman’s body would be the upper section. If the intent is to get strong as the average man this would be the area to focus on. Women will have less trouble building lower body strength. The muscles of the upper body include the biceps, triceps, pectoralis major, the trapezius, Rhomboids, deltoids, latissimus dorsi, obliquus, sternocleidomastoideus, and serratus. These muscles are more pronounced in the average man. Strength gains in this region of the body for women should be an objective in a weight training program. Theoretically doing the approach of building the strength of the core then moving on to arms and legs seems logical. Your limbs are attached to the thorax. Just like a house it needs a solid foundation to stand. Starting off with yoga and pilates may not be efficient from a perspective of exercise physiology.
If women are going to gain strength, weightlifting is the best method. The exercise program must be followed with consistency. Working out one week and then skipping another week. Strength levels can be depleted with inconsistent training. There is a myth that if you stop exercising muscle turn to fat. The body composition does not change,muscle merely atrophy. The effect could be more dramatic on a woman’s body seeing as their is less muscle mass in their bodies. Changes will occur from exercise, but building muscle is a long process. It is possible for people to do it at different rates. Often people get discouraged when they do not see results immediately. The athletes seen on television and on printed media have trained years to attain a certain physique. Coaching and access to personal trainers makes a world of difference in terms of sports performance. The one important factor that is often forgotten is diet and nutrition. The type of food consumed helps with the building of muscle. Women will have to consume enough to maintain significant mass. The diet plan must also be adjusted to women’s metabolism. The majority of food women consume can be converted into subcutaneous fat tissue. Endocrinology explains why it is harder for women to lose weight. However if activity level and caloric intake are high enough women can build muscle. That muscle will enable the burning of fat. A diet must have enough protein with assorted vegetables. Remarkably there are certain vegetables that do contain protein. Carbohydrates and fats should also be a part of a muscle building diet. Timing of meals is also pivotal. Skipping meals will only hinder progress and alter metabolism. For a woman to increase mass an estimated 700 calories should be consumed per day to see significant changes. Estrogen may have an important role in the recovery of muscle from exercise. Studies have suggested this and testosterone is not the only hormone involved in muscular growth.
Insulin like growth factor, growth hormone, and cortisol are hormones that are involved in muscular hypertrophy. What can be established is that there needs to be a clear understanding of hormones and the role of nutrition in building strength. Consulting with a nutritionist or personal trainer about diet is essential. This is omitted in the post. If a woman wants to dramatically become the strongest she can be, training must be tailored to her biological and individual physiology. What is known that being female does not limit athletic potential or progress. The challenge is that exercise physiology has yet to serious study what are the best training and diet methods for women.
Knowing the basics of training, biology, physiology, and diet the answer of whether a woman can be as strong as a man can be answered. There has to be a proper measure of strength. Arm wrestling would not give a precise measure. Some people may be able to arm wrestle a bigger person and win by technique. Grip strength is not the best either in terms of functional fitness. Going off of weightlifting data gives a clear estimation. Then it depends on the man and woman that are being compared. If an average man is compared to a really fit woman her strength and either equal to or more than his. As stated in the post ” another important point is not all men are strong.” Males of ectomorphic body types would not be able to compete with a strong woman. Strong women in this case would be stronger than men. Yet, women cannot compete with men of the highest physical fitness level. Training does not negate sexual dimorphism. This statement can be debated in terms of scientific accuracy : “size is more important when it comes to physical strength rather than genetic makeup.” How tall a person grows depends on their genetics and environment. Women are on average smaller than men, which is related to humanity’s biological evolution. Although compared to early hominids homo sapiens sexual dimorphism decreased in relation to size, it still remains a trait that was passed down through natural selection. Millions of years of physical and biological change can happen, but it should be noted that sexual dimorphism is flexible. There are women in sports who can overlap with their male counterparts performance.
The SRY gene dictates many male attributes. What this gene does is provide instructions on producing the sex determining region Y protein. The sex determining protein is involved in male development. The SRY gene is located on the Y chromosome. The protein plays a role in the development of male gonads knows as the testes. The testicles produce more testosterone compared to women’s ovaries, which explains the dramatic changes in body strength during puberty. The reason for the difference in sex hormone levels is that men need produce enough sperm to fertilize an eggs for sexual reproduction. Sex hormone levels do vary among the human sexes. Testosterone is responsible for healthy sexual function in both men and women. Women could produce higher testosterone levels,but not enough to gain secondary male sex characteristics. The science of sports performance and the factors that determine physical strength are more complicated than previously thought.
The role of myostatin also determines level of muscular gain. The MTSN gene present in both men and women provides directions for producing myostatin. This protein is classified as growth factor beta superfamiliy. These proteins must regulate the growth and stages of development of tissues in the human body. Myostatin can be found in the skeletal muscle. This protein regulates muscle growth. People with low levels of the protein can have a greater potential for muscular growth. It is no surprise when considering these factors that there are women who can equal or exceed many men in terms of physical strength. Two statements need to readjusted to present an accurate picture of biology. There is the claim “many studies have found that the difference in genetic makeup isn’t as drastic as we think when it comes to muscular strength.” Genetics is an essential factor and there have been discoveries that there are a set of genes for physical strength. Genes ACTG I, PEX 14, TGFA, and STY1 . ACTG 1 all contribute to muscle function. The nervous system also is important to physical strength in relation to neuromuscular efficiency. Motor neurons must communicate with the muscle to produce movement. PEX 14, TGFA, and STY1 are genes that are involved in the communication between the muscle cells and nervous system. The conclusion stated ” the science simply states that more men grow muscle easily rather than the amount of women that grow muscle easily. ” Men and women who train with weights go not see the equivalent amount of muscular hypertrophy. Men get stronger because sexual dimorphism allows it. The simplistic analysis is that men are strong and women are weak. Biology and genetics demonstrate that is not true. Strength levels can be classified on a power scale. The ectomporphic women would not be as strong as the ectomorphic men. The most muscular woman would not have the same strength as the strongest man. However, her strength would exceed that of an ectomorphic or average man. The broad spectrum also exposes levels of overlap. It is a biological and physiological possibility that a woman can be as strong as a man.
A question was posed how to get physically stronger without access to a gym. A task like that would be a challenge. There are some suggestions that may not be as productive or at best unverified in terms of effectiveness. Exercising outside a gym can still improve fitness level. Running it is suggested. There are some limitations to this. Running or cardio has been seen as counterproductive to gaining brute strength. One solution to building strength in the legs is to run up hills. This would be working muscles of the gluteus maximus as well. Sprinters do have more type II muscle fibers compared to the more endurance based marathon runners. The theory does have merit, yet the problem is that it may not significantly increase upper body strength.
If it has been determined this is women’s weakest body area that should be the focus. Running may only result in a woman gaining more strength in the lower body. This naturally comes easier for women in comparison to the upper body. Running does have benefits in terms of cardiovascular health. There may be possible injuries related to joints if it is not done in a safe manner. Improvement of endurance can happen if running distance is increased and done with less intensity. Running does not require a large training area. It can be done on sidewalks, parks, or around a neighborhood. Public workout equipment can be found in parks, playgrounds. and recreational public areas. Parks sometimes have outdoor fitness equipment depending on where a person lives. Playgrounds are designed for children considering most of the structures are smaller. This is a good way to get children physically active. This can also be an opportunity for parents to also get their exercise in while spending time with their children. Women often cite family responsibilities as a reason for not engaging in physical activity. Taking your children to the park or playground can be a way to get your exercise requirements in. The public workout equipment also can be found on some running trails. These machines are not as advanced as the ones seem in gyms, but they can still be of use. As long as the muscle is being challenged enough it will respond to stimuli.
These are some options if a gym membership is not reasonable in price. The limitation is that there are not machines designed specifically for a body part. Weights of various sizes can be bought and used in a home. Some even decide to build a home gym. That requires much effort and income to build. Apartment buildings may have gyms, which could be a simple solution. It will be harder to build muscle without certain equipment to achieve the goal of reaching higher physical strength levels. The biggest debate is the question of weights versus exercise machines. No clear answer has been given on which one is better to use for building muscle. The only way to know for sure would be to conduct a experiment. Have three groups that will undergo training. One group will use only exercise machines, while the other uses free weights. Another group will preform both. The results will then show which group got stronger and made significant gains. The experiment should last for about two months to get an idea about significant changes in the body. The general consensus seems to be both free weights and machines can be used to improve physical fitness level. Running can improve certain areas of fitness, yet may not be as efficient in enhancing physical strength.
Having a busy schedule or just not liking the atmosphere of a gym working out at home can be an alternative. The at home workout videos have given way to online videos that are simple to understand and follow. The problem is a large portion of fitness for women focuses solely on weight loss, rather than increasing physical fitness capacity. Women make mistakes thinking that cardio or just changing your diet without exercise can fight weight gain. Diet and exercise must be done to maintain healthy weight. Eating less is not healthy for the body. That only causes an abnormal change in metabolism. Caloric intake must be adjusted to the amount of exercise and required energy. Resistance bands can provide enough exertion to a degree, but it is not the same as a weight. The resistance band would be more useful than the stationary bike. Cardio may burn more calories, but weightlifting enables excess body mass to remain off.
Resistance equipment can be found in sports stores or bought online. Using a stationary bike would not create the brute strength of a crossfitter or the muscle mass of a bodybuilder. This can be more helpful to building some cardiovascular endurance. Having access to a kettle bell at home could be a way to build strength in the arms and shoulders. That type of exercise equipment could be more effective than a mere resistance band. The personal parachute kit may have some advantages in building up muscular endurance if used in a certain way. What can also be done in a home workout can be push-ups and burpees. Oddly enough, sit-ups were not mentioned in the text. That is a simple exercise that does not require equipment or a gym. The problem is that you may need a person to hold your legs while doing sit-ups to ensure proper form. Safety should also be considered when doing exercise at home, in a gym, or public park. Doing an exercise incorrectly or too much physical exertion could be a threat to health. Rhabdomyolysis can occur due to injury of the muscular tissue. That damage can cause proteins to be unleashed from the muscle tissue becoming a direct threat to the kidneys. This is an extreme case of overtraining , but it also reveals one important part about improving fitness. Rest and recovery is essential for the muscles to grow stronger. That also applies to a person who exercises at home. A woman solely working out at home with just a few pieces of exercise equipment may not reach her full strength potential.
Women if they train hard enough can reach the physical strength level of an average man. Yet this depends on the men and women being compared. Women who are naturally thinner will struggle to add muscular mass the most. Seeing as the thinnest man still has more muscle mass composition compared to a woman of similar physicality his natural strength would be higher. Endomorphic body types have a more complicated time losing weight, so this requires a special examination of nutrition and diet. High sugar foods and empty calories should be avoided to ensure that excessive weight gain is avoided. Eating the right amount not less while being active can control body composition. Highly trained women can be stronger than untrained average men depending on size. It was mentioned that fitness and strength can look different. The misconception is that is solely the people with the biggest muscles. Big muscles do not automatically mean more strength. The critical element is the distribution of the muscle fibers and the interaction of the nervous system. Knowing this, it can be said that women certainly are not the weaker sex. However, it is rare that the strongest woman is stronger than the strongest man. The small cases of overlap can be explained by a person’s individual fitness capacity rather than their sex. Genetics, training method, diet, nutrition and the amount of physical strength prior to training demonstrate why some get stronger than others. There are options for how women can get physically strong. Gyms, outdoor exercise equipment, or exercising at home are choices. If a woman wants immense amounts of brute strength a gym would probably be the best option considering it has a wide range of machines and free weights. Outdoor exercise equipment and working out at home can still improve and maintain health. Strength gains may not be enough to be strong as or stronger than an average man. Biological sex is not a limitation,yet it means women must have a training program tailored to their physiological attributes.
Toni Harris wants to become the NFL’s first female football player. The young athlete did get a football scholarship, which few women in the United States have done. Toni Harris is the first woman to receive a full collage football scholarship. She made an appearance on CNN explaining her love of the sport and her desire to compete. Harris was also featured in a Superbowl ad. There seems to be a common notion that women do not like football or they would not be willing to play it. Toni Harris states in the interview at times it can be overwhelming, but also there is an element of excitement. Her teammates are very supportive of endeavors. The question remains if she can actually make it on an NFL team. Standing at 5 ft 7 in and weighing 164 lbs its not like she is a small woman. Even if she does not make a professional football team, it is wonderful that women are being more involved in the sport as athletes and fans.