Spot Me Girl : Six Scientific Reasons Why Women Should Lift Heavy

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Read the Original Article Here

Weight training can be good for women’s health. This has been confirmed in exercise science studies and Spot Me Girl produced an article stating the scientific reasons women should lift heavy. Reading the title anyone who has a basic understanding of science can see the problem. Some people believe by adding the term scientific, it makes a claim more credible or truthful. The fact is science is more of a long term investigation. The only people who use the phase “it’s scientific” have no understanding of the discipline. Part of the problem is that public education lacks good science curriculum. The general public has a limited understanding of it. When discussing the complexities of the human body people are even more uninformed. This partly explains why certain myths about fitness and biomedical science continue. Women’s bodies are subject to either lore, falsehoods, or some form of  medical pseudoscience. Women’s physical capabilities are either underestimated or considered biological anomalies. Women gaining strength and muscle mass is not a physiological  abnormality. It can be scientifically proven that lifting weights can be a benefit to women’s health. Strengthening bones and muscles prevents certain disease. Lifting heavy can be a form of weight management. However, certain claims can be debated. Science is about using a particular technique to understand particular phenomena.

            The scientific method is a means of uncovering facts or explaining the natural world . The process involves several steps. A hypothesis is a proposal for a possible explanation for  a question posed. The hypothesis relevant to discussion is lifting heavy can be good for women’s health. The hypothesis must meet conditions prior to an experiment. The hypothesis must be testable, compatible with other verified hypothesis, and  have simplicity. The misconception is that science seeks to be complicated, yet the desire is to give a basic explanation of the natural world. Having a quality hypothesis enable experimentation. The proposed experiment would have women to work out with weights for a period of time and document the changes in their body. Muscle mass gains would be measured. An experiment must meet a requirement for duplication. Otherwise, claims made by the hypothesis could be put into doubt. Experiments can be classified as controlled, natural, and field. Controlled experiment have an independent variable which is the effected or altered factor from testing. Weights in  our mock experiment would be the independent variable. The dependent variable is the factor that is measured. The level muscular hypertrophy women experience would be the dependent variable. The natural experiment put an emphasis on observation. Field experiments are done outside a laboratory.

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Weightlifting is an example of training for strength.
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Bodybuilding involves training for aesthetics.
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Exercise causes a response from the human body.

Observation has certain limitations. There are things that the human senses cannot detect. Subatomic particles , microscopic organisms, and particular waves of electromagnetic radiation escape human detection with technology.  Pure science was based mostly on observation, but  by the time of the Age of Reason the scientific method developed as a way of validating facts. Observation still is important to science,because it provides a description of the natural world. After data is collected, then a conclusion can be made. Possible limitations of the experiment should be considered and factors that effected the outcome. If the process can be reproduced, then it could be considered scientific fact rather than theory. Scientists do not seek complex explanations rather a comprehensible descriptions of the the natural world.

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The scientific method involves a hypothesis, experimentation, observation, and the collection of data. When that is done a conclusion can be made.
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The human body contains cells and organ systems. Looking at a person we would not be able to see every cell in their body.
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Building strength and muscle can have benefits.

The term “scientific” is thrown around so much that people do not understand its meaning. This also explains why people are more willing to accept false information. Using terms or claims that sound credible can make it simple to manipulate the credulous. There are many myths about women can exercise that people still believe. Spot Me Girl is not immune from these myths.

       The concept of toning the body is incorrect. There is no such thing as toned or bulky muscle. The only purpose these were serve is to describe aesthetics. Women can build muscle , but the amount depends on certain factors. Body type and skeletal structure can vary among women. The relation between the MTSN gene and myostatin regulation also plays a significant role in muscular hypertrophy. Spot Me Girl states ” contrary to popular belief , lifting weights do not make women bulky it firms and tightens muscles. ” The process of weightlifting will not make a woman “bulky” but is possible they can get muscular . Sex hormone function is not the only factor in muscular mass gain from a training regimen.  Weightlifting does not shock the muscles rather it only causes micro-trauma. When adequate rest and recovery is done, then muscle fibers grow stronger. Spot Me Girl claims ” lifting heavy weight will shock your muscles and make them look leaner.” A shock to the muscles would be more like a tear or severe injury.  Another claim seems rather general : “females do not have enough testosterone to build significant muscle mass.” It’s not the total amount of testosterone that aids in protein synthesis, rather the amount of free testosterone in the body. Regardless of sex, mesomorphic body types have a greater ability to add muscle. The muscular women on a bodybuilding stage are not as large as one would assume. However their muscular mass in large in relation to there body frame. The weight of the women competing is lower than that of an average man.

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Compared to their male counterparts, they are smaller in terms of total muscle mass. The male bodybuilders can reach a weight as high as 200 lbs and over. The largest women have reached weight of 175 lbs. Lesa Lewis when competing weighed 165 lbs. The average weight of an American male 196.9 lbs. The argument about women being too huge or manly is a ludicrous one when examining body weight. Lifting does not tighten loose muscle either. Toning does not exist, rather the term is used in a gender based context rather than a scientific one. Women can build muscle, but it depends on the fitness goal and method used.

           It is correct that women’s bodies are capable of gaining strength. Victorian Age medicine believed that the female body was naturally frail and that rigorous physical activity was harmful to women’s health. This was accepted for a longtime and discredited. Load bearing exercise can protect women’s musculoskeletal health. Women have lower bone density and muscle mass. Overtime, muscle and bone mass decrease with age. The health risk of getting osteoporosis or sacropenia increases with age. Lifting weights can be a good method of prevention. It may also be an effective form of body weight control.

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Physical activity is good for health. Being too sedentary could lead to chronic illness. So far the information gathered about women and weightlifting is that muscle mass gain can have health benefits. Building bone mass and strength in the earlier part of life may enable a person who reaches advanced age to have more independence. The increased likelihood of falls which may result in bone fractures can be a concern with the loss of balance. Spot Me Girl only briefly mentions the psychological benefit expressing ” getting stronger by pumping iron can help you in other aspects of life as well.” Women notice they feel more confident, which can be positive for mental health. Daily tasks such as moving objects, doing chores, or anything that requires some physical activity becomes easier. It also reduces women’s dependency on men to extent. Too many women ask men to move something heavy for them or do a task that is physical. Even something as basic as opening a jar women should be able to do in the new age of woman power that appears in public consciousness. It may be just that women do not want to do such physical tasks because they choose not to or chivalry still remains. The only way for true gender equality to be a reality is if women also really understand what it means by equal treatment. That means in this case women should be able to do their own heavy lifting. Strength training is important to women’s health, but medical literature is not sufficient. However, it is clear that load bearing exercise can protect women from chronic illness.

          The claim weight training can improve body structure as a scientific fact seems questionable. This seems to be more of a discussion of aesthetics. The statement itself assumes that a person has a “bad” body structure or a “good” body structure. The morphology of human beings is the same. A person has a head, neck, thorax, abdomen, arms, and legs. There is a variation in somatotype. Some can be ectomorphic, endomorphic, or mesomorphic in body structure. Having a different body structure is not a disadvantage as one might assume. It means approach will have to be altered. Endomorphs will have to be careful about their caloric intake, while adjusting the amount of exercise. Ectomorphs need more caloric with enough training as well as rest to gain more size. Anyone can see improvement in their physical fitness. The total  physical fitness capacity depends on genetics, diet, sex, somatotype, and the training regimen.

tumblr_p4fhsfPITQ1vjlsfvo1_1280.jpg 494fa3592492363denise and susanWhile morphology does not radical change from exercise, the shape of it can.  The human body can be made to look different through weight training. Aesthetics in terms of strength sports really does not have a scientific basis to it. The only argument for that would be symmetry. Symmetry is not only aesthetic to strength sports, but it describes a property amount objects of the known universe and also at the subatomic level. People like symmetry because it is pleasing to the eye. This stated fact is not really a truth rather an expression of  a perspective. Spot Me Girl is correct in relation to the concept of bodybuilding molding the human body like clay. The term body sculpting has also been used to describe this process. What body sculpting refers to is core building or “toning ” exercise with the use of bands or dumbells. This is not different really that much different from bodybuilding, only that it is a way to make using weights more appealing to women. The truth is there is no such thing as “women’s” or “men’s” exercises. If the basic morphology is similar both sexes are capable of various exercises. Sexual dimorphism  can effect athletic performance. Women with weight training can enhance their shape.

       Muscle does have the ability to burn fat. The reason men find it easier to lose weight is due to body composition and androgen production in their bodies. Women have a higher fat percentage due to estrogen. This does not mean losing weight and keeping it off is impossible. If women use weight training to build more muscle more calories can be burned. Metabolism is key to understanding how the body absorbs food. When women  consume food it may convert most of it into fat storage. For most people the consumption of high sugar and fat diets can cause weight gain. Combined with limited physical activity this could put a person at risk for obesity or diabetes. Adjusting diet and physical activity can prevent this.

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Daily physical activity can improve health.
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Muscle has the ability to burn fat.
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Muscles do not turn into fat when you stop training. They atrophy from not being exercised.

It should be known  that if one stops training muscles do not turn into fat. The only way this could happen is if diet was changed. Muscles atrophy from not being used. It can be debated whether or not high intensity interval training  is effective at burn fat or building muscle to the greatest degree. There are numerous exercise fads that appear and vanish,but their claims never have underwent scientific testing. Using a treadmill it has been determined may not be the best way to burn enough calories. It does have the benefit of enhancing endurance, yet will do little for the increase in physical strength. Weight training can go far beyond building strength; it can be an effective tool for weight management.

   The question of weightlifting and posture has been explored very little. Spot Me Girl makes the statement that lifting can improve posture. The challenge with science is that it always has to verify and debate. The article makes a expresses a view with little evidence or support. To understand this problem there needs to be an understanding of what posture is. Posture can be described as ” the position in which we hold our bodies standing, sitting, or lying down.” Without it and our muscles the human body would not be able to hold itself up. Good posture is pivotal to health more than some realize. Back pain and possible strain or fatigue of muscles can occur due to improper posture. Alternations in posture can occur from sitting in a wrong position.

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An example of good posture and poor posture.
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The effect of weightlifting on posture is not completely known.
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Few who train in strength sports demonstrate poor posture.

The age of tablets and cellphones may have compromised neck and back health. Too much sitting for long periods also caused major health concerns.There are methods other than weight training that can improve posture. Do not slouch, because this can cause problems for the lower back. When using a phone do not spend long hours with your neck in the same position. Basic steps could improve posture. Exercise would not hurt considering the stronger the body the better. There still needs to be evidence that weight training can indisputably improves posture.

         Exercise can be a method of stress reduction. Current data shows that during physical activity endorphins are released. Endorphins are a group of hormones secreted from the brain and nervous system.The text incorrectly refers to them as “happy cells.” Their function varies depending on the physiological tasks. They are produced in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.Endorphins also have the ability to reduce pain and elevate mood. Some have speculated that low endorphins may have a link to depression. Studies did show that people who engaged in regular exercise did experience mood elevation from the increase of endorphins.

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Neurotransmitters are how brain cells communicate. Endorphins can be classified as neurotransmitters.
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There are numerous physiological responses to exercise. The nervous system responses is another unexplored territory of sports science.
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The chemical messengers in our brains have the ability to change our emotional states .

The stress is unavoidable. However, it is a person’s responses to stress that seems to be more of a problem. Overreaction to life’s minor issues can eventually take there toll on both mental and physical health. With more awareness about mental illness and loneliness there are some changes that can be made to reduce personal turmoil. Staying away from negative relationships, taking control of life, and not using bad advice from others may reduce stress to a degree. Stress that is induced from environment can be insuperable. Racism, warfare, economic instability, or the decay of society create an abnormal amount of stress on the population. These events are beyond an individuals control. Coping is only a passive way of  not solving a problem. Some challenges in life may not have a solution. Finding an enjoyable activity can allow a person to whether the burden of life. Disconnecting from digital media is fine, but being a way from people may cause distress. Sometimes working out with another person can be encouraging. Exercising can improve mood and reduce stress. The degree and how much exercise specifically is up for debate.

    The general public lacks a basic understanding of science. This is why when the word “scientific” is used people will easily believe a claim, even though it may not be true. The studies that come out by press release are not definite facts; it is a continuing investigation to reach a scientific law. There is still more to learn about astronomy , physics, mathematics, biology, and the human body itself. Relevant to sports science and medicine  it can be said based on experiments and studies that weight training  can be beneficial to women’s health. Training is not a male only affair and women who do it are not masculine. Sadly, this idea still remains yet women are challenging this incorrect assumption. Weightlifting can build bone and muscle. The reduction of excess fat will prevent obesity,diabetes, and heart disease. There are indications that being physically active can also aid cognitive health. Certainly there are more than six reason why women should lift weights.

Spot Me Girl : Six Scientific Reasons Why Women Should Lift Heavy

Medical Express : Workout Frequency The Most Important Factor in Strength Gains For Women

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Workout frequency the most important factor in strength gains for women

It has been established that women can make strength gains through weightlifting. The female body is capable of muscular hypertrophy. One factor that is essential to women’s strength gains is frequency.  The study was from the University of New   South Wales. The findings were published by Sports Medicine . The article was written by Amanda D. Hangstrom titled ” The Effect of Resistance Training in Women on Dynamic Strength and Muscular Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis.” This study was unique because it focused solely on female subjects reactions to resistance training. An exercise physiology or sports medicine study has never analyzed the effect of resistance training on women’s muscular strength and hypertrophy. The objective was stated as ” to systematically review the literature on female adaptations to RT, characterising the effect in terms of muscular strength and hypertrophy; (2) to distinguish the individual effects of intervention duration, frequency, and intensity on these adaptations via sub-analysis; (3) to draw evidence-based conclusions regarding training expectations in female populations.” The conclusion seems questionable. It is not a certain exercise that is done,rather how often it is done. The claim is that if a woman just exercises regularly she will gain strength. The strangest statement explains ” Surprisingly, specific details—such as the exercise they choose, the variety of exercises in each workout, the heaviness of the weights, whether they are supervised, and whether they lift until their bodies give out—don’t appear to have a major impact on overall strength or muscle mass growth.” Form what is known some of the new information can be disputed. Granted, this is the first study of its kind so further investigation may be required.

           The women in the study ranged from ages 18 to 50. The fitness levels among them varied, which could have effected the results. Certain women are going to react differently to exercise stimuli than others. The sample size consisted of 1000 women from 24 resistance training studies. The sample was decent enough in terms of amount, but it would have been better to know the specific fitness levels of women involved. There is a difference between an average woman and a woman of high physical fitness. Women who carry more muscular mass prior to training could see more gains compare to a woman of a slimmer body type. A woman with more experience with weights will clearly see different results from the experiment. Age could also effect the study. When people age, they naturally do lose a level of musculoskeletal mass. This process happens around the age of 30. The  age range of 45 to 50 group would be working with less muscle mass compared to the 18 to 40 demographic.

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The muscles of trained women have already adapted to the resistance training. Taking the weakest women and training them would allow to see how gradually effective resistance training can be. The subjects should be uniform in their fitness level to make it easier to decipher what factors could alter the results. Ectomorphic and mesomorphic body types respond differently to exercise. Otherwise the conclusion may not be as precise as required to become scientific fact. The images above show women of different  fitness levels above. The fit women and the women with no training are going to see changes from exercise stimuli. The extent of  physical strength and muscle mass gain depends on factors such as diet, genetics, body type, size, and training method.

         Experimental method is important to any scientific study. What was done by the University of New South Wales searched electronic databases  with studies related to women and resistance training. Random effects meta-analyses was utilized to determine the effect of resistance training on the female body. Following this univariate   analyses was employed to see the training related effects such as training volume and intensity. Meta-analysis refers to examining data from different studies and synthesizing a result from them. Although this is a term of statistics, the concept and its methods have been used in medicine as well as epidemiology.  Random effects meta-analysis refers to a statistical model estimates variance among data in studies.

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The amount of data is crucial. The experiment examined 14, 067 articles, yet only 24 studies were worthy enough to be included for meta-analysis. A total of 15 studies examined upper body strength and 19 focused on lower body strength. Muscular hypertrophy was mentioned in 15 studies. Once more, we see a limitation. Few women are used for exercise physiology studies, which explains the low number of 24 relevant articles. The majority of relevant studies has an emphasis on lower body strength. To have a full understanding the other muscles of the body should be examined as well. The reason their are more studies on women’s lower bodies is that traditional training the upper body was considered a male exercise. Seeing as the number of total article was immense, the study lasted a year and 4 weeks. If  another meta-analysis study were to be done, it would be more precise in the future. At least by that time more data focused on women would be available. The trim and fill method was used to account for publication bias. Smaller studies were excluded to produce a symmetrical plot. What happens after this step is then formulate a summery based on the larger studies. This explains why only 24 studies were used out the 14,067 others.

           After 15 weeks of training conclusions were made. The study reported ” Large-effect sizes were found for upper body strength (Hedges’ g = 1.70; p < 0.001) and lower body strength (Hedges’ g = 1.40; p < 0.001).” The trim and fill method was used and the upper body increase remained ( Hedges’ g = 1.07). The lower body (Hedges’ g = 0.52) and the total muscular hypertrophy (g = 0.52, p = 0.002)  was at medium effect. There could be several explanations for this. Women have less upper body strength, which explains why gain there from training were more significant compared to the lower body. Body size, myostatin levels, and endocrine function influence muscular hypertrophy. The study stated : ” Sub-analyses revealed that the moderating variables “training frequency” and “training volume” significantly influenced lower body muscular strength (p < 0.001). ” It was also revealed that few moderating variables did not show impact on muscular hypertrophy. Age was a factor with younger women showing more gains in the upper body. What was also noted was that ” a moderating effect was also observed where supervised training had a larger influence on the adaptation of lower body strength (p = 0.05) compared with unsupervised training.” The conclusion was that training volume and frequency are essential factor in the increase in muscular strength. Resistance training gives vast improvement in the muscular strength of women.

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To anyone following women’s sports or fitness, this is not a new revelation. The difference now is that there is scientific confirmation. Before, there was only simple observation by watching what women did with little information. More research must be done to understand how women’s response to exercise stimuli varies.

        It can be disputed which exercise, the variety, volume, and training to exhaustion effect muscular strength and hypertrophy. Sherry Landow makes the mistake of saying none of these factor matter. They do and making mistakes could be sabotaging fitness goals. The reason ten repetitions were used was to see a response to training. If enough is not done, muscle growth will not occur. Lifting only five pound dumbbells once a week will not cause major changes. The best it could do it provide general health maintenance. Lifting light weights at high repetition can build muscular endurance. Choosing heavier ones at lower repetition can cause an increase in strength. It would be theoretically possible to build some muscle with smaller weight, but this would take a longer amount of time. Regardless of training method    Dr. Mandy Hagstrom is correct expressing consistency is a factor. The women completed 10 repetitions three times a week ( over the span of 15 weeks). The result was that they gained 1.5 kg of muscle and a 25% increase in physical strength. However it is false when Dr. Hagstrom states ”   It doesn’t necessarily matter what you do when you’re in the gym, just that you’re there and exercise with effort.” Doing yoga, stationary bike, or using a treadmill is not going to build large amounts of strength. These exercises improve aerobic fitness and flexibility, but have little impact on muscular hypertrophy. Weights or other load bearing exercise must be incorporated. Many women exclude weights from their exercise routine. sports women

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Cycling On Exercise Bikes.

So if the goal is to gain strength or muscle resistance training is the best. The challenge is producing a set of guidelines. Dr.  Hagstrom expressed ” Our meta-analysis didn’t yield any specific guidelines for the number of exercises or repetitions to do, so the key message for women is to try to and accrue adequate overall exercise volume and train as frequently as possible.” It should also be noted with intense exercise, rest should be part of the training regimen. At least two days should be taken for a period of recovery to allow for muscle repair. Outside of exercise, diet require enough protein to fuel the muscle. Getting enough caloric intake is required to have enough energy for the body . Women response to resistance training is an emerging area of  focus as more women are getting active in strength sports.

          Women have the have muscles and bones like men, so it was thought that they respond in a similar manner. This assumption is wrong, because men and women differ in physiology and physical fitness capacity. Exercise physiology and sports medicine has not caught up in terms of studies that focus on female athletes. This is something that Dr. Mandy Hagstrom wants to reverse. There are sex based differences in muscle fiber size, fatigue levels, recovery times, and muscle perfusion. The difference in muscle perfusion is the most curious and fascinating. Perfusion refers to the passage of vitals fluids through the circulatory and lymphatic system to tissues of the body. Blood must get the the capillary bed in organ tissue. Women have smaller hearts, which may explain why there is a difference in muscle profusion.

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There is a bias in the scientific literature. The majority of studies do focus on men with assumption that strength sports are male only. Landow’s article even demonstrates bias unconsciously with this statement : ” while resistance training has historically been a male sport, there has also been a bias to publish literature about men. ” Women were using weights prior to the 21st century. Sports are not male or female; it is for everybody. Women were excluded from participation, but there were times in which athletic competition become available. Basketball and archery were sports women had access to. Professional weightlifting and bodybuilding competition did not exist for women in the early 20th century, however there were certain platforms that athletic women could display their talents. Strongwomen performed feats of strength in circuses, vaudeville houses, or simple street performance. While strongwomen of the 19th and early 20th century did gain some notoriety, they still did not have an arena for professional competition.  The change with the appearance of female bodybuilding in the 1970s and when women’s weightlifting was introduced to the Olympics in 2000. Women’s participation in sports has ancient roots. The Heraean Games were athletic competitions in Greek civilization. Women participated in footraces.

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Sexism and discrimination held women back from athletic competition and only recently have barriers been dismantled. Prejudice and biological sexism still remain. The idea that women should train differently than men may sound like a sexist concept. It is not simply because their are biological and physiological attributes that must be accounted for. Beyond sex, exercise programs may not work the same for every individual. This means men and women can have multiple responses to training. One method may not work for every person. The study found that only 39% of women were recognized in exercise science literature. This means the current data may not be as precise as some would want it. Resistance training studies seem to not focus on women as much as men. Dr. Mandy Hagstrom intends to further research seeing the specific physiological changes that women’s bodies undergo through long term, training regimens.  What is known is that resistance training does have immense benefits to health. Osteoporosis and sacropenia can be prevented through load bearing exercise. Dr. Hagstrom’s research could have wider applications beyond enhancing women’s sports performance. Training programs to help women pass physical fitness requirements in occupations such as the military, law enforcement, or firefighting can be designed from data.

Medical Express : Workout Frequency The Most Important Factor in Strength Gains For Women

Please Stop Praying At Sporting Events

Religion still remains a large part of people’s lives even in a highly technological and information based post-industrial society. There remains the debate on whether science and religion can coexist in a civilization. There are obvious extremes in the spectrum that can be seen in religious fanaticism and scientism. Blind devotion to a single ideology can be dangerous, if it suppresses critical thinking skills. Whatever belief system an individual adopts, it should be subject to rigorous analysis and criticism.  For the believers in a higher power, there is one practice that should be stopped. Praying at sporting events should not be done. The problem with this is that it merely makes faith seem nothing more than wish granting from an unseen genie. If one is going to make a plea for for an event to change, why do something out of a selfish motivation ? Organized religion survives in the modern world due to the fact it is a meme that is transferred from generation to generation. The discomfort of knowing at some point life will end makes some want to believe that their is immortality of the soul. People who suffer under extreme conditions like the idea that their is some God protecting them from harm. There is no evidence that such a force or creature exists. Faith is just the conviction that such a God exists without any factual basis. Prayer to the pious acts as a communication link. Athletes and fans that pray during sporting events almost take this act and cheapen its value.

          Athletes and fans tend to pray at sporting events with the hope that it will reverse their fortunes. The question remains why would God care about a sporting event ? It seems devoid of all logic. Why would an omnipotent and wise being care about a simple game. It would make less sense for such an entity to care about a regular person. Few people care about the ants  that they step on walking down a street. God and humanity can be compared in the same manner. The more power something has, the less it will care about a being below it.

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God has nothing to do with where you got in life. Too often people say they are “blessed” when when something positive happens to them. People can end up in various situations both good or bad, but divine intervention has nothing to do with it. An athlete praying for success or the strength to continue seems more comedic, when other factors are considered. Diligence, talent, support from family or friends are the keys to an athlete’s success. A good coach provide motivation and guidance, when stress or disillusionment can be fall an athlete. People rather thank some entity they have never sensed  than the people who moved them forward. Praying too much almost reduces its relevance. Praying over meals, celebrations, and before bed becomes  a ludicrous practice. There is nothing wrong with people having a religious belief system, but there is a point when it becomes excessive. The more dangerous cases result in extremist thought.

         Praying at a football or basketball game does not hurt anyone. Yet, religious fundamentalism is a serious threat to freedom and basic human rights. States that cling to religious law will not adhere to the rule of law. Fundamentalist religion seeks to impose one ideology on everyone and devalues other systems of thought. The Christian right in the United States attempts to undermine science and open debate of ideas. The reject human evolution, climate science, and women’s reproductive rights. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocracy in which one religion is law. Israel although it has democratic institutions is a theocracy in the sense that it is  a state for Jews only. The ethno-religious centrism of the Likud Party sees only Jews as citizens with Arabs, Somali, and Ethiopian   people in the state not be true citizens.  Islamism and Zionism are examples of the perils of fundamentalist religion. The Christian right in America are also on a crusade to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. The traditional academic theology is also under attack beaten down by extremist voices.

article-0-0257341100000578-258_468x286 Theology is a rich philosophical discipline. Over time as the major monotheistic religions became organized religion. Organized religion is designed to control a population and prevent a disturbance in the status quo. The establishment of the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation are cases in which organized religion was used to control the political affairs of states. Islam was used by the Ottoman Empire to keep subjects unified. Even in countries that are secular organized religion still has some influence over politics. The fact that appears in sports also show its hold over culture.

         When prayer is done it is assumed that it is a direct communication to God. Thinking critically, this poses a logical problem. There is no one who answers and believers say God only communicates indirectly. The claim is either there are miracles or possible supernatural forces ( angels).  Faith is not fact. Simply believing in idea does not make it true. It can be verified that certain animals exist. Microorganisms can be detected by microscopes. Subatomic particles can be detected by linacs and cyclotrons. God cannot be detected or proven to exist. The concept of faith would not be acceptable to people if someone said ” I have faith your operation will be successful” or  ” I have faith you will be paid for your work .” The answers people would want are either a definite yes or no. Obviously,  faith and logic cannot not coexist so people selectively use logic depending on the situation.

406368-bfdc47b7d77d641d3af6bcfd5e875fa6.png   Cognitive dissonance can be found in followers of religion. At a greater extreme some may be just contradictory or hypocritical. The closed minded either say the heathens, gentiles, or infidels are going to face eternal damnation for not following the right religion. If  God never told a person what the “right” religion was, then such a claim is ridiculous. Religious texts are not authored by supernatural forces; they were written by people.  There cannot be cases in which a person demands evidence and others not. Religion is not just something followed by the credulous. There still a large portion of the world population that follow multiple faiths.The reason why religion still remains in a world that become more technologically advanced is due to humanity’s fear of uncertainty and death.

         Uncertainty is something that most do not like. Many want to feel in control of their fate or destiny, but can be random. Life may not turn out the way one expects or misfortune can occur. Uncertainty only adds to fear. It can be potentially a pathway to a better life. The reality is that there are no simple answers to major questions of life and existence. This takes an immense amount of thought and introspection. The existentialist approach is that life is what you make it. Instead of seeking answers from a religious system or political ideology an individual charts their own course. The biggest uncertainty in life is the end of it. Death comes for all living things. Age, disease, and violence are how human beings reach their end. The idea of dying or simply no long existing bring fear to one’s thoughts.

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The religious believe that the soul can be immortal. A soul as it is described does not exist. There is a life force that is  driven by biological and physiological functions. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. The energy of the human body merely transfers back to the environment. Spirits and souls are not matter. When human beings die, their consciousness vanishes. The brain becomes inactive and with it it all the functions that make a person unique. Death is part of the natural process of biology. This is one thing that cannot be stopped. Immortality may not be a biological possibility. As far as it is known this could be beyond the powers of biomedical science and genetic engineering. Doing this would have unintended consequences. If  people lived forever healthcare systems could not cope, overpopulation would become an issue, and  the economy could not adjust. The fear of death is the reason that some cling to religion. Everyone fears  it. The idea that a worshiper can go to heaven or be granted a reward is comforting. The problem is that we only get one life and that is it. It should be lived to the fullest. Embrace uncertainty and learn to find purpose on your own terms. A person that prays for something to happen will never see change. A person must take action to take control of life.

       Religion should not be banned nor should praying. The only concern should be to question a belief system. It is very important to be critical of ones that you support. Religion is one of  the belief systems that thinks it should not be criticized. Praying at sporting events only cheapens the significance of a sacred ritual. The lugubrious part of this practice is that it used for wish fulfillment. The world of hyper consumerism and advertising has spread to religion. Like any other product it has become packaged in marketed to a specific demographic. Religion has become just another item to be sold. There are individuals who are lost, but don’t know they are. This explains why some join either extremist movements or follow a demagogue. Cults are able to attract people who do not have direction, seek purpose, or want some sense of community. While it is rare that individuals go to this level, there remains mental chains that cannot be broken. Praying may be a good coping mechanism for a time. Yet, it does not solve problems because no one is listening. The all powerful entity is simply not there. There have been many Gods that man made throughout history. Zeus, Ishtar, and Aphrodite are no longer recognized. Gods and mythology change overtime. This is the product of human imagination.    Athletes can pray as much as they want. Yet, it should be remembered that God or Gods did not have anything to do with their success.

Please Stop Praying At Sporting Events

Why Female Muscle Is The Sexiest Thing Ever

Everyone has their own  concept of beauty and attractiveness. The mistake is that some believe it is only one paradigm. The modern era is seeing women define beauty on their own terms. Whether body positivity  can be considered a feminist statement or a temporary fad has yet to be seen. Even before such a movement, women were changing their bodies in a way that was once thought impossible. Women in sports and fitness developed bodies that are physically powerful. Highly developed musculature may be a turn off to some people on a female body, but to others it is another form of beauty.  The image of female strength can either induce feelings of wonder, trepidation, lust or disdain. Although many are closed minded when seeing something different to a person who admires the female body in various forms can see the pulchritude of the female mesomorph. People who do not like the idea of a strong woman can even admit that their bodies  are  impressive.  The effort and dedication is not only a testament to physical strength, but strong mental drive. This is why female muscle is the sexiest thing ever. Their body becomes a living work of art with the aesthetics of traditional sculpture. The areas considered traditional beauty marks on women are enhanced. Power is sexy whether it is physical or mental. These are just a few explanations why female muscle can be attractive.

          Women with such strength and physical power are not that common. They are in many ways unique. They are women with strength greater than average men, but have their feminine allure. The strong woman breaks that traditional codes of gender roles, by defining them on their terms. This makes for a new and dynamic interpretation of feminine beauty. The gentle softness is contrast with a rock hard image of strong bodies.Combining these two elements show a body that is more voluptuous  that could be imagined on a female form. Being too thin does not give the body shape. additional curves enhance and exaggerate the female figure. Some women have the goal of obtaining an hour glass like shape. The muscular woman does too, but does it by other means. Developing the upper body to a high degree makes the waist look smaller. Other women acquire a larger waist, but it does not make them look block like. The female muscular body has a a magnificent fullness.

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The combination of beauty and physical power is unique. This was once thought to be a male only quality, however women seem to have given it a feminine touch with this new paradigm. The attractive aspect is that they are challenging the norm. If every woman looked this way, it would not be so special. Body image conformity demands that men and women look a certain way to suit gender role norms. This is unrealistic, because individual can vary vastly in appearance. The error is that beauty is assumed to be one thing or entity. The beauty ideal  can be different depending on personal preference, culture, and time period. The muscular woman in many ways is a new revolutionary concept. Women have defined what is beautiful based on their terms. Women are not just presenting muscular physiques on bodybuilding stages, but other sports as well. Only the elite become the best champions in their sport. Women of different appearance can be more than just a curiosity; there is a sexual allure.

          It is no secret that when people describe what is attractive they mention parts of the body. This could include features of the face, chest, lower, and upper body. The lower body on women specifically the legs and posterior are of particular interest to certain men. The muscular woman’s body only enhances these areas to the highest degree. The gluteus maximus on most of the women are highly developed. Before the popular fitness craze, female athletes were already doing training of this body part.   Sometimes it may also make a person admire other areas of the female body that normally are not given focus. The upper body was thought to be an area that women should not train for aesthetics. Yet, doing so gives women wonderful back development.

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Biceps can even be attractive to the lover of female muscle. Some men do not like it because they think it is a male quality to have strong arms. However, women have shown that their is a graceful charm that comes with it.Women flexing their arms can be both amusing and arousing.  Breasts to others can be considered a beauty mark. When women train to this degree, breasts may decrease in size. Weightlifting does not increase breast size, but can improve pectoral muscle strength. Women do not need large breasts to have a nice physique. Granted, every woman has a difference in breast size. A woman with pecs can still fill out her chest. People find different parts of the body attractive. The female body shape has an elegance and majestic pulchritude. The only way to describe this is to imagine looking at nature. The mountains, forests, or steppes induce feelings of admiration due to their beauty. The love of the muscular can be more then just simple lust; it can be admiration.

        Admiration for the physically strong woman comes from challenging the status quo , embracing confidence, and having  charisma. Women have to deal with double standards in relations to behavior and the activities they choose to do. The muscular woman has mastered the complete control of their bodies. They molded, sculpted, and trained their bodies to the highest degree. The responses that their bodies generate prove that this is a radical statement about what women are capable of. The 20th century and 21st century have seen women all around the globe become more powerful politically and socially. While challenges still remain, it seems that the women being subordinates is over. The women of the sports world are embracing strength and some are pushing themselves to their maximum.

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Clothes cannot even hide such powerful looking bodies. So great their muscular development has become, they almost seem like living statues. The female body was at one time thought to be weak or lesser than that of men. The female body is capable of many astounding things. Giving birth is one that is easily recognized, which requires an more enduring strength. However, women can gain an impressive amount of physical prowess, which stuns people who have more traditional ideas about women’s bodies. Sometimes the status quo most be disrupted to allow for progress. The strong woman has muscled her way into what were thought to be manly pursuits and presenting a new paradigm. The new woman is not just independent or strong willed; she has the strength of body. There is something women gain psychologically from engaging in strength sport. Many say they have a greater self confidence. The pride comes from what they have accomplished and the challenges they overcame in the process. The new found confidence spreads to other areas of life. A woman with confidence  can be an attractive attribute  and women of this level have an unlimited supply. The muscular woman projects a charisma that supporters cannot ignore. Seeing them on stage or competing creates an even bigger magnetism. It may be perplexing to people who do understand the attraction to female muscle, but these are a few general reasons. The attraction or erotic nature does not come from appearance. The force and charm of personality are a factor.

     The fetish element cannot be forgotten. There is a misconception to view a sexual fetish as abnormal, but it is not. It is a form of sexual expression that people have. The sexual fetishes related to muscular women relate to stenolagnia and cratolagnia. This is arousal from the display of muscles or the demonstration of strength. The sexiest part about this is that women display their bodies with a great sense of pride. To the lover of female muscle there is nothing better than biceps, abs, glutes, or pecs. Mixed wrestling shows the full extent of  the muscular woman’s physical power.

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Normally , men are stronger than the women they are with but in this situation roles are reversed. The muscular woman can be physically imposing. There is a gratification that some men get from having a woman over power them. It should be noted that woman also experience some form of satisfaction from physically dominating men. Here a man is in her compete control and unable to do anything about it. Sometimes its not just wrestling it extends to another activity known as muscle worship. This does not involve women physically dominating a man, rather a man admiring a woman’s body. Others may not appreciate the aesthetic, however the lover of female muscle can see the voluptuous pulchritude of an athletically developed female figure. These fetish related activities or practices link to the idea of power.

        Power is sexy. There are many types of power. Mental power can be the ability to use intellect to produce great works or have acumen in negotiation. The power to influence people is related to charisma.  Physical power meaning a person of great athletic prowess can be attractive for women. There remains some objections or aversion to such strong female bodies, however there are men who find them irresistible. A paradigm shift has occurred in which a strong and independent women are praised. Backlash occurs with any change, yet this development will not vanish. As there is a growing presence of women in the public sphere and multiple areas of society, it would make sense that another step would be taken. Mastery of  one’s physical self is the next step. The sports women of the modern era have feminized physical strength and power. It is not intimidating or unladylike its a new type of woman. The male attraction comes from seeing that confidence and power. Some men may want women as subordinates or submissive, but that is not suitable for a man of more open minded taste. A strong man and handle a strong woman.

       People question why some men like the physically strong woman. The answers are similar to the answers given for liking any other woman . A certain appearance, personality type, or other factor is at play. If seen from this perspective, the love of the muscular woman is not that unusual. Female muscle can be sexy. The lover of female muscle just appreciates different versions of beauty. Society has not caught up with this idea as whole. The obsession in regards to a single beauty standard is driven by a profit motive and a bias against women in particular. Women who look different or refuse to conform are ostracized. Supporters also get some negative criticism. This does not deter people from doing what they do or enjoying what they like.  What could have been a small niche could be larger than imagined. Surfing through the internet and social media platforms demonstrate there are people who like the idea of a strong woman. Few may admit their support publicly, yet the anonymity   of online use allows a person to express themselves more. The online traffic related to women’s sports or muscular women in particular is not just people who stumble upon it or view it out of curiosity.  The muscular woman is an embodiment of grace, power, and pulchritude.

Why Female Muscle Is The Sexiest Thing Ever

BBC : Give Your Bones A Workout The Public, Told

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Give Your Bones A Workout

It is common knowledge that people are not getting enough exercise. Even though a person does not have a weight related health problem,lack of physical activity can impact health. The problem is that few people of a basic knowledge of health science or exercise. Public Health England wants to make recommendations and guidelines for the public to follow to maintain optimum health. There report from 2018 made exercise suggestions to the public. Exercise may help people as they age prevent chronic disease or particular health conditions.  Public Health England is a executive agency, which falls under the Department of Health and Social Care. It was established in 2013 to address concerns and the status of public health in the United Kingdom. On its website it states ” we exist to protect the nation’s health, well being, and reduce health inequalities.” This agency is classified as executive. The PHE is responsible for making the public healthier and improving lifestyles by collaborating with local government as well as the National Health Service. The PHE must also protect the public against health hazards and public health emergencies. PHE provides social care service programs which include screenings and immunizations for the public.   The goal is to share information about health as well as conduct research. Using the data collected the PHE wants to provide solutions to public health problems. Public Health England employs 55,000 workers who are scientists, researchers, and public health professionals.  The general public understands the benefit of aerobic activity, but it has yet to realize the potential of resistance training. Public Health England provides some useful information, yet more research might be required to reach a conclusion.

       There is the question which physical activity or exercise is the best to manage health and aging. Tai Chi and yoga can be beneficial. The PHE states ball games, racket sports, dance, and Nordic walking can help a person stay fit. Cycling can also be a good form of exercise. Dance could technically not be considered an exercise, rather a performing art. It still can burn calories,because the body is in a state of motion. Even simple walks can be good exercise. However, these sets of physical activity and exercise most be better at building bone and muscle strength. Although it has not been scientifically tested one of these form of exercise should be better for building musculoskeletal mass. Yoga and Tai Chi may be better form overall balance and flexibility. Nordic walking could probably build better endurance in comparison. Tennis and volleyball can utilize a combination of endurance and strength.

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If the goal is to combat osteoporosis or sarcopenia  resistance training would be the best solution. This does not mean functional fitness should be abandoned. According to the BBC ; ” only one in three men and one in four women is doing enough of the right types of exercise to keep both healthy and strong, say the experts.” There is considerable debate about what is the right type of exercise or how much should be done on a daily basis. Someone doing exercise for a few minutes may not see the same results as someone doing it for a couple of hours. What must also be addressed is the gender disparity when it comes to physical activity. The statistic given by the BBC shows 33.3% of men compared to 25% are doing the right exercise for their bodies. Women’s lower number suggests some gender bias and traditional cultural attitudes that could negatively impact women’s health. Exercise or anything that involves physical prowess has been thought to be only appropriate for males. The majority of women’s health and fitness magazines promote weight loss rather than serious training or exercise advice. Thankfully, this has changed, but there are some women who still have an aversion to exercise. This can put women’s health at risk. Exercise and physical activity should be part of everyone’s daily routine.

           Age can cause a change in health condition . The consequences of living a long life is that there can be physical decline of multiple organ systems. The bones and muscles reduce in amount. The brain and nervous system can fall victim to cognitive decline or forms of dementia. The circulatory system can be effected by weight gain as a result in changes in metabolism. This is why experts suggest that the young build up their bone and muscle mass as much as they can. The peak of bone and muscle mass in the body is around age 30. From that age onward there is a gradual reduction. Older people can still get active and maintain the amount they already have. Weight training has shown to manage the natural loss of bone and muscle that comes with aging.

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A person has more bone and muscle mass in youth
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Seniors can benefit from a weight training program.
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Women can benefit from muscular development.
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Muscle has the ability to burn fat and manage weight.

BBC offers some caution: ” those who are frail and/or at risk of fractures, including people with osteoporosis, should be especially careful, however, particularly with higher-impact activities such as tennis, and seek advice from their doctor.” Certain exercises or activities may not be suitable on the recommended list. Seeing as women will live longer exercise and  working out become even more important. The average life expectancy could increase if certain environmental factors change. Age should not be seen as something negative or a curse. Taking care of yourself and doing the proper steps to maintain health can improve the quality of life.

         The question of the proper amount of exercise has been subject to debate. There are multiple perspectives regarding total amount. One position is that there has to be a specific amount of time for exercise to allow for health benefits.  The other perspective is that any amount can be useful. Then there is another perspective that amount should not be counted at all rather a classification of types of exercise divided by intensity. The Public Health England states “at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week and Strength exercises on two or more days a week that will work all the major muscles.” Two hours and thirty minutes could be either enough or too little for some people. Depending on a person’s health condition and fitness level this may have to be adjusted. There is no reason why strength training could not be done more than two times a week. Working every muscle group may require five days. If weight management is the goal, then it may be advised to have a longer exercise session. The amount and type of exercise a person does depends on specific objectives.

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Training for health maintenance 
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Training for aesthetics  
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Training for strength or functional fitness 

People can train for functional fitness, heath maintenance, or aesthetics. These require a different training approach, diet, and exercise planning regimen. Consistency in both diet and exercise is essential to success.  Recommendations can change for maintaining good health, but so far what can be said with certainty is that exercise is good for you. The difference now is that there is scientific confirmation. Dr. Zoe Williams articulates : ” being active isn’t just about getting your heart pumping – although this is a good way to begin. ” Simply by walking or standing up, a person is burning calories. It may not be burning as much as lifting weights or being on a treadmill, but it still contributes. Dr. Williams is correct when saying ” strength and balance activities work in conjunction with cardio activities like brisk walking, and come with a range of health benefits throughout your life – it’s never too late to start.” However, it is important to have the precise amount to ensure health benefits and so far biomedical science has not provide the answer.  The PHE recommendations should only be seen as accurate, not precise amounts of required exercise for heath maintenance.

          It should also be understood why bones are so important to health. The public understands the circulatory system better, but osteology is a mystery.  The human skeleton is a framework in which all organs can be housed along with muscle and visceral fat. There are a total of 206 bones in the body with half being in the hands and feet. The skeleton anchors the muscles along with the contributions of tendons and ligaments. Organs have a protective cage along with skin. The bone contains periosteum , bone marrow , spongy and compact bone. The skeletal system can be classified into two sections. The axial skeleton consists of the cranium, rib cage, and vertebral column. The appendicular  skeleton contains the upper limbs, the pelvis, pectoral girdles, and lower limbs.

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The basic anatomy of the human skeleton 
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While it is easier to see muscles on a body, the human skeleton is covered by tissue and skin. 
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Bones cells are different from other types of cells in the human body. 
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Lifting does not only build muscle it can build bone. 

Bone is made of  three types of cells. The osteocyte has the responsibility of maintaining the bone matrix in the skeletal system. It can best be though of as stitches keeping clothing seams  joining two or more layers of fabric. The osteogenic cell enables cell division resulting in the production of osteoblasts. Osteoblasts will secrete osteoid, which contributes to the bone matrix. The osteoblasts are not fully developed bone cells. Osteoclasts play a role in secreting both acids and enzymes that dissolve into the bone matrix. Although many think of bone as being static and unchanging, the skeletal system goes though various alterations during the human life span. The skeletal system should not be confused with the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskletal  system consists of the muscles, bones, ligaments, cartilage,   and tendons  of the human body. The skeletal system solely  refers to bones. Like any other organ system it can be vulnerable to disease. Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are common bone related diseases. Leukemia can originate in bone marrow or the lymphatic system. While having a healthy diet can prevent many aliments, exercise should also be part of a person’s daily routine. The amount of exercise can be debated. There is no question that physical activity could be an effective medicine against chronic illness.

BBC : Give Your Bones A Workout The Public, Told