Why We Like Women Lifting Weights

Some Strong Ladies!
Women lifting weights has been taboo in mainstream media for quite some time and I’m tired of it!  Today I am going to talk about a couple reasons women should lift weights.  There happens to be more to it than simply the way you look.  Although, to me, a strong woman is way more impressive than a toned woman.  Strength takes hard work and most of the women I know thrive on that idea.  In my coaching professional life I have enjoyed coaching many women and am always impressed with their willingness to push through painful situations more so than most men do.

The first reason lifting weights is important for women is pure strength.  In my Family growing up my mom was and is the most active person I know (although Meggie rivals her).  She was always putting her body to work and no manual labor deterred her.  She is strong and getting stronger while maintaining her feminine beauty.  Her strength drove the family and I think we all have a great appreciation for what women can achieve and is one of the reasons I don’t like it when women are told that lifting weights is not for them.

Next, and a little more scientific, is what happens when we lift weights.  there are a couple points in here so I will try to make sure and point them out clearly.

  1. Lifting weights builds muscles.  This is good in the sense that muscles are more insulin sensitive than fat.  This simply means that with more muscle mass, our body is able to process carbohydrates more efficiently by producing less insulin.  This allows the body to store less fat and use more energy.
  2. Lifting weights strengthens bones and joints.  There is a process in the body that is constantly happening and involves bones breaking down and rebuilding on a constant basis.  Things like osteoporosis happen when there is no stimulus for the body to build new bone.  Lifting weights creates that stimulus and causes your bones to get stronger and more dense.  Since we use functional movement, it is built in a way that supports life outside the gym.  For example, if you miss a step on your way out the door, you are less likely to break your ankle.  You may spill your coffee but your bones should be safe.
  3. Stimulating muscle tissue (lifting weights) causes a hormonal response from the body.  This hormonal response is androgenic or something that causes growth.  The hormone released is called testosterone and is very important for women.  Those of you that have been pregnant know the effects of elevated testosterone as it elevates in your second trimester and from what i hear this is when you start to feel more energetic and even more sexual.  There is a reason men tend to be more sexually driven…  Raising  Testosterone tends to do good things in the normal female as it can help regulate mood and decrease symptoms related to your monthly cycle.
  4. Low testosterone levels in women correlate with low sex drive, especially in post menopausal women.  After Menopause women tend to produce little or no testosterone in their ovaries and very small amounts in their adrenals.

Lastly and most importantly, you improve performance in all athletic areas.  You are able to run faster and longer, jump higher, lift more weight over your head.

So, Ladies, come on in and throw some weight on the bar, its fun to be strong!!

Thursday S&C Workout:
Agility Series
KBS x5,
Lat Medball Throws x8;

3 sets:
Heavy Sled push x1,
20 Burpees,
Rest 1 min

A post for the MEN.

Testosterone which is what makes you a man, at the levels that men should have in their blood, stimulates all the things that make us men (Robust Sex Drive, Muscle mass, Stable mood, Strong immune system) . The absence of testosterone causes us to suffer in all the things i just listed as well as become more feminine. This is a simple factor of the decreasing levels of testosterone due to Lifestyle, diet, or exercise (yes certain types of exercise can make you less manly).

Lets start with Lifestyle.
As we have talked about in the past, your lifestyle can produce stress in your life which in turn stimulates the response of Cortisol which happens to be a testosterone blocker. It is also easy to see in the accumulation of fat around your belly button. Its common for this to decrease after a week on vacation where stress has decreased significantly. Ever notice that?
By living a life low in stress you can allow your bodies production of testosterone to normalize. This happens since cortisol is lowered and no longer blocks test production.

Diet: The Standard American diet is full of things that either blunt the production of testosterone or increase the presence of estrogen (not good for both men and women).
Anything that raises your blood sugar on a regular basis (carbs/sugar) above a normal level (less than 100mg) is indirectly stopping the production of testosterone. Let me explain. Test is a building hormone. it stimulates the growth of muscle, and bone but can be deactivated in the presence of excessive insulin due to elevated blood sugars. Insulin is a storage hormone and the more it is present in the blood the more your body goes into storage and away from building. Bottom line is the more sugar in your blood the less energy is devoted to building muscle and bones and the more energy is devoted to energy storage (Making you fatter).

Exercise: Now we get into ways of increasing or decreasing your test levels. Things like steady state, low intensity “cardio” type exercise lowers your bodies production of test and can increase your cortisol levels therefore decreasing testosterone production.
Conversely, lifting heavy weights, sprinting and high intensity exercise can stimulate growth and elevated levels of test and Growth Hormone. This is a good think because all the benefits of normal test levels that we discussed above start to be present.

Unfortunately we cannot just toss strength training on peoples plate and expect them to start being more manly. We have to be conscious of all the other factors we discussed and take a more holistic approach to normalizing test levels. If your diet is a mess but you lift heavy then you don’t get all the benefits of this type of training. If diet and training are good but you are a huge stress ball then that will negate all the good things you are experiencing from your training.

At BlackBox Fort Worth we are all about the whole package. If you need help with Diet, Lifestyle and most importantly Exercise (weightlifting) then all you have to do is walk in the door and ask!

Tuesday S&C Workout:
Burpee Broad Jumps x2,
Pwr CL x2;

odd: 3 Pwr CL,
even: sled sprint x1

Massage! Why you should get one today!

Massage is a good thing, especially for those of you that train hard. Recovery is not something people place a lot of emphasis on but, in reality recovery is equal to if not more important to your training. A great way to help stimulate your bodies recovery is Massage. Here are some reasons why you should get a massage from our resident Massage Therapist Samara Barbeau (817-875-1604):

  • Decrease recovery time by forcing blood flow through the muscles
  • Increase lymphatic flow which helps the body clear toxins and increase immune system function.
  • Reduce stress, we all know what stress does to your body…
  • Increases your awareness of potential hot spots on the body
  • Helps to improve mobility and flexibility in both muscles and joints
  • Also makes for great gifts!



Monday S&C Workout:
Snatch x3,
Suitcase Carry x4;

4 sets:
10 Renegade Rows w/push up,
250m Row,
Rest 90 sec


-SN Drop + OHS x1+1
-SN from Platform x2
-FS x 2

Day 2:
-Jerk + PP x 1
-Pwr Clean + Jerk x2+1
-Cl DL x 3

Day 3:
-Pwr Sn + OHS x1+2
-Hang SN + SN x1+1
-BS x 1

Day 4:
-Cl & Jerk x1
-PP x 5
-Cl Grip Good Morning x6

The Midline

#TBT on this picture!

~Midline & Stabilization~

What is the midline and why is it important to work it?
The midline, for our purposes is not necessarily a thing, its more of an ability. When you look at someone running for example you can tell if they have a secure midline by watching their upper body as they move. If while they are running you see the head bobbing up and down or side to side or you see alot of shoulder rotational movement you can pretty much guarantee that the midline is not doing its job. What is its job you ask? I’m glad you did…

The midlines purpose is to allow you to transfer force from the ground through your legs and into your torso. The stronger or more firm your midline the better that force will be able to continue on into your upper body. This is important for us in training because it allows us to move heavier loads and remain safe while doing it. It is important for the runner because they can now be more efficient because the force generated from the floor is being well maintained in the transition through the torso to the upper body and head. It can also be seen in a baseball pitcher or quarter back when they throw a ball. The force they put on the ball is generated from the hips and if the midline is not secure and tight the force will diminish by the time it gets to the fingers and the ball therefore leading to a weaker throw and either a homerun or an interception.

So, how do we work the midline? A couple ways in the gym. First of all if the midline is meant to transfer force, its going to work best when it is rigid. So it needs to be strong and able to remain static even when other parts are not. It also needs to resist torque or twisting. So in reality (although we were all taught differently as kids) the midline does not generate torque it resists it. By resisting the torque we are again able to transfer force from the lower body to upper body more efficiently making you a more productive, more efficient person. As a side note, this reasoning removes situps from the routine. There are benefits to situps but they should not be your primary midline strengthening exercise. Think of a sport where you purposefully compromise your midline and post it to comments.

Try this as you sit at your desk. Relax your belly, as you do this you will notice that your back rounds and you lose and natural curve in your upper and lower back. Now put your feet on the floor and stand up as fast as you can but don’t tense the belly. Ok, not sit back down, sit up straight, pull your belly button in as you take a deep breath sit up tall, put your feet on the ground and stand up as fast as possible. Notice anything different? Your office mate probably did since the first time you stood up you look slow and disconnected and the second time you stood up you looked like you were about to chase him around the office.
The point is, you are stronger with a strong, stable midline.

-Dutch Lowy

Come see how we create strong midlines at BlackBox Fort Worth!

Thursday S&C Workout:
Seated Box Jump x4,
SN PP + OHS x3+2;

6 sets:
10 cal Row/AD,
5 Burpees