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Barbie Weights

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It’s that time of year again—the time of year when going to the gym means waiting in line; waiting for the cardio machines, waiting for the weights, waiting for a bench, waiting for a spot on the mat. Waiting. And while I’m waiting, I’m watching. I’m especially watching the women who walk over to the free weights, grab a couple of 2-pound or 3-pound dumbbells and begin doing a gajillion reps of some exercise they read about in a magazine or on a Web site.

These are the women who, in two or three weeks, will give up because going to the gym “doesn’t work anyway.”

Listen up, ladies. Barbie weights aren’t going to cut it. Doing 150 bicep curls with 2-pound weights is not going to make a difference in how you look. It’s just going to give you tennis elbow. And those abductor/adductor machines? Completely worthless.

The only way you can get that sculpted and “toned” look that so many people talk about is to lift weights. Heavy weights. Not one hundred times. Not even fifty times. Three sets of anywhere from eight to fifteen reps, depending on your current strength. And don’t just do bicep curls. If you’re going to work your biceps, then also work your triceps with some military presses. Throw in some body resistance work. Pushups are great. Dips are great. Lunges and squats to firm that butt. Use the bar, even. Don’t be afraid of the weights—use them and take pride in it.

Seriously, every day we women deal with laptops, purses, bags of groceries, kids, vacuums, all kinds of things. We lift those things and carry them around. Sometimes we have to put bags in overhead bins. Sometimes we have to pick our kids up from the floor. If you can lift a 15-pound suitcase over your head, or deadlift a 35-pound toddler to your hip, why on earth are you playing around with 2-pound Barbie weights?

I would love to see more women embracing being fit and strong. We women should stop fearing the weights; none of us are going to bulk up like Arnold just by using real weights a couple of times a week. And who knows? Maybe this year is the year that the gym will work for you—because you’ll learn how to work properly at the gym.


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