This post is mainly directed towards women and their bodies with different levels of body fat and muscle tone. The biggest misconception that I witness from other women and men is the conception that women have the natural predisposition of becoming a she-hulk if she decides to take her training seriously by lifting heavy weights. The answer, as I have addressed in my previous post on gender differences between males and females is quite frankly that female bodies can develop primarily based on their statures, levels of body fat, bone density, training age and hormones/fat distribution. Training is one part, nutrition, sleep and rest, the other. I would assert based off of my understanding of human morphology that female physiology can handle heavier loads, and more intense and serious training to complement itself, and not against it. To reduce training to one body part or a one-size-fits-all formula for women is to discriminate against it. For, female training can lead to some kick-ass physiques. Below are different body types that require a lot of hard work at the gym.
To start off, I will start with introducing the four different types of fitness levels that are judged at bodybuilding competitions.The women below carry vastly different amounts of muscle and have trained and eaten to look the way that they needed to in order to qualify for their weight class. I have dedicated the second half of this post to describing fitness model type bodies, which I personally find more appealing.
The Aesthetic of Competitive Bodybuilders:
Below are the four classes at a fitness competition, the four classes are bikini, figure, fitness and physique. A female competing in the bikini division is awarded for having an hourglass shape, she is also required to be leaner than a female competing in the figure category. A female competing at the fitness level is judged on both her appearance and athleticism. A physique athlete is judged on the feminine appearance of muscles. You can find out more about how each class differs here.
All of these women train for their categories, so what about the female with a lot of muscles? Why would she want to look so muscular? Well, she does it because she competes for bodybuilding, not for bikini, physique or fitness. For instance, take the female in the purple bathing suit below. The goal of her training and diet is to develop a lot of muscle mass because she will be judged according to how big she is, in particular, how much muscles she has.
This woman is not a bikini competitor nor does she aspire to look like a fitness model, she has chosen to undertake a taxing task of building a lot of muscle mass in order to achieve her desired muscular physique. It is a rough, hard and boxy look that many females would not desire to work towards. To a certain extent, it is understandable as it is a bit extreme. When women and men think that heavy weights will automatically make women look like her is quite astonishing considering the much small females above and worldwide who are lighter yet whose bodies can lift heavy weights. It is about intention. At a competitive level, the woman in purple is going to be judged on the dryness and vasculature of her muscles, the thicker the better. This is the opposite look that I, for instance, would want to achieve with my body, yet I still find it remarkable because when taking into consideration the bodybuilding class criterion of vascularity, symmetry dryness and hardness, she has worked hard to achieve that particular aesthetic and has done so quite well.
The Aesthetic of Fitness Models:
In the picture on the left side is Australian fitness model Hattie Boyle. Her body in this picture is what I would classify as healthy, fit and achievable, and she is slightly lean. She will still squat, deadlift, and train with heavy weights in order to achieve her physique. Isolation work, diet and rest are evidently taken seriously by the looks of her tight and toned physique. She is also quite feminine with her posing and styling.
This woman has a slightly curvier physique yet a figure like hers is easier to achieve than the one above, if not, by diet, then by the clear difference in body fats. It is still a highly attractive and possible feminine outcome for girls and women who want to lift weights at the gym.
Finally, twenty two year old fitness model Sommer Ray is known for her curvy derriere on Instagram and she has also competed at bikini levels. She is known for doing compound lifts like heavy barbell squats , deadlifts, hip thrusts and glute work to achieve her remarkable physique. She is by all means athletic, yet her muscle tone is not hard or vascular, only because she did not wish to train for that. Instead, she has visible ab muscle with softness in her hamstring and quads and curves. Her skin and hair is flawless, in my opinion.
I hope that this post can show you how just as men can be judged for their overall physiques, women can too. And similarly, as not one man can given the responsibility to represent all bodybuilder physiques, neither can one bodybuilder female be to all females. Especially because lifting weights is one part of the equation for a toned physique that can be manipulated towards a more feminine or masculine feel depending on your wish. Lifting weights is ultimately a process that is highly rewarding regardless of the outcome.
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