New Here

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
New Here
7
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 1:58pm
Hello there! Since I responded to a post, I mind as well introduce myself. I'm 25 years old and have been training for a year. My trainer is my brother who has been weight lifting for about 15 years. I have recently (in the past 5 weeks) added some powerlifting to my workouts. (My brother has also been a powerlifter) I have been considering training for powerlifting competitions, but I'm a little afraid. I don't want to lose muscle tone and definition but I really enjoy being able to lift heavy weights. I also struggle with the fear of not looking feminine or looking too big. As a former anorexic (and still with an eating disorder mindset), this is quite a problem for me. And yet those higher weights keep calling to me and I find it hard to ignore. It gives me such pleasure to be able to push up those heavy weights when I know that the previous weeks I couldn't do it. So, for the meantime, my brother and I are doing regular weight lifting and combining it with powerlifting. So far, there hasn't been a real differency physique wise. So, like I said, I'm finding myself very torn. I want to bench press 150 pounds but I want to be able to do it while still keeping good tone and without getting "bulky." I also struggle because I'm petite (or so I'm told)and have always heard....oh my god, you're so tiny...etc. Yes, I know that women can't get bulky because we don't have the needed testosterone, etc. Still, I worry. My brother says to me, "Christina you aren't going to look like those girls in the magazines unless I pump you with steroids. You'll be ok." I wish I could just trust that.

Anyway, that's a little about me and what I'm currently going through. Do I sound confused or what??

Christina

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2003
In reply to: chrissytina7799
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 2:18pm
Hi, Christina and welcome! You do have some tough goals before you and I applaud you for the progress you have already made. When it comes to setting goals, WHY you want to achieve those goals is just as important as the goal itself... maybe even more important. So, why do you want to become a power lifter? Do you enjoy the challenge? Are you still obsessed about your body and body image? If you are pushing your body for the right reasons, then go for it! I once had the same desire and still dream about sculpting my body the way professional weightlifters do, but realized that I don't want it enough to practice the dicipline that it takes. I bench 115#s 8 times. I don't really know what my max is because I lift without a spotter. If it didn't take so much effort, dicipline, and steroids I would be a powerlifter too.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2003
In reply to: chrissytina7799
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 2:34pm
I know what you mean by having an anorexia mindset. I do not have anorexia, nor have I in the past. I am not going to elaborate further.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
In reply to: chrissytina7799
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 5:12pm
Your brother is right! Look around your gym--do you see other women lifting? If you don't, I've looked around my gym, and we do have women who do free weights (me too)--not one of us looks anything other than fit, nobody's bulky, my only femininity-related complaint is that I've lost fat out of my breasts! You would have to use steroids to get bulky, just as your brother said, you just don't have the testosterone to do it, I promise! I've been lifting weights avidly for a while, and all I look is stronger, I'm no bigger than I was 10 years ago! I'm doing sets (not maxing out) of leg presses at 235 pounds, almost twice my body weight, and I still wear the same size (or a smaller one) than when I wasn't lifting at all.

Congratulations on getting this far, if your dream is to powerlift, do it! Healthy is so much better than *thin*, and most of your brain already knows that--muscles are absolutely sexy! You don't sound confused, just like you need a little encouragement from other women! ;)

Judie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: chrissytina7799
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 6:50pm
Hi! Glad you decided to join us! Congratulations on all you're doing. It's great that you can work that closely with your brother, too. Listen to your brother. Very few women can bulk that much and those who do have to work super hard, watch their diet, etc. And, as jen here says, you can lift heavier and heavier and you can stop when you think you're big enough. You're not going to wake up one day and be huge. If you're enjoying the heavier weights, go for it!





iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
In reply to: chrissytina7799
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 9:42pm
Thank you so much for your response and for everyone else's as well! It really made me feel better. The hardest part is just waiting to see, but in the meantime, I really enjoy what I do. thanks again for putting my mind a little more at ease.

Christina

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: chrissytina7799
Sat, 07-12-2003 - 12:56pm
Hi there, glad that you've joined us. I think that all women have to face the myth vs. reality of weightlifting at some point. Your examination of it is worsened by previous issues with body-image, so it might take you longer to find your comfort level.

No amount of reassurance from anyone is going to convince you that your fears are unjust. You have to decide with your head, not your heart, that the research is true and that you ultimately have control over your training. Until you do that the fear will plague you.

Here is some info to sort through: There has been study after study published regarding the inability of women's bodies to react to weight lifting alone how many men will, we lack the necessary chemical building blocks. There is also the knowlege that even the men in question have to work for years, often a decade or more, to reach their physiques. The overblown ones you see on the cover of Flex and M & F have not gotten there without serious supplementation regimes (in many cases steroids, though not all). Those facts illustrate that you are ultimately in control. IF by some miracle twist of fate you are that one in a million woman who will bulk up (and don't come crying to me if you are, I'll hate you) you can simply STOP lifting. Muscles will lose bulk quickly if you aren't working them, they sort of come in one of two states, being torn down to build size or just being torn down. They won't maintain a constant state how other tissue will.

So, you are in control. Right now you have to decide if your desire is enough to override your fear. And, you have to decide if you want truth or myth to rule you. It sounds easy when it is written, but I know it is anything but. Good luck. I'm glad that you've found us.

~K~

~Kiervin~

Co-author of:  MONSTER'S INK HORROR ANTHOLOGY By Cyber-Pulp Press

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
In reply to: chrissytina7799
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 8:07am
Hi and welcome. Everyone else has given you really good answers, so I'm just going to add -- have you looked at pictures of elite powerlifters in your weight class? Some of the more petite women look absolutely TINY and they're still breaking records. I wouldn't worry too much about bulking up. If you haven't seen any bulk yet and you're close to benching 150, you're probably never going to get bulky. So go for it!