I was once a puffy armed young man, spending my Friday nights in the gym, suppressing protein drink burps, clapping my hands as chalk settled on my shirt, and chest thumping with my buddies in between sets of heavy bench presses. Hey, it was Friday night. What did we need girls for…?
My training partners back then were also puffy armed guys, just like me. It was always cool to be seen and heard working out with the other strongest guys in the gym. They were my brothers in iron; they were my wing-men. No girls allowed.
Of course that was in an era when few girls dared to enter the gym anyway. If one did enter, it was rare if she would find her way to the business end of the gym; where the free weights clanked. This was the era when the cardio bunny was born.
Lift like a girl…
My wing-man is now a girl. She’s hot, but she’s no cardio bunny. Beyond hot though, she is stronger, more focused, and more disciplined than any male workout partner I have ever had. Strong, focused, and disciplined; those are valuable qualities in a training partner. She’s also dependable.
For much of the past two decades, I have preferred training alone, or with women. Each has their value. The values of having female training partners are numerous. Some of my partners have been high level competitive bodybuilders, while other have just been women who prefer to take the weight room very seriously.
Why I lift like a girl:
- No ego. The women I have trained with could care less how heavy a weight is, relative to how they are managing it. They focus more on how heavy a weight can feel. Though they rarely lift as heavy as I do, they are always in the conversation, and I’m okay with that. The women I’ve trained with do so with a greater purity in their form – something I rarely see from men. Serious female athletes tend to extract more from a singular repetition. Over time, this adds up.
- Concentration. Serious women apply serious concentration to their workouts. When we lift together; there is usually no out-there out there during the sessions. There is only the workout, and the communication between us, which is often silent.
- Performing at my best. If I’m blessed enough to workout with the hottest, most serious athletes in town, and I usually do, you can believe that I will live my entire life through every single repetition while their eyes are on me. This is my time to shine, and their time to admire. What’s more motivating than that…?
- I want what she has. Whether I’m looking at my partner’s exercise form, the meat on her back during a lift, or staring at the veins across her abs in-between sets, I want what she has. I just want it on a more male scale.
No question, the best workouts I have ever had have been with women. The muscular gains I have made during training phases with female partners have always been exceptional. Take ego out of the picture, add in some feminine intensity, and muscle just grows.
My current partner is Carrie. Carrie chooses not to compete in bodybuilding. If she did, she could compete at a national level today. Though her physique is of that cass, her competitive interests are with CrossFit and Hapkido. Carrie has more balls than any male training partner I have ever had, yet has taught me the value of ovarian fortitude. She is the most committed, most focused, and most intense athlete I have ever worked with. Our sessions are intense, but they are always fun.
What makes my relationship with Carrie so unique is that she is also my friend – in a way that a guy can be a friend. That means when I tell her to “arch your back and blow” during a set of lat pulldowns, she knows why I smirk as I say it.
Carrie and I train together, run together, and dine together frequently. I’m proud of how professional and serious we keep the workouts, but the inferences and innuendos we share make it fun, and can be motivating for each of us.
There are times when I’m watching her do low back extensions that I’m blown away be the Christmas tree on her low-back. Other times I just think about licking the sweat off of it – and I have no problem telling her that. That’s just how we roll.
Don’t read too much into this, Carrie is happily married. Most of my female training partners have been married. That’s okay, I often spend as much time with them as their husbands do, and I often get to see as much skin.
I’m not saying that training with a woman is for everyone, least of all for a puffy armed young man who would rather hang out with his ‘Bros’ on a Friday night. I am saying that training with a female adds a level of intensity, intelligence, and a balance to my workouts, as well as to my perspective, that I have yet to find with one of my ‘Bros’. Hey, once you go chick, you’ll always get thick. Read into that what you will… rc
Please check back in two weeks to see what happens when I hit the “stop” button on the blender inside my head.
Oh, and there’s this from the Vulgar Boatmen. Enjoy…