Women's Fitness Is Out of Control
Preface - I am a woman.
Wanted to highlight a debate I was having with my VP today about women's fitness. Over the past 3 years (really starting in early 2019), we've seen a sharp rise in the number of bulkcore female fitness influencer. This was a change from the heroin chic influencer like Alexis Ren whom you could fold into your luggage. Let me be clear before we jump in here. Women at the gym is awesome. People building better versions of themselves is awesome. Do meal prep. Do protein shakes. Go crazy at the gym doing heavy sets and kicking butt. Equality is cool and that's awesome. I also like the support male influencers at the gyms have given to female influencers.
Ok. We can all agree on that. Here's where the problem comes in. Some of these women are big. Not just a little big. I mean bulky. The type where muscle is being clearly defined and the shoulders are as big as a man of similar height/weight. In other words, swole. While I know that is the goal of some of these women going to the gym, I'll put it candidly: it's too fucking much and it's actually not good for you 10 years from now. When people get into fitness, they don't stop right away. They see progress and keep going and going. The problem is that these women are getting so big, bulky, and muscular that it's unsustainable and will likely lead to an enormous body crisis down the line. I'm not talking about moms or women who go to the gym and are of "usual women's body type". I'm talking about women who look like this:
This is probably on the better side of things. I've seen it much much much worse than this. This is unsustainable and at some point all of that muscle will slowly wilt and now you'll just be a bulky woman in her 30s with no time to go to the gym. How good are you going to feel with super wide shoulders at 30? If you leave fitness and grow out of that lifestyle how is your wedding dress going to look when your lats are tears off the dress straps? I'll highlight another fact, I don't think men think this is a good look. Like at all. Yes, going to the gym doesn't have to be for others. In fact, it shouldn't be. But if we were honest with ourself (men and women), a large part is to get validation from others. Whether this be COVID, influence from tiktok, or some other bat shit happening, female fitness influencers promoting this "shirts off big back" body type will cause a crisis amongst women who are not only permanently changing their body long term but are fueling what is to be a crisis in dating when men in their 30s don't want to date a body builder lookalike of themselves. Holy shit are we in trouble.
PS - If you think this post is full of garbage, look at this video and go to 3:10. She is literally as big as him. That may look good in the right lighting at the gym but in 99.99% of the rest of the world this is going to cause mental breakdowns of epic proportions
EDIT: Seems like I'm right. All of the lonely bodybuilder guys throwing shit on this post because the only thing they can do right in the world (lifting a metal cube around) is being questioned. Reaffirms the stereotype that regular gym goers are fine and the bulky men and women have deep seeded issues. monkey shit away. The regular people on this site understand my point.
speak for yourself i want my woman to kick my ass up and down
do you even lift LMAO
This is the dumbest post I've seen in a while
Agreed. I think majority of a woman's workout should be focused on her legs and core. They should only do light tonal work for their upper body.
I love girls who show off their hot Midriff. Huge turn on for me.
Same, I personally like a midriff that's slim but still soft. Hard abs are a turnoff for me. Too masculine.
In contrast, I couldn't care less. Athletic is good, as far as I'm concerned.
(That said: high levels of athleticism are in no way required. It's not really a factor.)
Yeah low rise tights are the way. I hate the high rise tights that cover muffintops.
"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee
Lol 90% of outfits are this nowadays
Lol let them live their life it's not that deep
I'm not sure why you think a woman who stops lifting is destined to be bulky. The muscle will eventually wilt away, as you said. And assuming they "grow out of that lifestyle" (which is a big if - see my second point), they can certainly adjust their diet and/or workout plan to achieve whatever new lifestyle or body shape they desire. The notion that they get fat because they went to the gym and put on muscle in the past is so misguided. If anything it gives them the discipline to make changes in later life.
Secondly, you seem to suggest that most, if not all, of these women will come to regret super wide shoulders and swole lats. That's just not the case.
Thirdly, rest assured that many men find "bulkier / muscular" women attractive. Obviously not all.
Lastly, you've included that entire bolded preface and then go on to contradict almost all of it. They're literally lifting heavy, meal prepping, supplementing, and building better versions of themselves. I guess just not your idea of betterment?
If you were against unsustainable steroid use and poor diet, I might agree with you. But seems like you're just against muscular and bulky women, regardless of whether or not they were healthy and happy.
When reading this braindead post initially I was pissed and bored as shit because 1) I've always felt WSO is full of sane, like-minded people who talk sense and 2) this post is just degrading, body-shaming, judgmental and misogynistic even tho you're a woman yourself. I was gonna click away and not argue with your misinformed views because you can never talk sense to a gym noob (never argue with an idiot) but then I saw the comments and realized that WSO is, after all, full of sane people and you're just the outlier here.
Short answer here:
1) No, when you stop working out you won't 'wilt'. You'll just revert to normal. Plenty of retired pro bodybuilders who reverted to a normal size. Look up Arnold Schwarzenegger (best example here because normies know who he is), Jay Cutler, Lee Priest, Dorian Yates. We as bodybuilders know what to do when we retire and how to transition, same way how hotshot bankers and HF managers know how to transition when they retire and no longer make millions. Same logic. HF managers don't wilt when they close down their fund, do they?
For female representation, look up Courtney King (former Ms Olympia, bikini category). Perfectly normal after retiring. I don't follow female bodybuilding so I can't pull examples for that, but the girl bodybuilders who look like the Hulk took an insane amount of roids and have insane top 0.0001% genetics so they aren't the best representation. The female bodybuilders who you might think 'wilt' after they retire belong in this outlier category, so again, they are not representative.
2) The examples you quoted, LeanBeefPatty and Mukda, ain't big. No one who works out seriously would call them swole. If they are not taking drugs to achieve that physique, it's perfectly healthy
Tbh, I'm getting pretty sick of normies shitting on swole dudes/ gals and say it's disgusting in some cases (I'm not saying you are). If anything, honestly, buff people truly think the normie physique is disgusting, but we obviously don't say it because we respect that different people have different goals. Why can't the normie haters do the same and why do they have to be like crabs in a bucket?
If this isn't a troll post, I'd suggest some inward looking on your insecurities and to focus on yourself
P.S. I read the comment above mine and realized that you assumed, by some insane logic, that female lifters who stop lifting will somehow 'wilt' but remain 'bulky' with 'wide shoulders and lats'. That is just not true and I struggle to understand why anyone would think that. That explains why I had such difficulty comprehending your post and your thought process, because it is just beyond comprehension and based off many flawed and biased assumptions. It also confirms that this post is, frankly, stupid
Consider the following:
I rest my case, thank you very much
great post, I've been thinking about this as well. my girlfriend is actually one of these people who has pronounced musculature due to working out. I'm not a fan and asked her to only do squats, she agreed. I think there can never be too much butt, but there can definitely be too much upper body muscle. the girl in the video is in this category for sure as well. I go to an old-school gym that has a lot of people who live bodybuilding. so I've seen a couple of women who look like a girl from the video. btw, 3:10 timestamp doesn't show anything.
so I have two points to make:
1) most girls won't be able to achieve this physique. only a few girls are able to naturally grow big upper body muscle mass, especially if they only work out occasionally. my girl is one of those. she's black and naturally has big muscles. she only works out occasionally (I think she did it more consistently several years ago, but now she works out like twice a month). so most girls don't need to worry. even if they wanted, they wouldn't be able to look like the girl in the video by working out for an hour 3 times a week and not taking anything more than a protein shake. the girl from the video lives bodybuilding because it's her source of income (people watching her videos makes her money), she's probably spending multiple hours at the gym every day. most girls can't afford that. she may also be taking tons of supplements to enhance her gains.
2) this physique is not sustainable and the muscles will get smaller. in your post you're saying that once girls stop working out the muscles will just look bulky. muscles actually shrink if you don't use them, so if somebody stops working out upper body, the shoulders and back should get smaller as long as you maintain the same body fat. if you gain body fat, then it's a different topic. then you can look bulky even without muscles.
Do you lift yourself?
preface - I am a broscientist
what you're against is bodybuilding culture which has been pervasive for men and only recently moreso for women. because bodybuilders largely have no lives there's selection bias on social media I'm guessing (at least there was before I left). I think it's up to the individual to know the difference between a bodybuilder and a more sustainable physique, but I don't think this is unique to women, male bodybuilders have the exact same issues.
I mostly wanted to post because there is a myth I've heard as long as I've been exercising (>20y of weightlifting now) that if women lift weights they will become bulky, I say bullshit. you have to do so much more to become bulky than just lift. my wife has been lifting for maybe 7 years and her body is like jessica biel's, so unless you're doing ronnie coleman type work that's a more accurate future for your body than stefi cohen or some shit
and if you believe social media is real life then yes, we are in trouble, but this is nothing new, and I'll go farther to say this is such a miniscule issue it's almost not worth mention. the biggest problem is weight, 75% of the population are overweight or obese, and I'd bet that the other 25% don't all exercise, and an even smaller slice of them lift weights, and an even smaller slice are bodybuilders, so really I'd rather champion ANY positive lifestyle change away from overweight/obesity as that's the bigger issue with western people today.
Second this - If the worst outcome is PSA's about "Put down the protein" or "2 set, 2 rep max at Gold's today" - I'll take that over hundreds of thousands or millions of people with preventable, lifestyle induced diseases.
Agree with this. A lot of full-time bodybuilders are on PEDs and this includes women. It's a fact it's harder for women to bulk up muscle.
i second this but I also want to add I don't like how it's becoming encouraged to be morbidly obese in today's culture by athletic brands like Nike and Gatorade, as though it were a healthy lifestyle choice. Morbid obesity is a disease that is killing people, not just a lifestyle choice. And it's always coming from women on the body positivity train. You dont see Nike commercials with a bunch of obese dudes in tights encouraging their obesity, it's only represented by women.
also most really jacked female bodybuilders that look like men are likely on the juice. Not attainable natty.
Yeah, you can assert this all you like, but that doesn't make it true. I happen to agree that I think this "beautiful at any size" movement is being hijacked to mean "healthy at any size," which is just wrong, but "morbidly obese" has a medical definition and you aren't using it right.
Moreover, Gatorade isn't an athletic brand, it's a sugary beverage brand. They want you to be obese, because their product is what will make that so.
LIGHT WEIGHT BABY
Respect to him but fuck that, the gym is your full time job for years and you have to go out of your way every day to feed your body adequately. Plus you end up looking like a roided-out weirdo to 99.5% of the population.
I wish bulking were as easy as women who are afraid to lift weights think it is
Instructions unclear, married a four-year D1 athlete who still trains. Can't even tell she had our kid. I consider myself rather fortunate!
People who pound hard to get swole > people triggered by the swole.
People who get swole actually date people who don't get swole?
OP may or may not be a female, but he / she / they are for sure insecure. Imagine taking this amount of time to write out a post shaming women (allegedly her same gender) for trying to build themselves up. Also, just as an FYI, there are plenty of dudes who find women with muscles to be attractive. Have you ever seen the guys these girls date? They tend to be objectively attractive and also fit. Is your SO objectively attractive and also fit? Willing to bet my full stack this isnt the case, otherwise you wouldnt be making this post.
I always dislike posts that have one sole objective; tearing down people who are working to make themselves better.
Women that obtain this level of physique have been working on themselves for years, sometimes decades. Why ridicule their results? If you truly thought they were super unattractive and actually believed men felt the same way you wouldnt have taken the time to compile this shitpost.
Who cares? If someone wants to lift, let them lift. You don't seem to have an issue with men bulking up, and that hypocrisy pretty much invalidates your entire argument, which can be boiled down to "how will you fit in your wedding dress?"
At the end of the day, a bulked up woman is healthier than someone with a more "traditional" look that doesn't work out at all. We should support healthy habits. As others have said, if your objection was steroid use or something, it might have some more nuance, but at the end of the day you're just angry that women aren't conforming to a stereotypical look. Plenty of men find and will find bulky women sexy. For fuck's sake, men (and women) find all sorts of things attractive, in this day and age you'll find someone into anything. If people are into being furries, or are chubby chasers, you'll find someone who likes the look of broad shoulders.
Who tf cares? What is this pointless drivel.
Muscle mommies living in this person's [who is definitely a dude cosplaying as a woman] head rent-free.
More for the rest of us
Back in the day, men could look like whatever and women were pressured to be skinny.
Then social media happened, and men started getting pressured to look fit and lean. A little later, women started getting pressured to look "thicc", with a decent amount of muscle but also a decent amount of body fat. This period of time was probably the best for everyone, because those are sustainable and overall healthiest for men and women alike.
Now, both men and women are getting pressured to look unnaturally (i.e. 💉) fit. It is literally impossible for 99.9% of men to be as big and as lean as the most popular male fitness influencers are without some pharmaceutical help. And while many of the most popular female fitness influencers are not yet at that stage, they (as a group, not any specific individuals spring to mind since I don't really follow them) seem to be heading that way too. And that's not healthy.
Wait, I thought you just had to eat raw liver and you would get absolutely shredded overnight?
I thought this was going to be about be about the self-absorbed idiots who bring tri-pods to gyms, not whatever this rambling was.
Unless a girl takes roids or other drugs, it's highly unlikely she's going to become "too swole" just by weight training. I'm a guy who lifts religiously and is super cautious about what I eat most days. Even then, I doubt somebody would look at me and think I'm "too big" or some nonsense like that. It's even harder for women unless they really, really try.
Also, guys definitely are into women who lift. Again, the ones who overdo it, similarly to pro bodybuilders, are trying exceptionally hard to look the way they do. You don't just bust out 4 sessions at the gym in a week, half ass an attempt to hit your macros, and party on weekends like most people and end up with the physiques they have. Pretty much all guys I know love girls with a squat booty, which is why leggings and butt enhancements are super popular nowadays.
Is this some 4-D chess move to reduce your competition by making the dating pool less into fitness and therefore less attractive to guys or something?
You said "will likely lead to an enormous body crisis".
Enormous body crisis sounds like something widespread. I don't see these kinds of bulked up women with any regularity, and that's living and working in midtown where fads & trends define a lot of young people's daily lives.
Also you seem to assume that the effect of excess muscle today would be excess muscle later in life. I'm not an expert but I suspect that's not how it works. Everything I've heard is that muscle mass is harder to maintain later in life, such that excess today might be a buffer against the loss that will occur later. The top longevity experts advocate for younger-to-middle-aged adults lifting all that they can (within reason) to preserve the muscle that will be a scarce resource later.
I AM RIGHT. IT'S THE WORLD THAT'S WRONG!
Lots of lip for an A1 in a down market. Don't you have work to do?
Kinda feel the list goes (from worst to not as worst?):
1. Woman who wear spandex/leggings and do squats or bent over rows in the middle of the gym
2. These bulked up woman
3. Woman who talk about going to the gym/are in the gym but are still overweight and don't look like they go to the gym
I get your point, this is what happens with latinas, mostly. When they're in their 20s they have the best curves in the world, but when they reach their 30-40, they have an a$$ and legs bigger than a truck (mostly fat). While this also happens with men, who become fat in their 30-40, you also have the other type of men/women who manage their calories and do their exercise and look amazing. I've seen women in their 40 who've been so into fitness during their lives, that even after 3 births, their body looks like a 20 years old gym influencer. So, indeed, what you're poining out is a future risk in a scenario where you can't maintain the same gym and meal schedule as in your 20s, but if you can, you'll continue to look amazing and most probably, those women will don't need to sustain the same stressful life as other moms because when you look so good, you can easily settle down with someone who brings 500k+ net annually aka stay at home mom
I think the bigger issue is we now pretend like you can be obese or even overweight and we have to act like it's healthy and/or beautiful, this is an issue for both genders but obviously more talked about in the context of females. Certainly some issues with what you are saying as well, but I think that this glorification of being fat will lead to far more health issues and body troubles, as compared to the alternative. Studies continue to come out about being even slightly overweight, which is now the normal post-COVID, is still very damaging to your long-term health. But yet we continue to act like we can have our cake and eat it too (in this case, literally).
Yeah, I think this is a perversion of what was an acceptable movement/thought. I don't mind telling people (women or men) that they should not hate themselves because they are bigger, because that isn't productive, will cause other mental problems, and won't help improve health outcomes. But that isn't the same as glorifying being obese, or being happy with being obese.
You can be overweight and have reasonably similar health outcomes to being an "ideal" BMI or whatever. And frankly, different people find different things beautiful, so I don't see an issue with people have a range of weights. But there does come a point when your weight becomes a genuine health issue, and while those people shouldn't be attacked, they also should not be coddled and told they're healthy. Beauty and health are not the same, and I have no issue telling little white lies about the former, but not the latter.
And a lot of it is also that we generally esteem a standard of beauty that just isn't achievable for the average person. No, random American can't look like Hugh Jackman or JLo - it is their job to look that way, they spend a great deal of their time working on their physical health and probably have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of trainers, chefs, nutritionists, etc who help them maintain. For better or worse, it's not reasonable to ask someone working a 9-5 to do all that. Yes, go to the gym or for a run 2-3 times a week, by all means that should be mandated. But I can't spend 2 hours a day in the gym plus 2 hours a day cooking healthy and also do everything else I need to.
FYI that it's super hard for women to get naturally swole due to lower testosterone. ~99% of the women on social media who are super swole like that are usually taking some kind of PED, and if they are doing that then they likely know how to appropriately cycle off that lifestyle into a more "normal" one once they retire from bodybuilding.
"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."
The modern "fitfluencer" culture for women isn't anywhere near male (or even female) bodybuilding culture. Most of the girls I see on instagram seem like regular gym rats that simply put on weight - not necessarily a ton lean weight. Lots of these "amazing transformations" that are basically 80% fat gain, 20% lean gain. Either they were skinny teens before, or obese, and got to a goal weight.
And that's fine. Not everyone aims to become a IFBB pro.
But they leverage their tens of thousands of followers to appear as fitness and nutrition experts, and make a killing off that. If you have a thick fit body type (big ass, slim waist), you can seriously just put on some leggings, take daily booty pics for the gram, and watch the followers count explode. You could be squatting 90 lbs, and still be hailed as a fitness expert.
This one chick at my gym is like that. She's been training for tops 2 years, has 50k followers, and makes a living of selling workout programs and meal plans. She looks tiny in person, but obviously uses angles and lightning for all it is worth.
Good for her! Anyone buying workout programs or meal plans on social media is a sucker and a rube and they deserve to lose their money. I don't think snake oil salesman should be glorified or encouraged... but I also believe in personal responsibility.
from another woman - why do you care?
I'm lazy af and consider it good if I can get any weekly exercise. The only thing that would send me into a nuts fitness regime is if I actually got out of shape, which, thankfully for me, still hasn't happened (thank you mum and dad for your genes)
Never have I met a women incel before until today
It's kinda hot ngl. You sound insecure
DYEL type post. We want wives with thighs that can crush our skulls.
There are a ton of different fizeeks that someone might be aiming for - some are more aesthetic than others, but all are admirable.
Go all the way
a lot of it is for onlyfans.
Fit chicks are best chicks don't even trip. This post is super fitphobic. Check your fat-privilege #cope
The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly - Robert A. Wilson
Omnis officiis non ea ut esse sed. Eaque enim qui provident laborum mollitia ex enim iure. Voluptas labore ipsam eum est. Laborum suscipit nesciunt ut placeat. Quidem et possimus aliquam est blanditiis provident.
See All Comments - 100% Free
WSO depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something. Unlock with your email and get bonus: 6 financial modeling lessons free ($199 value)
or Unlock with your social account...
"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee
Nisi soluta recusandae reprehenderit asperiores. Ipsa velit illo laborum id ipsa laboriosam voluptatibus. Dolorem enim voluptas deserunt odit similique cupiditate eos laboriosam. Suscipit neque occaecati dolorem officia facilis et hic. Et inventore molestiae voluptas modi.
Autem architecto id aut ut ut. Ut vero est id corporis. Ratione dolores aperiam assumenda qui perspiciatis similique. Atque debitis quis quia et dolorum quia sed temporibus.
Dolorem dolores ab assumenda saepe ut aut. Quasi quod excepturi est tempora. Quas blanditiis qui delectus modi qui cum qui. Rerum numquam pariatur est explicabo ducimus dolor quis. Aperiam reprehenderit facilis cumque alias excepturi. Suscipit omnis sed aut dolores. Deleniti libero tempore delectus.
Est voluptatem eos maiores aut et nihil. Et deserunt doloremque dolorem ut voluptas. Et libero eos quis cum corporis eos. Et minima ea quia quia voluptatibus. Necessitatibus nobis nemo culpa qui.
Perspiciatis assumenda cum ea reprehenderit velit sapiente dolorum. Cupiditate ab sed reiciendis laudantium. Velit voluptas occaecati quisquam omnis. Iste quisquam sunt et non accusantium optio magni dolore.