This is a guest post from Todd Boyer from Phitzone. Enjoy the post, but don’t mess with his wife.
by Todd Boyer
When I was a junior in high school I dated a girl that was a competitive power lifter. She happened to also work at the local gym (there was only one in the small town that we lived in).
I would work out very hard. Six, and sometimes seven days a week. Often up to two hours per day I would train. Like a man! I worked out with some hardcore fellas. A couple of which tried their hand in regional bodybuilding and power lifting competitions.
It was during that time when I saw what training was really all about. Of course, I didn’t understand, or even realize it at the time, but the seed was planted. You see, for the first time ever, I trained with a girl. And I saw some real female strength.
She never picked up a 2.5 lbs. dumbbell to do sets of twenty in order to “get tone”. She didn’t log any time on the treadmill either. For one thing, it was an old school gym–there were no treadmills. For another, she was banging out sets in the squat rack. Or bench pressing more than some of the guys on the football team (they knew who they are).
She trained with purpose. A very serious purpose. The young lady trained with as much weight as she could possibly move, and constantly challenged herself. She trained with intensity. This girl trained like one of the guys, but differently at the same time.
This was very different. She pushed me to train with more intensity and purpose. Her influence forced me to train like a man as well. More so than the guys that I usually worked out with.
She eventually dumped me for some squid (local lingo referring to the sailors in town), and may have popped out a litter of kiddlets. Just one of the downsides of living in a small Navy town.
Society, Women, and Strength
That was over twenty years ago. The perception back then was that women shouldn’t be strong. Women who did get in shape did so by dancing along with Jane Fonda, and the like. You just did not see the female of the species in the gym all that often, and when you did, they were “toning” with tiny weights and a bazillion reps.
I see more women using free weights in the gym today, but most will not use heavy weight. This could be due to a lack of information being made available to them, keeping the old stigma about not wanting to bulk up. Or, it could just be that society doesn’t look kindly upon strong women.
I began training my beautiful bride fifteen years after high school. She was reluctant at first about lifting weights. It was the usual objection. She didn’t want to bulk up and look like one of those “dude’ish looking bodybuilder chicks.”
I explained that she would never bulk up like a man, primarily because she doesn’t have the boy parts required for such a thing. On top of this was the fact that those ladies are “chemically enhanced.” She was then on board.
We were both in the process of trimming down. One day I began to notice that my wife really likes to push herself. She actually enjoyed lifting heavy weights, more so than spending countless minutes that seem like hours doing cardio. Even today, on a weekly basis she increases the amount of weight for a given exercise.
While I do not train with her, per say, she still inspires me to push my limits. To train with a purpose. To be intense in my workout. To be a man, and train like a woman.
About The Author: Todd Boyer is an exercise enthusiast with over two decades of experience in health and fitness. He and his wife, Becki, are the owners of PhitZone.com.