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arkangel
02-24-2003, 10:22 PM
Help me out here,
Occasionally, I head for the newstands and look through muscle mags. I know I won't look like any of these folks, but you have to admire the view... at least in passing.
I remember being impressed by a handful of women bodybuilders... Rachel McLesh, and Cory Everson... they had such great bodies and still had not lost their feminine features. I thought they were very beautiful.
YET... I also saw a lot of women who really did lose most of what most men would associate with "the art of femininity"... their features were blurred by almost unnatural muscles and their faces seemed bloated.
Why and how do some women manage to bodybuild and still retain their feminine form and others seem to morph into almost mutants??? Is there a difference in the chemistry between men and women??? Do the same supplements that give men that respected bulk, give women a raw deal???
Just curious!!!

Arkangel
Oakland/CA
Traven8@hotmail.com

Belle
02-24-2003, 11:29 PM
Men's testosterone levels are somewhat higher than women's. In fact the average 20 yo woman may have as high as 120 ng/dl depending on what day in the month it is, and the men have as high at 950 ng/dl. This is some 7-8 times higher and is quite obviously the reason why men have bigger gains. As an aside, I don't do bodybuilding to build the type of shape that some women attain in body building. If women can achieve good gains without losing their "feminity" without supplementing themselves with top up's or anabolic steroids then more power to them. I could not take drugs to be honest...I think it is about building your shape on what Mother nature gave you as a woman. I don't plan on going quite that far as some have...I think I like my feminine softness too much for that. Some are so extensively developed and they do seem to me to be moving away from feminity, but then what is feminity truly? If a woman can achieve that shape and has the ability to do that naturally, I think that is good--that is more than likely why they compete. They are still feminine a lot of the time. I think that the furthest I would go is to just have an awesome female shape and build but with still some element of softness as I said. In comparing them to men I have to say that women should not be competing with men--they never can, they just compete with other women. I always perceived that if you needed to take extra male hormones to do that, then it was similar to cheating really, because really you need to be doing what you can as I said earlier on what Mother nature gave you in the way of hormone.

I think the secret to keeping that softness is to just not let yourself get to overdone. It is like baking a cake really...we all like to bake it differently, but sometimes you have to make sure that the cooking time is not exceeded. Well that's how I see it anyway...

Gollum
02-25-2003, 03:01 AM
arkangel,

The monsters you are referring to aern't turning into mutants,they are turning into men thanks to the drugs they are taking.They are pulverizing themselves with male hormones,steroids and other drugs and thus are developing male characteristics.The bloated faces are a common side effect.The other female bodybuilders you mentioned who have fantastic,muscular bodies but still look female either do not take such drugs or use them very cautiously.

Like anything else in life,some people are going to go overboard.There are even some male bodybuilders who I think have gone beyond what is pleasing to look at and now resemble gargoyles.I wouldnt mind looking like Lee Labrada,but I would pass on looking like Ronnie Coleman.

In some ways your statement about certain supplements giving men bulk and women a raw deal is true.If you want to retain your feminine features,there are certain things you just want to stay away from.Even things like 1AD and 1tests could have negative effects on females.However,there is no reason why you cant use protein powders,vitamin/minerals,creatine and many other things to enhance your physique while not sacrificing your femininity.

The short answer:Train hard,eat well and often,take some good quality supplements that dont effect hormone levels and you will develop a nice,shapely,muscular build.Unless you have 1 in 10,000 genetics to gain muscle,you wont become a freak like you see in magazines without drugs.

arkangel
02-25-2003, 07:14 PM
WOW!!!
Thanks for the information.
I'm one of these folks who walks into GNC and has NO CLUE about what half of these powders and such are for... much less what effect it will have on your system.
Some folks use these things and look fantastic, and others... well, who knows.
It was just one of those things, I was always curious about. It always seemed to me that the differences between the male and female body, in terms of chemistry, must be like night and day... what would work for one would not exactly help the other... like TOFU... probabily really good for women (source of estrogen) but too much probabily wouldn't be too good for men, in the long run.
The whole thing about "flexing" was always a bit overwhelming for me... pictures of these folks when they weren't "flexed" always seemed so different than when they were waxed up and in competition.
Anyway, thanks for all the info... now I know a lot more about why some female bodybuilders look like Rachel McLesh and others certainly don't.
Here's to eating healthy things and pumping iron effectively.

Arkangel

Belle
02-25-2003, 07:18 PM
Yeh maybe tofu is not good for men?

http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/Male%20Health.htm

arkangel
02-25-2003, 11:07 PM
Thanks for the article... pretty scary, since I've eaten more than a little soy in my life... LOL!!! Nah... I believe in balance in a diet, so all the food groups get pretty represented.
My girlfriend and I are on a high-protein and low carb diet now and eating all this meat is great!!! I really don't miss all the carbs, pastas, and other things for the most part. Some things are puzzling.. like the fact that a banana is almost 50 carbs all by itself. What a downer!!!
Write again real soon.

Arkangel

Belle
02-26-2003, 12:26 AM
I love bananas sliced with mixed nut's and cream... I miss them immensely. :)

Other than that I don't mis the carbs anyway, well atleast not the high glycaemic ones such as pasta like you said. I always felt that they were just a "filler" and that the meat and vegies were the quality stuff on my plate really. I'm just thinking, since we're cutting back the carbs some...we should occasionally be able to indulge in bananas? Listen to me tryiing to justify a banana binge now...lol!!!! My bad?

Laurie
02-26-2003, 12:46 AM
You can look at the women who participate in the Met-RX "Strong Woman" contests, the past three years, as an example of different body shapes.

This is according to genetics, how they started out, training and a host of other factors. Their backgrounds are very diverse. Some can look very feminine and yet are very strong like Finland's Heini Koivuniemi. Some have bulk like Jill Mills (who started out as a powerlifter) while others look very athletic like Shannon Hartnett. A few did start out as bodybuilders before getting into this sport.

They are not competing with the guys although the strength contests are similar. Canada's Josee Morneau grew up on a farm and got her beginnings by just working there.

I have heard alot of misconceptions about what these contenders are supposed to look like from friends. That is until I show them photos or point to the ESPN showing of the contests.

Here is a page showing the contenders from the recent 2002 WSW contest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

http://www.jillmills.com/jm/events/wsw2002/wsw2002_strongwomen.htm

None of these, I would call "mutants" or really "unfeminine".

Women bodybuilding has gone through a lot of changes over the years. A lot of controversy too as to what is to be "feminine" and being a bodybuilder. Some of the decisions have been arbitary. Just as it used to be women were limited to what they could do in sports and all the "myths" with that.

Some women bodybuilders have tried to see just how far they can go...and more power to them. The same thing with the "Fitness" contestants....although they look more like contests for former gymnasts. I am not interested in looking "just like" a fitness model in the fitness mags. If I could look even close in body shape and be nearly as strong as, say, Scotland's Jackie Young (she weighed 175lbs for this contest) ....that is fine with me.

Gator
02-26-2003, 05:30 AM
Jill Mills is a tower of power...
She rules that world..
And yes things they r a changing Laurie !!
some people like the change, and then again some dont.
Its all a personal preference..

I had and old gf who was 5'4 and about 175 lbs, but she was all muscle and very symettrical..she got soo many looks and i always got asked how I found that attractive, thats was an easy answer for me, i kinda like that look..I would say most guys would say no, but to me she was smokin..Specially since she couldve been Sandra Bullocks twin sister !!!
so Laurie, be what u wanna be, have yer own goals and be you !!!!
Good luck !!!

Gator

Originally posted by Laurie
You can look at the women who participate in the Met-RX "Strong Woman" contests, the past three years, as an example of different body shapes.

This is according to genetics, how they started out, training and a host of other factors. Their backgrounds are very diverse. Some can look very feminine and yet are very strong like Finland's Heini Koivuniemi. Some have bulk like Jill Mills (who started out as a powerlifter) while others look very athletic like Shannon Hartnett. A few did start out as bodybuilders before getting into this sport.

They are not competing with the guys although the strength contests are similar. Canada's Josee Morneau grew up on a farm and got her beginnings by just working there.

I have heard alot of misconceptions about what these contenders are supposed to look like from friends. That is until I show them photos or point to the ESPN showing of the contests.

Here is a page showing the contenders from the recent 2002 WSW contest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

http://www.jillmills.com/jm/events/wsw2002/wsw2002_strongwomen.htm

None of these, I would call "mutants" or really "unfeminine".

Women bodybuilding has gone through a lot of changes over the years. A lot of controversy too as to what is to be "feminine" and being a bodybuilder. Some of the decisions have been arbitary. Just as it used to be women were limited to what they could do in sports and all the "myths" with that.

Some women bodybuilders have tried to see just how far they can go...and more power to them. The same thing with the "Fitness" contestants....although they look more like contests for former gymnasts. I am not interested in looking "just like" a fitness model in the fitness mags. If I could look even close in body shape and be nearly as strong as, say, Scotland's Jackie Young (she weighed 175lbs for this contest) ....that is fine with me.

Hibiscus09
02-26-2003, 07:39 AM
Yikes! Her quads are bigger than my whole body! That is just too big for me. Monica Brandt looks nice but as for the rest of them, I would not want my quads to be bigger than my husband's. To each his/her own, but I think Jill Mills is way too big & the two to the left of her may be men.

tracyb555
02-26-2003, 08:35 AM
Originally posted by Laurie
Here is a page showing the contenders from the recent 2002 WSW contest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

http://www.jillmills.com/jm/events/wsw2002/wsw2002_strongwomen.htm

None of these, I would call "mutants" or really "unfeminine".


Laurie,

Thanks for posting this to give us some pics of women who are not the stereotypical female body, yet don't have the warped (somewhat masculine) facial features of some women you see in magazines. As far as body types go, I can see some resemblance of my lower body to that of Shannon Hartnett. Now, I've just got to work on getting the upper body to help balance it out!

tracyb555
02-26-2003, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by Hibiscus09
Monica Brandt looks nice but as for the rest of them, I would not want my quads to be bigger than my husband's.

LOL! Guess that's why I've always been attracted to men with big legs. Can't have a guy whose legs are smaller than mine! However, while my hubby's quads are bigger than mine, I think my calves are larger than his. I keep challenging him to a calf measure-off, but he won't take me up on it.

Hibiscus09
02-26-2003, 08:54 AM
My calves are big also but not shapely as I'm sure yours are from all the running. :)

Gator
02-26-2003, 10:39 AM
OK, lets have the "Over 35 First Ever Calf Off" !!!

LOL

Gator

Originally posted by Hibiscus09
My calves are big also but not shapely as I'm sure yours are from all the running. :)

Viola
02-26-2003, 05:35 PM
Shannon has got the best build in the group IMO. But Heini is definately the most feminine looking IMO.

The first four in the group from the left are just to beefy looking for me.

Viola

Belle
02-26-2003, 05:50 PM
Yeh I thought that too...I prefer a much leaner look and more muscle definition.

arkangel
02-26-2003, 09:36 PM
Thanks for the photo...
Taking this strictly from a guy's POV, and including my great love of bigger women... I'd have to cast the best votes for Mills, Young, and Hartnett. Very cute... they look like they're really fun to be around. I really like a physical gal you can wrestle with.
WOW... they're all pretty nice, on the whole.
Thanks again... looking at all those beautiful women really picked up my night... work is awful!!!

Arkangel

Gator
02-27-2003, 05:36 AM
Im w/ya Ark...
And dont stress about work my friend..

Gator

Originally posted by arkangel
Thanks for the photo...
Taking this strictly from a guy's POV, and including my great love of bigger women... I'd have to cast the best votes for Mills, Young, and Hartnett. Very cute... they look like they're really fun to be around. I really like a physical gal you can wrestle with.
WOW... they're all pretty nice, on the whole.
Thanks again... looking at all those beautiful women really picked up my night... work is awful!!!

Arkangel

MsFit
02-27-2003, 09:34 PM
Why and how do some women manage to bodybuild and still retain their feminine form and others seem to morph into almost mutants??? Is there a difference in the chemistry between men and women??? Do the same supplements that give men that respected bulk, give women a raw deal???
Just curious!!!


It has to do with the fact whether they took their boyfriends "vitamins" or not. ;) :D
MsFit

Gator
02-28-2003, 04:59 AM
Whatta ya mean ??? LOL

Gator

Originally posted by MsFit
It has to do with the fact whether they took their boyfriends "vitamins" or not. ;) :D
MsFit

arkangel
02-28-2003, 11:09 PM
Strange, but you always hear guys complain when they're dragged off to home-and-garden shows, and many other "women"-type events.
What a cool situation to pump iron with your girlfriend!!! It's the best... men and women sweating, pumping iron and feeling healthy and spunky afterward... or is that just me... LOL!!!
Hell, maybe they'll like football and ice hockey too...

Arkangel

MiloMan
03-01-2003, 05:42 AM
Originally posted by arkangel
What a cool situation to pump iron with your girlfriend!!!
It would seem that way, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, mixed-gender workout partners, even if they start out at approximately the same strength level, will not stay at the same strength level. Even if the woman takes something like Anavar (one of the "vitamins" at which MsFit hinted, preferred because of its lesser androgenic properties, as opposed to something like Dianabol), the physical differences between the genders will cause a man and woman that work equally hard in the gym to part ways (for a more compatible workout partner, I mean) eventually.

Also consider, for example, a 120 lb woman and 180 lb man (both reasonably fit), not an unrealistic scenario. Would we even expect the physical strength of these two (both reasonably fit) to be in the same ballpark? Hell, no, we wouldn't. Add weight training and time, and the difference will grow even further.

MiloMan
03-01-2003, 05:50 AM
Consider these two, both incredibly strong, at the top of their form, but lifting nowhere the same poundage.

Here is a story on Swanson:

http://www.adrenalineadventures.net/news/264.html

Mendelson benches slightly under 800. She benches about 340. Large difference (still a damn strong woman though).

Belle
03-01-2003, 11:10 AM
She looks like Jodie Foster in the face a little, around the eyes.
There is a couple at my gym that work out together all the time. he is BIG, and she is small, but well developed. They do not seem to have any problems. They are like coaches for eachother and check eachother's form and stuff. They do sit ups and the other night every time he sat up she pulled a face... it's quite cute really.

MiloMan
03-01-2003, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by Belle
She looks like Jodie Foster in the face a little, around the eyes.
There is a couple at my gym that work out together all the time. he is BIG, and she is small, but well developed. They do not seem to have any problems. They are like coaches for eachother and check eachother's form and stuff. They do sit ups and the other night every time he sat up she pulled a face... it's quite cute really.
Just adorable. I suppose they like loading or unloading an enormous number of plates after each gets done with a set, or do they just use selectorized equipment?

Hibiscus09
03-01-2003, 02:47 PM
Me & my sweetie used to workout a lot together but now we just workout around each other at the same time of day. That way we have a spot & don't have to do all the crazy weight taking on & off. Plus, he's 6'3" & I'm 5'4" which became a problem when we used the machines and had to make all the adjustments. A sad breakup tis true but we still smooch each other goodbye when one finishes working out before the other. LOL

Belle
03-02-2003, 02:17 AM
They do use plates a lot. They seem to take turns doing each exercise before they move onto the next exercise.

I'll have to take my digital camera in sometime and snap a few pics of the gym and folks actually. See if I can get their permission. There is that couple (they are in their thirties) and then another older couple still whom are early 50's I'd say. The latter just appear to do the weights for fitness more than body building.

arkangel
03-03-2003, 08:56 PM
I don't know... I guess when I spoke about men and women lifting together, I meant that they both enjoyed the fun and the benefits of pumping iron, working out and feeling at the top of their game.
I think anything, along fitness lines, two people can do only enhances everyone's ability to get more out of it.
Not only do my girlfriend and I try to get in better shape together but we also do Yoga once or twice a day, and try to help each other stay on a sensible eating plan. It's great to help each other work harder and improve.
One of these days, both my girlfriend and I hope to get our certification as teachers for Iyangar Yoga. When working out is such a positive experience, it only makes you want to make it count.
I'm happy to see so many folks feel the same way.

Arkangel

Gator
03-04-2003, 04:42 AM
Good point Ark..As long as the 2 people see the gold at the end of the rainbow !!!
But theres no way i could ever workout w/my better half.
She talks, I dont.
She takes her time, I dont.
She wastes time, I dont. LOL

But as long as we meet my the door at the end of our time there, thats what matters..LOL

Gator


Originally posted by arkangel
I don't know... I guess when I spoke about men and women lifting together, I meant that they both enjoyed the fun and the benefits of pumping iron, working out and feeling at the top of their game.
I think anything, along fitness lines, two people can do only enhances everyone's ability to get more out of it.
Not only do my girlfriend and I try to get in better shape together but we also do Yoga once or twice a day, and try to help each other stay on a sensible eating plan. It's great to help each other work harder and improve.
One of these days, both my girlfriend and I hope to get our certification as teachers for Iyangar Yoga. When working out is such a positive experience, it only makes you want to make it count.
I'm happy to see so many folks feel the same way.

Arkangel

arkangel
03-04-2003, 07:41 PM
You know, this whole concept of "body work" is kind of amazing.
My girlfriend and I work in a lot of different arenas-- yoga, aerobics, weights, and the usual take-a-walk things. It's amazing how different you feel in your body when all this begins to kick in. You can almost feel how heavy your bones are.
Well, it's healthy... and it helps you cope with an arbitarary world... so what can be wrong with that.
Just a question... is everyone strictly barbells or are there some dumbbell people out there... I use both... what does everyone else think.

Arkangel

Belle
03-04-2003, 08:13 PM
I use a mixture of all. Lever, dumbells and barbells.

arkangel
03-05-2003, 12:06 AM
Don't know if this will help anyone... at least someone who works out at home, versus a gym.
Go to "www.Soloflex.com" and check out the dumbbells and their new composite bar. Even the rubber-coated weights are great.
I haven't found a better set of dumbbells anywhere... good on the hands and good for your hardwood floor.
The composite bar is a great piece of work... but check it out and look for yourselves.
Let me know what you think...

Arkangel
Traven8@hotmail.com

Gator
03-05-2003, 04:46 AM
Im a dumbbell guy myself, as much as I can be...
Easier on my bod and joints..

Gator

Laurie
03-05-2003, 08:27 PM
I started out with the Universal machine for bench and shoulder work. But found better control and strength using the barbell and dumbbells. With the Universal machine, there is the tendency to still push more with the stronger arm. With dumbbells, your weaker side is forced to work harder for balance and muscle growth.

Over the Winter Semester break, I started using the Olympic barbell for the bench press at home and at a local gym in Parker (until the classes started). Found I could press more and progress further doing this. So when the Spring class started, I have forgone the schedule of using the machine for the bench.

When the Winter class was over, I was bench pressing 60 on the machine. Since then, over the last two months, I progressed to 85 with ease. Now I am able to do at least 2 sets of 6-8 reps of 100 after pyramiding. Hopefully by the end of the Spring semester, I will have gone further.

Dumbbell shoulder presses with 20 pounds is what I am doing now. Like I said, my left arm is not quite a strong as my right, but by isolating like this....instead of using the machine (or even the barbell). I force the left arm to work to make a couple of reps more to failure after the final set. I can do more with my right beyond the standard 12 reps per set of 3-4. But what is the point of this? At least establish some kind of symmetry.

arkangel
03-05-2003, 09:01 PM
I'm still working through a lot of my regimen.
I used to do a combination of free weights and machines, and then became enamored with the machines (Cybex, Nautalus, etc.). I had to admit that the free weights built muscle faster and gave out a more honest feeling within the muscles.
Then my son came along and the gym was NOT an option anymore. The problem with freeweights at home is that you need things like a "proper" bench (not a wimpy aluminum one) and one that will be able to tolerate the amount of weights needed to get a good workout. I'm around 6'2" so the height also became an issue on the equipment-- you know the kind of stuff you can get from Sears, etc. .
That was when I began to seriously investigate the Soloflex, Nordiflex Gold and the Trimax. I exhausted a lot of hours and worked out the financing... then decided on the Soloflex. I'm not complaining... it was a good friend and allowed me to workout seriously. I added a Rock-It for the legs, which is also great. I added a Bowflex, which also has a good rep.... and a pretty good work out too.
What I like about weight plates still exists, though... and now I'm trying to work in all three elements into my workout. Right now I'm just using the Nautalus free weight machine and am really happy with it. I just need to hone the routines and amount of weights.
If it were up to me, I'd be out there working on this part of the body and that part for around four hours a day. There's nothing I love more than feeling the muscles work and working up a good sweat.
One of these days I'll get back to where I left off at the Central YMCA in San Francisco, but until then... I'll keep reading the Arnold book and figuring out how not to hurt myself....LOL!!!

Arkangel
Oakland/CA