Don’t Believe Everything You See In Pictures

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Shape Magazine Split Squat


The Kid and I were at Barnes & Noble the other night since she had a light day of homework. I love those kind of days, don’t you? With this being January, we walked in the door and there was display of fitness and eating books. There were all kinds of books about diets, workouts, fast workouts, vegetarian diets fresh for the new year. A popular magazine publisher had a few books on diet and fitness that came in both male and female versions.

I actually read the male and female versions of their magazine so I was interested in the books. I picked up a copy of both so that I could look through them and get ideas. Here’s where I let you in on a pet peeve that I have. I see it all the time when looking at pictures of female workouts online or in magazines. The ladies are all lifting ridiculous weights that will do nothing for the average person to make a change.

No wonder so many women get frustrated and give up. The leg workout they suggested doing included exercises that make complete sense to do – squats, deadlifts, lunges, and step ups. I do those all the time in my workouts. They work for men and women alike. The picture showed the woman doing these with 10 lb dumbbells (even less in some cases)! This was for a muscle building workout, not a cardio workout. Let me put this in perspective for you.

If you live with a small child (or even carry your own groceries), chances are you are already deadlifting and squatting this amount of weight. Multiple times in a row. Doing those same movements with 10 lb dumbbells isn’t going to give you the body of the woman in the picture or you would already have it. You may be able to lift those dumbbells through reps quickly for some form of a fat burning workout, but you won’t shape your body in the process.

Working out to make a change in muscle needs to be difficult. I could be wrong, but I hazard a guess that you deadlifting 10 lb dumbbells 12 times isn’t difficult. Am I right? Go grab your kid (or your doggie) if he’s handy and pick him up and set him down 12 times. You may be out of breath, but are you at a point that you feel shaky in the legs and can’t do another? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Of course there are always going to exceptions and you may very well be one who needs to use very light weights to build muscle. Always exercise within your fitness level and use common sense. For men and women there’s no difference. That last rep needs to be difficult enough that you think you may not be able to lift it. If not, you won’t build the muscle. Don’t always go by the pictures. Go by the feel of the weight as you workout.

I focused on the women’s workouts in this post because those weights were obviously light but I’m betting that the same issue applies to a lot of men’s workout pictures. The weights might be heavier in the pictures for the men, but I assume they are light for the average man to lift. I gravitate towards the men’s workout magazines and books because they are more realistic to my workout types and weights.

I’m not bashing the workout in the picture above or the ones that I’ve read. The workouts usually depict excellent form and recommend good exercises to do. I just have an issue with the weights they use in the picture for a workout intended to build muscle. This wouldn’t irk me if they changed the purpose of the workout to fat burning instead. 🙂

Have you noticed this in women’s magazines? What are some of your pet peeves?

Speak Your Mind