I want to start by saying this: there’s no such thing as “girls exercise” or “guys exercise”. Train how you like. If it makes you feel good, look good, and enjoy yourself while you do it - then do it!
Saying that, we do have some particular cultural aversion to particular kinds of exercise from both sides so I’m going to work with those for now as I invite you to try something new.
Dancing is for girls, or gays. Unless you’ve seen Billy Elliott. Or voted for Diversity to win Britain’s Got Talent back in 2009. Or love Channing Tatum or Patrick Swayze.
Oh and we all know lifting weights is for guys. Otherwise you get really bulky. Unless you’ve seen Zoe Smith competing in the Olympics. Or one of the many female trainers on Team Pro-Fit who are just stunning. Or any of our clients who are also amazing.
You might be sensing that the first sentences in those paragraphs are sarcastic.
As I mentioned earlier, these are social/cultural things that are drilled into us thanks to advertising and magazines and all that shit but let’s not get political, let’s stay practical.
If it is the case that you’re concerned about lifting weights because you’re scared it’ll make you bulky. That’s fine. There is another way.
The way I train is through something called calisthenics. It’s essentially about mastering control over your own body with no need for added weights. And you can get pretty damn strong doing that. And may I add, damn sexy.
Calisthenics links quite closely to yoga. If you scroll through my Instagram profile; every so often you’ll find me holding a particular pose. I get to these through “strength training” progressions. But that’s exactly the same as yoga just without the classes.
You get to master the basics too. At some point we’ve all wanted to be able to do a push-up, or a pull-up, or get a stronger core.
This is what calisthenics is all about!
Giving you the power of your own body back. If you can push yourself up off the ground, or pull yourself up and even OVER a bar, while having the sexiest abs around - I’d say you’re doing pretty well.
(Plus I have this theory that when you lift your own body, your body knows that’s what’s going on and actively works to make you leaner to make it easier for yourself. Totally untested, just my two cents.)
If you don’t believe me - check out these girls on Instagram. Some of these girls might be a bit leaner and more defined than your own goal but that’s not the point. Check out how strong (and sexy) they are just by lifting THEMSELVES and having fun jumping around. (Don’t get mad because they use some weights sometimes. Everybody likes variety.)
Jennifer Tavernier (@minneninja)
If you’re not convinced, no worries. But if you fancy getting stronger and sexier in a new way, try some calisthenics.
Here's how you can get started with pull-ups at home.
Or if you don't quite feel up to that yet and want to give a nice easy HIIT workout at home a go, here's one I prepared earlier.