Lifting Heav(ier) Stuff Makes You Smarter. No, Really!
I’ve made an executive decision (as of ten minutes ago) that I’m going to dedicate more material towards women specific training. It makes perfect sense, really. I mean for starters, most of the lay press out there marketing themselves as authorities in women’s fitness makes me want to detach my retinas. Above all, however, I spend a good portion of my week training women, and I’d like to think that I have some useful information to share on the topic.
What’s more, I think it would be beneficial, not to mention kick ass, to give a everyone more access at some of the things we do at Cressey Performance that differentiates us from most (not all) facilities that cater to women. As such, once or twice a week, I’m going to dedicate some time discussing topics that are relevant to women, except without all the pillow fights, meatloaf, and Dirty Dancing.
That being the case, earlier in the week, two of my our current female clients brought in an article published in The New York Times showing how women who focused more on traditional strength training each week improved cognitive function compared to those who only focused on *tries not to vomit in mouth* balance and toning exercises.
For those too lazy to click on the link above, the study showed how women who concentrated on strength training (similar to the stuff shown above) improved their performance on tests of so-called executive function by 10.9 percent to 12.6 percent. Conversely, women who did nothing but balance and toning exercises (think pink dumbbells and pilates), saw a slight deterioration of roughly 0.5 percent in the same tests. Which, not surprisingly, would help explain why Tracy Anderson is about as intelligent as a ham sandwich. Count it!
I was going to go off on a tangent here, but instead, I’ll just quote Natalie, one of our female clients who brought this article to my attention:
I wish that more women would value strength and health as beautiful, and stop worshiping the likes of Kelly Ripa.
After seeing a workout “advice” article by Ms. Anderson, I think it’s impossible to deny that women are led consistently towards the wrong values (which not only encourages a negative self image, but, ironically enough, keeps them fat!). It truly saddens me; most especially because I work with women who have taken this to an extreme (eating disorder girls). I think that the psychological benefits of lifting for women are likely equal to if not greater than the physical benefits! Whoa…did I just get serious??! I think so… My inner feminist escapes. Next week, burning bras!!
Well said, Natalie. Well said.