The world's foremost expert on glute training, Bret Contreras, has a snazzy new website. One of the articles to kick things off is his "120 Tips on Strength Training for Women." Cool, I'm a woman, and I want to get stronger; I hope there's some helpful tips for me! Just a heads up, my enthusiasm is false because it's well known that the king of glutes can be a real ass when it comes to the ladies.
Some of us have been waiting for his list since he included this gem in his last week's "random thoughts" blog post:
3. Reconsidering Posting My Training Women Article – What Do You Think?
I've been jotting down notes for the past several months in regards to the differences between training men and women. I have 100 observations and would like to post it, however from past experiences I'm pretty sure that a certain number of women would find it to be offensive. I would be sure to mention that these are generalizations and there are of course many individuals who are exceptions to these generalizations, and I think many trainers and coaches would appreciate the attempt at providing honest feedback. However, I don't want to upset people, or to have to defend my intentions. What do my readers think –- should I post it or leave it be?
Well, first, we should probably be impressed that he referred to us as "women" instead of "females"... so, good job? Of course, this is posted above a stock photo of a woman in a bikini. Instead of, you know, a woman strength training. Already off to a good start.
Bret decided to posted the promised tips, and they don't disappoint. Or, they really, really do. It sucks because some of his tips aren't terrible, and might be even helpful if they didn't come with a side of sexism.
Here's our favorites:
1. Most women think there's some magic fitness secret out there and therefore try to juggle every fitness methodology under the sun, which results in being mediocre at a variety of things rather than highly skilled in one or just a few areas.
Women be shopping for magic fitness secrets, ladies amirite?? It's just something women — and only women! — do.
2. Women absolutely love it when they perform their first legitimate push-up and chin-up, and many love doing "masculine" things in the gym such as pushing sleds.
He's right, it's similar to the rush I felt the first time I parallel parked successfully! (It was just last week.) (And I loved it.)
Alternately: Men absolutely love it when they give birth for the first time, and love doing "feminine" things like pushing carriages.
3. However, many women lack the fortitude and dedication to ever see incredible results from lifting due to "being a lifter" rather than "being a student of weight lifting"
You come at the king of glutes, you best not miss. Also, what??
4. The vast majority of women will never have "too much booty" as in gluteus maximus musculature no matter how much resistance training they perform
Well, that's terrible news.
5. Some women giggle when they're struggling with exercise form or when pushing a set near failure –- men don't do this.
Oh women, with their constant giggling — they're as bad as Asian schoolgirls!
6. Women often bring drama to the gym and have more trouble detaching from everyday life-struggles when training
Who cares if your son is sick or your mom's in the hospital, drama queen!
7. Women are better than men at fostering camaraderie but not quite as good as men at holding training partners accountable for showing up.
This seems almost in direct contradiction to the last tip. Also, what??
8. A small percentage of women possess what I call "Tasmanian devil syndrome," characterized by a barrel chest with two chicken legs -– this is the hardest body type to improve!
LOL, but also, it must feel great to see a personal trainer who says you have "Tasmanian devil syndrome" — so encouraging! What a great tip.
9. If a woman has a boyfriend/husband who is a coach/trainer, she won't listen to him no matter what his credentials are (never a prophet in your own land).
You could have been the Queen of Glutes, Kelly! Now you're just some common whore of triceps.
10. Women love putting chalk on their hands and then clapping hard –- thereby getting chalk everywhere rather than keeping it solely on the hands (they probably do this because they saw gymnasts do it).
OK, how is this a tip? This is not a tip, it is a complaint founded in the fact that he saw a woman do it once, he swears.
When a commenter called him out for patronizing tone and general ridiculousness on the chalk bit, he responded:
Naomi, I recently trained five women during a particular session. Each of the five women showed up wearing outfits that featured the color pink. This would never happen with men. I can't begin to tell you how many female clients I have to remind to not clap with regards to chalk -– it's a serious problem.
I'm getting a lot of nods and agreements from trainers and coaches, so it seems that they're seeing similar things. Anyway, sorry you didn't like it.
SORRY NOT SORRY, NAOMI. And here's one tip for guys who write blog posts with blanket stereotypes — don't get all defensive in the comments. Also, saying "So many people agree with me, so you're wrong but thanks for playing," is not an effective argument based in science or fact.
11. Women don't tend to care as much about science and research –- anecdotes are often sufficient for evidence.
Men NEVER do this, especially not in a long listicle on an exercise blog.
12. Some women make sexual-sounding grunts when lifting; men grunt but it doesn't sound sexual.
SAYS YOU, BRO.
13. Women prefer to hear feminine terms such as "firm," toned," "tight," "lean," "long," "sculpted" and "sexy," rather than masculine terms such as "jacked," "yoked," "swole," "huge," "ripped," "shredded," or "muscular," and even the word "hypertrophy" can scare them off
OK, that's because those words are fucking STUPID.
14. Some women prefer hiring a female trainer because they feel more comfortable and that a woman can relate better to their needs, whereas training with the same sex or they feel that a woman will better relate to their needs, while other women prefer hiring a male trainer since they feel that men can better motivate and push them to new levels of development
Yes, people are different. Good point.
15. Women are more prone than men to getting fooled into buying "fake" healthy foods (they trust labels and don't inspect the ingredients and nutritional info).
I'm sorry... I just can't with this anymore.
This whole thing is extra stupid because there's some decent stuff on Contreras list, but it's hard to see beyond the bullshit. On the good side, he effectively tells men that women at the gym aren't dressed up for them, and to leave them the fuck alone when they're exercising. That's cool, and it's unfortunate all the other stuff is such blatant garbage talk, buried under a mountain of misogyny.
120 Tips on Strength Training [Bret Contreras]