Monday, December 22, 2008
Shoulders and Strength
No, this is NOT me! She is a figure competitor, Autumn Edwards, and she has the arms and shoulders I plan to keep building towards. The way I see it, if I can build defined shoulders, then I will also have built up quite a bit of strength. I notice when I squat, my shoulders hurt more than anything else. I have rheumatoid arthritis and so almost any exercise involving compound movements, my shoulders feel like they have been pulled out of their sockets and they burn like hellfire. But as I have built up my shoulder strength, the pain has slowly diminished and my overall body strength has increased. As my body strength increases, my symptoms of RA have decreased. So I plan to keep lifting till the day I die! I hope that even as I grow old and gray-haired, I can switch from figure comps to female natural bodybuilding. Plenty of "grannies" are doing it and they look BEAUTIFUL and amazingly young. And most of them did not start lifting till they were over 50 years old! Lifting weights increases the female body's natural amount of testosterone. And testosterone is one of those amazing hormones that help women look younger and feel horny. Ever wonder why men age better than women? It is because of testosterone! As women age, our hormones practically fall away and our estrogen either shoots through the roof or we lose it. And estrogen, although helpful for childbearing and other "female" functions, it is our testosterone that helps us feel horny and keep our bodyfat levels low. Now after saying all that, please don't assume I am advocating using steroids. I am not. I am just saying, let's be smart about our bodies and try to get the natural advantage of boosting our own testosterone by lifting weights. Besides, lifting weights helps improve bone density and we all know we don't want to be the old woman with the humped back and the easily broken hips. Jerome was off painkillers enough yesterday that he was able to write me a great workout for my shoulders and legs. I ended up doing Push Presses for the first time and I loved them! I was able to push press 65 lbs. Normally I can only shoulder press on a machine 60 lbs and I can dumbbell press 25's. I felt so powerful and awesome standing in the squat rack and pressing 65 lbs over my head and seeing my muscles just bulge and veins pop out. I loved it! I am actually a small woman, though tall, and pretty much have no muscle definition as I just walk around doing daily living tasks but when I lift, my muscles do come out of hiding and I feel amazed at seeing the results of all my hardwork come to fruition. I am so much stronger than when I first started lifting, too! I used to be able to shoulder press with dumbbells only 5's, now I do 25's. I could barely squat the bare bar (45 lbs!) and now I squat 155! I used to only be able to run a quarter mile and feel as if I was dying of asthma. Now I easily lope a full mile in about 10 minutes, with little to no effort. I now run about 3 miles in order ot feel as if I am breathing even a little hard. And that is really not bad. I actually just have learned to pace my breathing to my strides and can actually go for forever. Fitness rocks!!!!