Finally, waif-like stick figures are out and healthy hard bodies are in. Have you joined the new trend?


Pink is the new red. Thirty is the new 20. It seems that everyone is looking towards what’s new and trendy, and the world of fitness is no exception. For once, however, there is a catch phrase in fitness that is leading the way for positive change in the industry: Strong is the new sexy.

Gone are the days of waif-like fitness images inspired by Kate Moss and promulgated by the anorexic movement in fashion magazines and online. Skinny is no longer sexy.

For those of us who spend our days keeping in the know about the fitness world, an awesome change is occurring. There is a celebration of women who are strong and fit. They don’t fit a size 0 and don’t touch those ridiculous five-pound pink dumbbells, which women-only gyms seem to think are a good idea.

The facts are: Being too skinny is bad for you and lifting weights lighter than your groceries is about as useful as ordering a diet coke with your super-sized, fast food meal. When you are underweight your body goes into shutdown and safety mode. Your muscles atrophy and your bones start to break down. Your organs don’t function properly and often menstruation ceases. All of these things are catastrophic to your long-term health.

Times are finally changing. Over the last few years in the fitness world I have been inundated with women from the ages of 16 to 80 who don’t want to look like a rake. They want to look strong. They want to have curves. They want to be healthy, complete with muscle definition. It’s awesome.

An even better outcome of this new movement is the benefit to the overall health of women pursuing a strong and lean physique. Cross training gyms are pushing women to lift bigger weights and play with the real toys. Flipping tires, tossing kettlebells and picking up weights over 40lbs are common activities for the women at my gym and at other fitness centers all over the world.

Let’s be honest. Lifting 5lb dumbbells is a waste of your time. I have always laughed when I see women do a whole workout with these wee weights, then grab their 40lb kid from child care and lug them through the grocery store before slogging both the little one and another 40lbs of groceries out to the store.

Seriously. Why did they even bother with the gym?

Lifting more weight is simply increasing demand on the muscles. In response, your muscles get stronger and slightly larger. Note: Don’t freak out over the word “large.” The female body doesn’t have enough anabolic hormones in the body to look like a man. Promise. In 10 years of training I have yet to make any woman look like a man. Frankly, that isn’t good for my business.

I have, however, seen women do back rows with 60lbs before flipping a 200lb tire down the turf. Oh, did I mention that that woman was also 80 years old and never trained a day in her life before two years ago? There goes age as an excuse.

The fact is strong bodies have muscle and shape. It’s sexy. It gives that party dress something to hug onto–a little curve. It gives your arms a shape that everyone at the cottage party wishes they had. It also means you never have to ask someone else to open a jar for you again and that you can pretty much kick anyone’s ass at a pushup-off competition when the next challenge is presented–most likely by you.

Not only will you look sexier when you are strong, but you will be healthier too.

You may also like