I just finished Workout 2A and I’m a little conflicted about it. I’m realizing that I’m going to have to put on a lot of strength, really fast to be able to manage a pull-up in 5 weeks. I’m seeing a tiny amount of progress between this week and last; I was able to extend the negative chin-up to ~5 seconds for 2 of the 3 reps with more control, and I started my pulldown sets at the heavier weight from last week and increased the load for the final 5 sets. So that’s something, but I’m still skeptical. I’m heavy!
I like the progressive structure for the other exercises in this workout though. Since it went down to 2 sets of 8 from 2 sets of 10, I felt comfortable bumping the split squats up to 75lb and getting my pushups closer to the floor. I like sets of 8. 8 is good.
While I was resting after a set of pushups, I saw a big headline on a men’s fitness magazine on the rack. It said, BUILD BIGGER ARMS! and the cover photo was some muscled guy in a smedium t-shirt with his biceps straining the sleeves.
Has a women’s fitness magazine ever had the same headline, complete with a bulked-up lady showing off her massive biceps? Instead it’s the language of get smaller: tone, reduce, lean.
I don’t worry too much about how my arms look, but I care a lot about training them to do cool things (like a dang pull-up). I would guess that I’ve put on muscle in my arms; I have several shirts that I can no longer wear due to them being too tight around the arm. (This also gives me an excuse to wear sleeveless dresses!)
I wish that strong-looking women were more socially acceptable. I want women to greet each other with comments about "the gun show" and asking how much they’re benching. I want women to feel comfortable working towards getting big and strong and powerful, instead of trying to shrink into society’s expectations of them.