Tuesday 6 December 2016

Shape Up: 'Bulging' biceps? I don't think so

Damien Maher

Published 21/03/2011 | 05:00

Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz

THE recent pics of Cameron Diaz and her shapely new arms has reignited the notion that women become big and bulky from lifting weights. As I have said numerous times before -- this is a myth.

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Physiologically, men have about 10 times the amount of the hormone testosterone -- needed to build muscle -- than women so it is a fear that women need not worry about.

The terror of getting big and bulky from lifting weights is perpetrated by women who are already big and bulky. What I mean by this is women who've achieved this feat through eating lots of take-aways and processed foods as they let the Chinese whisper grow.

During a recent consultation with a client she claimed her arms were getting "big and muscly". Upon comparison with her original measurements, her arms were actually small. The reality was that now you could see a muscle that was once buried under a lot of fat.

When I tried to figure out what prompted her to make the comparison she said "a teenager's magazine". In this instance, a 38-year-old woman with two children was comparing herself to a 15-year-old girl.

The fact is, the media can influence the way we think in a positive way but also a negative way depending on the stance of the writer and editor.

As I mentioned, the hot topic of the moment is Hollywood superstar Cameron Diaz. Cameron has always been a sporty girl, but ever since she started dating New York Yankees baseball player Alex Rodriguez, aka A-Rod, last year there have been claims that she's now taking her workouts to a whole new level.

There were even quotes from her former trainer, Ian Chapman, who claims that when she trained with him "she expressed concern about putting on too much muscle mass."

Some of the articles have unfairly described Cameron's arms as "bulging"; there is more meat on a butcher's pencil than on Cameron's arms. She looks toned and defined, not big and bulky.

I think part of what's going on here is that some of the writers of these articles reviewing Cameron's physique aren't used to seeing such fit bodies.

It is quite common to see females, from the ages of 20 to 60 years of age, with Cameron's arms in our gym. It is generally the women who don't train who gasp when they see the toned arms of celebrities.

They gossip at the water cooler and bitch about her 'bulging' arms. But I do wonder how many of these ladies wear certain types of clothes on a night out so as to cover their own arms?

It's unfortunate that Cameron has been the victim of such harsh comments for honouring her body by training hard. Not only is she getting herself in great shape, an added bonus is that she gets to spend more time with her partner, as her and A-Rod have been pictured together cycling, canoeing and doing outdoors resistance work.

Madonna, at 53 years young, would be welcomed into the land of Tir na nOg. But she too, like Pink and Cameron, and many other celebrities who train, will continue to suffer the wrath of comments at the water cooler.

It is not only celebrities who are prone to such negativity. I've had clients who've also been victims of such attitudes, usually when their friends or partners fear that a change in physique may see them leave for new pastures.

If this happens you need to stay focussed and don't let yourself be dragged down to their level.

A-Rod has found someone who shares his passion for health and Cameron looks like she could not be happier. You should do likewise and if your partner is not as enthusiastic about health as you are, give them the reassurance they need so they can work with you, not against you.

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