Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A word on my female clients.

My female clients are pound for pound stronger than most of my male clients. People generally put false limitations on how much strength a woman can develop. They will then try to declare that if a woman is very strong it is only because she is a natural athlete, and that for an ordinary woman to get that strong she would have to get bulky like a bodybuilder.
It is amazing how many natural athletes I have as clients. I have often heard other trainers remark upon this.
"You're lucky to have so many athletic clients."
Yeah. That's me. Lucky, lucky, lucky.
Hey, wait a minute. Do you think it could have anything to do with this cannonball with the handle on it? Nah. That sounds like witch craft.
I have a female client who does get ups with the 24 kg. She also snatched the 16 kg. 117 times in 5 minutes. Two others get up the 20 kg. kettlebell, and the rest get up at least the 16 kg. They all swing the 12, 16, 20, and 24. At least. One is close to an unassisted pull up.
Not one looks like a bodybuilder. Except for the fact that they look athletic you would have a hard time picking them out of a line up.
Scientifically what keeps women from becoming very strong is that they are made of sugar and spice.
Wait... no they're not. Cotton? Pink Flowers?
No, they're muscle and bone just like men. Different density, etc. but the basic ingredients are the same.
So here's what I'm getting at. If you're not getting stronger, where does the fault lie? It's not in the vessel, but in the operator or the plan. You may ask "Well, how strong do I really need to be?"
I don't know. Strong enough to carry your child for miles if you had to? Strong enough to move those boxes in the garage? Strong enough to survive the rigors of age and play with your grandchildren? If something such as true strength and endurance is available, why not take it? Why deny it out of some mis-placed notion that you 'don't need to be strong'?


  1. Hello Jordan,

    Nice post. Got me thinking...compared to the impressive lifts made by your female trainees, what would equivalent lifts be for males, of between 165-190lbs (big gap I know, but you know what I mean). Just curious. Also, nice work with the newsletter, thanks.
    All the best,

  2. Much of that depends upon where you are at in your training, goals etc. For instance, if your goal is to nail the SSST I might not be as concerned about you being able to get up 100 lbs. Most guys should hit a point where they can get up the 32 kg. for five minutes switching hands each rep before trying more advanced things, though I think a 40 kg. get up is a good goal. 100 snatches on the 24 kg. in 5 minutes is the gold standard as far as I'm concerned, regardless of weight. E-mail directly if you have specific questions.

  3. Interesting meltdown, Jordan. I agree that women are unfairly held to lower expectations for strength.

    I'm surrounded by really damn strong women and, I have to say, such a bias does not exist where I train.

    I'm glad to have met your gold standard, however. I'm more worried about me.

  4. Did that sound like a meltdown? Whoops. Oh well. Is Fawn strong? I hadn't noticed...

  5. Im not sure about your statement that pound for pound we are the same. I guess I just come from the school that men are inherently stronger that women physically, where it counts at least. Head to head you guys can kick most of our asses in a fight. (not me im way too fast bro). Though I think our sheer level of tenacity and passion even the playing fields in certain training forums. My best female friends all seem to come from a stalk born to carry our children miles in the snow, hunted and starving. It’s sad that most of us hold on to our limitless potentials untapped. We aren’t ready. AND by the by, I would have beaten Mike in the arm wrestling if you hadn’t physically! helped him. But maybe you saved the friendship so thank you?