The Rio Olympics end tonight. Among the many exceptional athletes, two in particular stood out, and I don't mean Simone Biles and Michael Phelps, despite their awesomeness.
My favorite athletes at these Olympic games are Michelle Carter, who won a gold medal in the shot put, and Sarah Robles, who won the bronze medal in weightlifting. Aside from the fact that they won medals in sports the U.S. does not generally excel at the Olympics, their most significant accomplishment is their embracing their status as role models for girls.
Michelle Carter hurled an 8.8 lb shot put 67 feet, 8-1/4 inches. Think about that. How many of us could throw it even 6 feet?
Sarah Robles lifted 277.8 lb in the snatch and 352.7 lb in the clean and jerk. The average refrigerator weighs 250 lb, and the average washing machine weighs 175 lb. She lifted the equivalent of a refrigerator and two washing machines over her head!
Both women are built for their sport. Carter weighs 256 lb, and Robles weighs 315 lb. They found sports where their body type is an asset, instead of eschewing sports altogether. They are large women, but they are also healthy and fit.
In the post-medal interviews, each talked about how they see themselves as positive role models for girls.
Their athletic achievements aside, I admire these women for being comfortable in their own skin, and for empowering young girls to be themselves and to find their own niche.
You don’t bulk up lifting 5 or 10 lb weights for 30 minutes twice a week.
Building muscle mass doesn’t just happen when you pick up weights; it takes a lot of effort, far more than most people are willing to do.
By adjusting the volume of training—the weight, number of reps, number of sets, and frequency—you can tailor an exercise program to bulk up. Or not. As you wish.
Building muscle mass, or avoiding bulking up, is something you can control.
After all, you don’t get a physique like this by accident.
Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor since 1998.