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The Man Bicep Mom Visits Boston

My mom came to visit this weekend!

One of the few people I look tall next to!!! 😉

We ate lots of deliciously non Primal food. Walked around a ton (and went shopping!). Did an hour of cycling and lifted heavy weights.

The Man Bicep Mom took her first spin class and did 3 pull ups even though she never does them! AWESOME!

It was all in all – WONDERFUL.

A couple of “observations” from this weekend:

  1. We are killing our kids by letting them eat crap and be lazy bums on the couch.
  2. It is SUPER easy to eat Primally at almost any “nicer” restaurant. I mean honestly, you really have no excuse not to stick to your diet.
  3. Circuit training really does prepare you for any physical activity.
  4. Getting older shouldn’t mean just accepting physical decline.

Ok…so let’s start off with the first observation.

My mom and I went to Mike’s Pastry in the North End. It is sort of a tradition for us when she comes to visit. We get chocolate covered cannoli and cappuccinos and we sit and gossip at a table in the bakery for hours.

This last time when we were there, a hoard of 13-14 year olds came swarming in. They were probably on a field trip in the North End – seeing the Old North Church and some of the other landmarks in the area.

What surprised me was the fact that all of the kids were allowed to get HUGE pastries.

And the other thing that surprised me was that about 80% of the children were overweight.

I’m sorry if this sounds mean, but what popped into my head was “Why are these kids being allowed to eat this when they should be outside on this wonderful day running around?”

Why was eating crap at Mike’s Pastry part of this classes field trip? Was this really necessary? Why at least didn’t they take the snacks outside somewhere where they could also run around?

Am I the only one sort of sickened by the fact that the adults and parents didn’t seem to care that their kids were out of shape and really shouldn’t be eating all of the crap? Am I over-thinking this whole incident?

Ok observation number two…It is super easy to eat well at any nice restaurant.

I’ve found it to be very interesting that at nice restaurants they cook mostly Primal foods. Usually they don’t even cook things in vegetable oils, but instead use lard and butter and olive oil.

Also, unless you go to an Italian restaurant, there really aren’t even that many carbs on the menu. At steak houses, they generally serve potatoes. At seafood places, it is usually potatoes or maybe even rice.

And at this restaurant Clio that we went to, there were only even a handful of non-vegetable/fruit carbs served throughout the entire 7 course meal! There were only a few potatoes and parsnips served in a couple of dishes. No rice. No bread. No pasta.

No excuse to really cheat on your diet.

So if culinary tradition says we should cook with animal fats and barely serve any carbs besides fruits and vegetables, why do we load down every meal with carbs and vegetable oils? When did cooking with processed crap and carbs become the norm while only restaurants run by Iron Chefs cook with whole foods?

Don’t you think there is a reason that our culinary tradition avoids using a ton of wheat and vegetable oils? To me this is just more proof of how right the whole idea of eating more “Primally” is.

So my third observation has to do with the Man Bicep Mom. My mom does weight training and plyometric circuits. She never does pull ups and she has never taken a spin class. She also has never done any powerlifting. Yet today she did all three…pretty easily actually.

She survived an hour of spin that would be difficult for even an advanced cyclist (trust me I know…I had people who spin all of the time in my class today who looked like they were dying).

She then also did some powerlifting and busted out three pull ups even though she literally never does them.

Why could she do all of this so easily?

Her weight training and cardio circuits!

She does fast paced circuits that pretty much incorporate everything. She uses dvds from The Firm, which I might add are great for a home exerciser who doesn’t necessarily want to only do powerlifting moves.

The circuits include weights and plyometrics, kettlebells, yoga and even Pilates. They really strengthen the entire body.

And because she is doing all of these different things to build her strength and cardiovascular endurance, she had no problem doing the spinning or the weight training.

I have people who attempt their first spin class after only doing hours of cardio who struggle. And you wouldn’t think they would, would you?

But they do. They aren’t prepared for the short bursts of high intensity sprints. They aren’t prepared for adding a ton of resistance as they climb a hill. They legs aren’t prepared for jumps or even isolation.

They aren’t prepared because they are only used to one thing – long, chronic cardio.

But the Man Bicep Mom? She was prepared. The plyometric drills included in her circuits prepared her for sprint intervals. Her weight training strengthened her legs and core so she could climb hills and easily stabilize her body in and out of the saddle.

Her body was used to variety and used to being pushed.

So if you want to be a renaissance fitness woman,  you’ve got to do circuits and mix it up! Even if you love running, throw in some weight training circuits every once in a while! They will even help your running!!!!

This all leads to my fourth and finally observation for this weekend – Age isn’t an excuse for being out of shape PERIOD. End of story. That’s it.

I have clients that say to me, “Well I’m ____age. I’m not going to be able to do the same things I did when I was young.

Can I just say that the statement above is absolute HORSE SHIT!?! (Sorry but it honestly is.)

Yes your body is going to age. Yes some things may become more difficult and you may decide you don’t like doing certain exercises any more because they do bother your body more.

But you can still be fit and as physically able as when you were young.

Don’t believe me? Just go look at the Man Bicep Mom posts! Just read what I wrote above!

I mean even just today my mom said that she honestly didn’t feel any different from when she was younger except that sometimes she feels like she gets out of shape a bit faster when she takes time off.

So next time you think you can’t do a physical activity because of your age, think about hitting the gym a couple of times a week. A little hard work in the gym can go a long way toward better quality of life and renewed physical strength. You may even find that some great circuit training will make you stronger and help you move better than you even did when you were younger!

So age is no excuse! Workout and stay young!

Anyway, I hope all of you Man Bicepers out there had just as wonderful a weekend with someone close to you as I did. 🙂

Man Bicep Mom

My mom is the ultimate testament as to why women should lift weights. I’ll let her prove it to you…with a few of my comments under some of the photos!

Below is the first post by the Man Bicep Mom!

My hot mama! Using my bowflex dumbbells haha

I read recently that fashion experts recommended that older women select fashions that show off their best feature.

I do that.  I show off my arms and shoulders.

Showing off the man bicep!

During the summer I take great delight in wearing sleeveless outfits so that I can showcase my sculpted shoulders and arms.  And I get compliments, too!

I’m 61 years old and people admire my arms and shoulders! I’m Cori’s mom and I’ve been lifting weights for over 20 years.

I have never bulked up or been accused of looking manly.  I’m thin, very stylish and very feminine looking.  In fact, I probably have weights to thank for that.  I look good in clothes because I still have a firm, sculpted middle and a tight butt.

No muffin tops for me; no baby bump tummy; no sagging butt; and definitely no jiggly arms!

You’re probably thinking I’m deluded and very full of myself.  She has muscles and she still looks good in her clothes, right!

Here are my stories.

I was trying on a linen suit at Talbots.  The suit was unstructured but cinched in at the waist with a tie belt.  I stepped out of the dressing room to look at myself in the three-way mirror.  Another customer looked at me and said, “That suit looks wonderful on you!  You have to buy it!”  When I was paying for the suit, the saleswoman thanked me and said, ” I think you sold another one of these for us.  The woman who admired you is trying it on right now.”  See, muscles and all I look good in clothes.

I have another story.

I was at Anthropologie trying on a slinky, sleeveless dress with horizontal stripes.  Again I came out to look at myself in the three-way mirror and another customer complimented the way I looked in the dress.  She turned to the saleswoman and asked if she could find the dress for her.  This woman was thin with a nice figure, but she didn’t have my muscle definition.  She tried the dress on and said, “It looks good on me but looks better on you.”

The other woman was right...she looks damn fine in the dress!

Now the reason I tell you this is that, either because of my muscles, or maybe in spite of my muscles, I look good in my clothes.  At the very least, my sculpted muscles have not detracted from the way I look in my clothes.  I would venture to say that because of my muscles I look good in my clothes.

And isn’t that what we all want?

I am also going to suggest that I think women like the way muscles look on other women.  Here are my stories.

A long time ago, probably a year or so into my weight workout regimen, I was at a dinner auction for my children’s school.  I was wearing a long dress with thin, little shoulder straps.  After dinner one of the teachers came up to me and said that she had been sitting at a table of teachers and that they had decided that I had the best dress.  “We also love your shoulders.  Do you work out?”

Just last week, I was meeting this woman for the first time.  I was wearing a sleeveless dress.  We were introduced and then she immediately reached out and touched my arms saying, “I love your arms.  They are so sculpted.”

One more story.  I was looking at pictures of female runners with a group of women.  Except for me, none of the women lifted weights.  A couple of the women ran.  I can tell you that the women ooohed and ahhhhed over the pictures of women with defined muscles.  They loved the women with shredded arms and shoulders, abs and legs.  They commented on how beautiful they looked.

And so now I ask the million dollar question – why do women refuse to add weights to their workouts?

The only con I have ever heard is that they are afraid they will bulk up and that just won’t happen.  You have to have testosterone to bulk up.  I have girlfriends who workout and are in great cardiovascular shape.  They know I use weights and love my muscle definition, but still they don’t add weights to their workout.

Why ladies, why?

It is a proven medical fact that weight training helps prevent osteoporosis and osteopenia.  It is also a proven fact that it helps prevent sarcopenia, the age-related decline in muscle mass and function.  We start losing muscle in our 40s and continue losing at a more rapid rate in our 50s.  Losing muscle mass causes us to become weak and frail, less stable and surefooted.  Losing muscle mass also causes us to gain weight in our 40s and 50s.  Muscles are active tissue that burn more calories than fat.  So it follows that as you lose muscle, you burn fewer calories and, unless you drastically change your eating habits, begin to gain weight.

So ladies, add weights to your workouts.

There is no downside to lifting weights.  You will help prevent osteoporosis and sarcopenia and will feel strong and active and look beautiful.

Weights will also make your workouts more interesting, adding variety to the same old cardiovascular activities.  I look forward to my weight workout days.

By the way, weight workouts come in a lot of “varieties and sizes”.

Cori enjoys power lifting twice a week mixed with circuit training on the other days while I have spent the last 20 years doing circuit training workouts from The Firm in the comfort of my home.  I have a collection of 3, 5, 8 and 10 pound weights, and I do weight workouts three to four times a week.  I love them!

I will take this opportunity to give kudos to The Firm. Throughout the years they have kept their workouts interesting and have always kept up with the latest advances in exercise physiology.  I have The Firm to thank for the muscles and body that I have today.

But the real reason that I mention The Firm is to show that there are lots of different kinds of weight workouts.  Experiment and find what you enjoy.  Weight workouts are fun!

So, ladies of all ages, I implore you, lift weights!  Stay healthy!  Stay strong!  Stay young!  LOOK BEAUTIFUL!

Just do it! 😉

No grimace even though I made her hold the push up for awhile while I found a good angle!

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