16 In fitness

Iron Ladies aka Women Who Lift

I don’t read magazines but I do flick through the ones that come with the Times on the weekends. Last weekend’s Style magazine had an article about women and weightlifting in it.

It was a great article about all the good stuff that weightlifting does for our bodies and minds and self-esteem. It was a great article that was illustrated by the most absurd photo:


Firstly, most women who lift heavy weights do not look like that. Supermodels with genetically long and lean limbs look like that. There ain’t anything wrong with either body type, it’s just that this one doesn’t make sense to be accompanying an article about women who lift serious weights.

(and while I’m talking about the photo – I really don’t get fashion – what is UP with high heels on fitness photos?!? oh wait, she’s also wearing a leotard with sequins, so maybe not a fitness photo after all?? but the little microdumbell in her hand?? Hmmm… confusing… and why’s she blindfolded?!??)

Anyway, back to the article – one of the weightlifters in it is Mili Leitner. Mili Leitner’s body looks like this:


Why could the Times not have used Mili in their photo?  Did they think that women who read the magazine would be put off by seeing actual muscles on a woman?

I do not have the genetics of that super long model so I look at her photo and it just confuses me and does not inspire me because I know I could never look like that. When I look at Mili though – I see hard work and I think I want those traps! 🙂

Am I a minority?  I seriously wonder. Do most women not like muscles like that? Do most women aspire to be the long supermodel giraffes (that they don’t have the genes for)??

The thing is that a lot of women will not have muscles like Mili when they incorporate weightlifting into their fitness routine, but the great thing is that most of us – when we really want to work on it – we CAN have muscles like that. It’s totally achievable. Unlike those looooooong legs.

Whether we want big muscles or not though, weightlifting is good for us for so many reasons – it’s good for bone density, for strengthening joints and ligaments and therefore preventing injuries from other sports or just from increasing age.  Plus it’s fun and empowering in the most powerful way that’s hard to explain and only has to be experienced.

If you’re interested in finding out more about weightlifting, check out Sally Moss’ Strength Ambassadors. Sally runs weightlifting technique courses for women in London and she also has lots of info online, for example, check out this article.

There’s also another awesome woman who gets women into fitness and weights – Suzie Lubuska (who Crossfits with me 🙂 and runs Wonder Woman Workshops. If you live near Greenwich and want to try out something different – put her workshops to the top of your list.

What do you think? About muscles? About women and weightlifting? About fashion photos that make no sense? 🙂


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  • Reply
    Iron Ladies aka Women Who Lift
    December 25, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    […] Read the rest of the post at its original source […]

  • Reply
    Beki @MissWheezy
    December 8, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Ah damn, I definitely wish I had muscles like Mili! But I do feel that sometimes that is a minority opinion… Will check out the links, thanks! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 7, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    The photo has been altered, too – they’ve changed the outline of her hips on both sides, elongated the left leg from thigh to knee (try to picture her standing up straight and you can tell) and thinned the upper part of her right arm.

  • Reply
    Tess @ FitBits
    December 5, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    I’m getting seriously sick of these ridiculous, airbrushed, photoshopped images of sexy, half naked women in these fitness magazines. I’m all for muscles. I’m starting a 6 week strength programme with a PT next week and can’t wait to sculpt some 🙂

    • Reply
      December 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Making muscles is fun. Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 5, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    The model on that magazine photo looks ridiculous indeed! And I’m totally with you in that weight training is nothing to be scared of. Also, a really good point is that we’d never get those legs but we can get the muscles we want.

    That being said – no, I wouldn’t want muscles like Mili’s either. I’m not sure I like that much muscle definition even on men. (Or maybe I do. No, I don’t… see, not sure!:)) Definitely wouldn’t aspire to that myself.

    And we may not like it but seeing bodies like Mili’s IS what scares some ladies off weights – yes, it’s because they don’t know very well how female bodies react to weight training, but still. If I wanted a female friend to start weight training, I’d hide that photo from her, just in case. For the first couple of months or so:)

    An example of what I think is a good balance between the two in your post… http://alexandrabring.tumblr.com/ perhaps? (note: I wouldn’t choose the tan and the hair:D it’s just an example I had at hand.)

    • Reply
      December 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      I had a feeling Mili’s kind of muscles would scare some women off. I’m sure she doesn’t look like that in everyday situations though, it’s a selfie after all – she’s probably flexing the heck out of all her muscles 🙂

      I had a look at Alexandra’s photos and whereas she looks very fit, she is very petite and I cannot therefore relate or feel inspired. She’s too much of a babe for me 🙂

  • Reply
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)
    December 5, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Oo I live in Greenwich, so will definitely check that out, thanks for that.

    • Reply
      December 6, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Definitely check it out! I would so go if I didn’t live at the other end of London and had weekends full of kids’ activities.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Ok – what the hell. That photo is ridiculous! You made such a good point – an athletic, strong look like Mili’s is achievable with some hard work and that’s what the Times should be showing. The unachievable length of that models legs don’t help women feel inspired or empowered, just stubby (well, if you’re me – a 5’3″ on a good day!)

    It’s tragic really. I’m just glad there are people pointing this stuff out like yourself!

    • Reply
      December 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      I think the Times could have taken a very good photo of Mili for that article… “babed” her up a tiny bit for the audience but still showing some actual muscle. It’s too sad that they decided that the other photo was better. (most.ridiculous.photo.I.have.ever.seen 🙂

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