A few weeks ago, while thumbing through the vinyl records at a second-hand store, I came across a copy of a Jane Fonda workout record. I bought it mostly because she starts both the beginner and advanced workouts with the Jackson Five.
And the Jimmy Buffett song is for the buttocks. I’m serious. I’ve never thought Jimmy Buffett was for my butt. I thought he was for my depressive emotional state during March winter days in Maine. But there you have it. -->
So…I had to have the album. For fifty cents. There is a decided financial bonus to listening to vinyl records.
Little did I know she’d be talking over all of the songs. Jane. C’mon. Try harder.
Honestly, I bought the album because I thought it might make for interesting blog fodder. (And Boz Scaggs. The Boz) *
Okay, I also thought that possibly, quite possibly, I might use the outfit on the cover for my Halloween costume. I mean I already have the tights. And the leg warmers.
In perusing the instructions on the inside cover of the two album set, I found plenty of cringe-worthy nuggets such as this:
“The leg and hip exercises tackle the major problem areas for most women; the fatty deposits in the hips, thighs and inner thighs.”
(Hint: Side bend until Donald Trump changes his hair and you’ll still have love handles. There's no such thing as "spot removal" when it comes to exercise. Check out the article here to learn why.)
But I also found this line regarding the addition of 2 ½ pound weights to your routine when body weight felt too easy:
“If you are worried about developing bulging muscles, don’t be. Women – 99.9% of us, do not have enough testosterone to develop bulgy muscles.”
This album was made in 1981.
Reagan was still a newbie in office, the LA Dodgers were in the middle of Fernando-mania and cassette tapes were still in the future. The future people.
Jane Fonda, yesterday’s Jillian Michaels, was telling woman that lifting weights won’t make them bulky. Okay, okay. Granted she wasn’t on the album cover doing squats or deadlifts. . And she was advocating the use of very light weights. And the statement on weights is a blip in the overall program. But it’s there.
So while the line about spot removal is often still taken as truth, the line about not bulking up lives on. It's true that every woman's body reacts differently to weight training. And there are a lot of variables to the type of training you do with weights that influence the results you see in your body. Also, nutrition plays a significant role in the change of muscle mass.
So why, if even Jane Fonda knew it, did I grow up with my dad telling me over and over again that if I lifted weights I should do light weights with a lot of reps to avoid bulking up? My dad has always been a big proponent of me doing whatever types of athletic things I wanted to do. But even now, I have some convincing to do when I talk to him about my weight training.
The myth persists because, much like the blip on the album, the concept of woman NOT bulking up simply by lifting heavy weights is still a blip among the mainstream media. Within the fitness industry, and especially with the popularity of Crossfit, this myth is slowly being debunked. But it's time to turn the blip into a blimp.
See what I did there? With the M?
Also; women - there's nothing wrong with wanting to look bulky or not wanting to look bulky. You get to decide what's right for you. But if the fear of lifting heavier weights is that your muscles will suddenly explode out of your shirts, you need a lab experiment to go very wrong for that to happen.
*As a side note, I knew nothing of her politics or her nick name of Hanoi Jane prior to buying the album. But no worries, as my Dad educated me. For a long time...