Why Women Should Avoid Doing Pushups and Squats
I felt compelled to write this article due to the recent popularity of pictures like this:
Most people believe that body fat distribution is 100% genetic predisposition—were you blessed with breasts? I believe that nurture plays a bigger role than genetics. When people see the word “nurture,” they immediately think “diet” and that’s it, but no. Nurture also includes how you expend your calories, which I believe is where all variations of the body arise from. For example, how do you tell your 1-piece extra crispy fried chicken thigh to go to your calves? I explain this in great detail in my article “Energy Expenditure.” To summarize it, every muscle of the body has some degree of muscle and some degree of fat. Thus, there are 4 extremes: lacking muscle and fat (e.g. the butt pictured on the left), having muscle and fat (e.g. the butt pictured on the right), a composition of mostly fat, and a composition of mostly muscle. And then there’s everything in between these extremes. I argue that it’s possible to will the body, including specific body parts, into any composition of fat and muscle that you desire. Females, for example, would want a chest and butt that is mainly composed of fat, or fat plus muscle. Achieving the ideal body requires knowledge of how different compositions come about and using this knowledge to perform the right exercises.
How do today’s women typically work out? They’re “trying to not look too manly” so they usually go with low-intensity and high-repetition. This is basically lifting light weights for many reps. Low-intensity/high-repetition exercise will burn fat and build a bit of muscle—most knowledgeable people consider this to be scientific fact. This is great and all but most women want to retain the fat on their chest and butt, or in other words, have breasts and booty. Low-intensity/high-repetition chest and butt exercises will burn fat and build a bit of muscle at the chest and butt. For example, doing pushups on your knees is a low-intensity chest exercise. If a woman were to do these until exhaustion (i.e. high-repetition) for many months, her breasts would shrink and shrink until they’re nonexistent. Similarly, doing squats with no additional weight is a low-intensity butt exercise. If a woman were to do 10 minutes of bodyweight squats every day, her butt would gradually get leaner until it is fat-free. Thus, low-intensity/high-repetition chest and butt exercises are not the answer for women seeking the “ideal” female figure.
On the left is a butt composed of fat (and some underlying muscle), as demonstrated through animation.
On the right is the fat-free butt of a typical female fitness competitor.
Many women believe that flat breasts (and a flat butt) are an unavoidable consequence of working out. This is based on many anecdotes with solid evidence. But here’s the catch: every single workout program, exercise routine, instructional DVD, etc. that is in existence puts the chest and butt to work. Even jogging engages the chest muscles as the jogger thrusts the arms forward with each stride for extra propulsion. A two-hour light jog is what I would consider very low-intensity/high-repetition—cardio. Cardio exercises for the chest or butt will result in even less muscle development and even greater fat loss, compared to low-intensity/high-repetition training. This is not the solution.
So what’s the solution to achieving the “ideal” female body? Contrary to what 99.99% of the population believes, it’s not doing a man’s workout with lighter weights or no weights at all. That is, it’s not simply low-intensity/high-repetition. There are actually two slightly different solutions because there are two slightly different body types that most women desire. One solution is working out the entire body (at any intensity/repetition desired) except for the chest and butt. This means no pushups, no bench press, no punching, no wide squats, no hip thrusts, no taekwondo side kicking, etc. What’s left on the menu? Leg exercises that avoid use of the gluteus maximus would be leg extensions, leg curls, flutter kicks, front kicks, and roundhouse kicks. As for the rest of the body, some good exercises are jumping jacks, sit-ups, crunches, pull-ups, calf raises, dips, plank, bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder press, shoulder fly, etc. The chest and butt are never targeted so they will become large and full of fat. But lack a muscular foundation.
The second solution is for women who want big breasts and booty without the sag. This is exercising the entire body (at any intensity/repetition desired) and also doing high-intensity/low-repetition chest and butt exercises. For example, a girl on this workout routine would be bench pressing and squatting with very heavy weights, like a powerlifter. This is just a few minutes of heavy lifting, but a very gruesome, exhausting few minutes. The high intensity will give the chest and butt a muscular foundation and the low number of reps will ensure that fat does not get burned off—a thick layer of muscle and a thick layer of fat. This is body part “type B” on my chart in the article “Energy Expenditure.” As for the rest of her body parts, she can do low-intensity/high-repetition exercises for a slight muscle tone and low fat. The dilemma is that most cardio exercises will work the chest and/or butt.
© Buism 2016