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When It Comes to Fitness Training, Women are Smarter

In training for her third bodybuilding competition, Ernestine Shepherd, 72, lifts weights under the watchful eye of her trainer, Raymond Day. Each week, Shepherd runs upward of 80 miles and hits the gym at least four times. The grandmother has become an inspiration to other senior women, who flock to her weekly aerobics classes at Union Memorial United Methodist Church in Baltimore. A UMNS photo by Barry Simmons. Photo #090400. Accompanies UMNS story #218. 5/20/09.

In training for her third bodybuilding competition, Ernestine Shepherd, 72, lifts weights under the watchful eye of her trainer, Raymond Day. Each week, Shepherd runs upward of 80 miles and hits the gym at least four times. The grandmother has become an inspiration to other senior women, who flock to her weekly aerobics classes at Union Memorial United Methodist Church in Baltimore.

Nationwide, the percentage of women in CrossFit tends to be between 60 and 70% (It is at least that high here on Whidbey Island.)

Female participation in functional fitness is definitely closer to the 70% mark in my programs at Vibrant Fitness.

Now, I don’t want to go so far as to say I am disturbed by this. (OK, I  am, actually)

But I think it is worth noting, and bringing some attention to.

Studies have shown that women are notably more proactive about health than men.

And internet marketers know that women tend to respond to a need or to actively search out a solution to a problem than are men. Look at who fitness and health ads are more often targeted toward.

The point is that there’s significant room for improvement for male participation in fitness training.

And while I have only great things to say about more strong and healthy women, and about the experience of fitness training with women inside and outside of the gym, I still feel strongly compelled to deliver a message of some urgency to both genders, when it comes to getting men into the gym:

Women, don’t hold back from nudging your man towards fitness, in your own way, and even for your own selfish purposes (which can range from his appearance and demeanor, to which one of you will take care of the other, in the years ahead). We men often move better in response to the desires of our loved ones than in response to any other force.

Gentlemen, do not wait until you have developed a bad condition (too much fat, cholesterol, weakness,  etc.) and it has progressed beyond easy reversal, before researching and responding to it.

There is much juice and poetry to be added to your life through a regular, vigorous workout. And it will carry beyond your workouts into a life that is stronger and juicer, and more befitting of a man like you.

Also, do not wait until the health and fitness gap between you and your spouse gets so large that you can not keep up with her, or keep her interest.

Get your workouts on, man! Be strong, this is your life!