Don't be left out!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Reading Is Not Believing

***It would appear that since posting this post the original article has been removed from the Women's Health website.  Gone or not I'm sure it won't be the last of it's kind to be published online or in print.  Please continue to question what you read.  Just because it's online/in print doesn't mean it's fact.

Women's Health magazine has lost a reader.

Yesterday, my fit-blogging friend, Cindy from Well-Trained Mama posted this Women's Health article on her Facebook page asking followers what they thought.   As a trainer and lifter of weights the headline, "Q&A: 'Are there any exercise machines I should absolutely avoid?'", immediately caught my attention.
"Here are the moves she recommends you skip—and alternative exercises that will help you sculpt the body you really want."
Oh really?  This LA based, so-called strength training expert knows what kind of body I really want? Does she know me?  Does she know my goals?  Yeah, I'm not buying it.  If she did know me, she'd know that I could give two craps what I look like, I just want to be healthy and lift heavy things.

While I am disappointed in this trainer for aiding the spread of strength training garbage I'm ultimately most upset with Women's Health magazine.  (They aren't the only ones who produce this crap, many magazines do so as well).   I'm unaware of how many magazine subscriptions WH sells but I do know they have almost FOUR MILLION "likes" on Facebook, I'm certain most of these "likes" come from woman and many who may not know any better but to believe crap articles like this.  With a following like that comes great responsibility to share factual information and they totally dropped the ball.

Apparently no one at Women's Health deadlifts because wide grip lat pull downs were the first exercise mentioned on the list followed by flat bench press claiming, "The flat bench press builds the chest in a wide, forward direction," says Perkins. The effect: Any little bit of armpit fat you have gets pushed out."

Well shit, if the theory of pushing fat out is true then we better not do any strength training ever unless you have zero percent body fat.  (Sorry for the language, kinda, not really.) Never mind the FACT that strength training helps to reduce body fat.

I bench and here's a picture of my pushed out armpit fat.  

But at least they offer an alternative…


First you're going to tell me what kind of body I want, and now you're going to tell me what weight I can do?  If you're goal is to build cleavage and a little bit of muscle definition, great!  But let's not assume. You know what they say about people who assume… 

Remember when I asked on Facebook why I was still hearing women make remarks about getting bulky and I was still seeing women lifting "barbie weights"?  I think I've found my answer.  

This is the exact reason I started this blog.   The amount of poor, untrue, and misconstrued information floating out there is mind blowing.  Regardless of your gender or goals, articles like this are why it's so important to take the time to educate yourself so you can spot this crap for yourself when you see it.  


  1. Right on Annie! I used to be a fan of all those magazines: women's health, shape, fitness, etc. but when I see them now I have to laugh. They have an amazing opportunity to really get a fair message out there by using existing research about health and exercise, but at the end of the day their goal is to sell magazines, right? Good thing we've got bloggers to balance the scales!! And that whole armpit fat thing? RIDIC. I just killed my lats and chest this week with the pulldown and bench press (over 10lbs mind you) and uh, no pushed out fat here. SMH.

    1. You make me laugh! You're right--they just want to sell magazines and apparently do so by relying on women's insecurities and fear to do so. Ugh! I hope you didn't widen your back too much though…. ;o)

  2. So true, magazines are all about sales. Most people need to lose weight or think they do. My husband reads Men's Health, which is full of hard workouts, healthy recipes, and useful health articles focused on men. So I picked up Women's Health, hoping for a female-centric version. Nope, it is full of diet tips and wimpy workouts and how to look pretty. Ugh.

  3. You are spot on!!! I've gradually become more and more irked by fitness mags. From the silly articles to the unrealistic models, they all seem to be shallow and only focused on losing weight, not being strong! I also cringe at their "fashion" spreads that find clothes for different body shapes and sizes. The "pear shaped" model never has any hips. Hmm...

  4. Great post Annie, it's sad that so many one good magazine are moving towards posting crap like this, I wish one magazine didn't "sell out" and posted good, resourceful info!

  5. SPOT ON. That was such a ridiculous article and offensive to women. How long are we going to have to fight this battle with "the experts" that have no clue.

  6. It was a *trainer* who said that a flat bench press will push out your armpit fat?? I am open-mouthed. I'm almost more annoyed that after WH went to a trainer as their expert source, this 'trainer' came up with total nonsense.

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