I’d been oscillating since doing the 50 mile challenge at my gym whether or not to swim 1500 yards or 2000 yards as my workout. My normal swim was 1650. The last two times, I decided to do a 1500.
I woke up grumpy as all hell and feeling down on myself, so I chose to try a challenge and swam 2000.
I’d never done that before. Felt kinda good.
A lady in the gym got on the scales and commented (right beside me), “No way have I gained four pounds in a day!”
I laughed and said, “Don’t sweat it. It’s probably water weight.”
Another woman near us spoke up and said, “She’s working out, it’s probably muscle weight.”
In one day.
A hard-training, unsupplemented1, young, genetically-gifted beginner female might put on about half a pound of muscle a week for the first five months or so if she specifically lifts to failure. If you’ve been following my listed workouts you will note this is considerably harder than I train2. I’m also hardly genetically gifted.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, strength training is important. But let’s be accurate with the numbers, ‘kay?
You’re probably not gonna jump four pounds of muscle doing aqua aerobics. Oh, do the aqua aerobics! It’s fantastic exercise, easy on the joints, gets your heart rate up, gives you some strength work. Absolutely. But it ain’t gonna turn you into a monster. It’ll help you be a little more healthy, and that’s great. It’s a wonderfully valid reason for doing it.
I don’t wanna be Captain Buzzkill here. I really do believe in exercise and I’m all for doing what you can. I mean, c’mon, I got my start swimming 400 yards three times a week, and lifting less than the weight of an empty barbell for my workouts. It’s taken me coming on to two years to get where I am. Doing what you can is something to be proud of. You don’t have to make anything up or distort it for it to be worthy and valuable.
If you think pop magazine articles on exercise get under my fingernails, you’re right.
1 A euphemism for “not taking anabolic steroids”.
2At the best I can estimate, I’ve put on about four pounds of muscle in the past eighteen months. In a way, we women are lucky at how little it takes to make wonderful changes.