I took a weight lifting class in high school. Actually, I took two of them. The first time around there were other girls in the class. The second time, not so much. Yeah, it was just me and the guys. The best part was that I took it the second semester, after football season was over and the senior football players were no longer in the football weightlifting class. So not only was it just me and the guys, it was me and the former football team. Rock on. I tried to get into the spirit of things by buying my workout pants from the little boys’ section of my local Ross Dress For Less, but somehow it didn’t really help me get my macho vibe on. I did, however, increase my benching max from whatever pathetic weight it was to 100 pounds, which I felt pretty good about. I also got to talk to boys, have boys spot me while I totally killed it in the squatting cage (or maybe the squatting cage killed me . . . it was so long ago . . . ), and call boys to my rescue when I was trying to be all tough but ended up looking like a weakling instead. Oh, and I also got stronger, became more confident, and improved my coordination. That too.
One thing that didn’t happen was that I didn’t get so buff that I needed to buy new shirts to keep my massive guns covered. Nope. I never got those massive guns. This is probably because weight training in children and adolescents does not appear to change their “muscular hypertrophy” (or “getting buff”) but instead helps their muscles and their neurological systems work together more efficiently. In fact, according to this study about kids and weight training, lifting weights (or doing other resistance training) seems to unlock the “innate strength of the muscle” — or let kids use what they’ve already got. Cool, huh? As they continue lifting, they’ll get stronger and eventually build muscle mass if they do it enough, but at the beginning, it’s just a matter of using your body.
The article I linked to mentions that getting kids to “weight train” is as easy as having them hop on one leg or play with a broom stick. My challenges right now include getting Manchild to stop hopping on one leg long enough to eat his dinner and prying the broom out of Squish’s hands so I can sweep the floor already. Good thing I worked out so much in high school. I can totally take Squish in the stick-pull. I also know how to rescue the boys when they overestimate their own strength and end up crying on the floor. And I get to spot them when they are trying to show off their new moves — like climbing on top of the desk or carrying the jug of milk and the bottle of juice to the breakfast table. Plus I get to to talk to boys all. day. long. It’s not quite as exciting as it was when I was 18 years old, but whatever. I suppose now I know how those football players felt about me.