Barre vs Bar #3


I take it all back. I take it all way, way, back. Back to 1989 back. This week has been hard. Mainly because I have been busy and have actually struggled to fit the training in!

I did, however, managed to get to two dance classes this week which is pretty exciting because recently I have found it challenging to get to one!

My brain is happy. My body is tired . . . and sore!

But is it the liftings fault?

I have found that even though I leave weight sessions feeling perky, by the time I need to move again I am feeling pretty sore. Hamstrings and hip flexors sure, but my shoulders – GOSH, I can feel my back and my shoulders like never before. I now realise I have probably never really worked my back muscles, so surprise, surprise, it’s not all that comfortable.

This lead to a funny situation this week in a dance class I attended. I needed to hold my arms up above my head, parallel to one another and found that I couldn’t quite convince my arms to do it. I must have looked like a crazy girl staring at myself in the mirror with a confused expression, hands above my head, continuously wriggling my shoulders around trying to find the length in my neck. It was ridiculous.

My internal voice is screaming at the this point that I am turning into one of those muscle men that can’t put their own socks on! Like a T-Rex putting a hat on. WHAT HAVE I STARTED?

Needless to say this was a momentary blip and once I was warm I found the shoulder mobility I was looking for. Which leads me to a nice little bit of science-ee stuff.

The reason that I would never actually acquire the muscle mass needed to prevent life’s more nimble tasks is pretty simple really… I am a girlie. Adding muscle mass, or bulking up, or getting stacked (dench, hench or buff) is actually called Hypertrophy and this is basically your muscles getting bigger.

As we exercise, our muscles work hard to meet the demands we place on them. While lifting heavy weights the muscle fibres are slightly damaged. These tiny weeny damaged fibres will repair themselves and grow in size and strength as soon as they can (usually the next time we sleep).This is how our muscles grow bigger and stronger. The rate at which they do this is dependant on a whole heap of things, from nutrition and type of training to how much rest you get, BUT the most important factors in my opinion are genetics and gender.

Some peoples muscle fibres are just born with the wow factor and can get really big and really strong quickly. Some peoples muscle fibres are just a little more shy. Genetics are pretty hard to defy. Not impossible – but hard.

My muscle fibres are loud and proud growers! They just want to be broken and come back stronger – I have always been like this – heres a funny little picture of me under a cold pool shower on holiday. Quads and Calves – all day every day.



My twin brother however, has a lean body type and struggles to gain mass. Thats just life 🙂


My main point is that gender and hormone levels are the key things to prevent me  and many other women from gaining unwanted muscle mass. The lower levels of testosterone we have ensure that it would be pretty hard to end up with traps around your ears by accident!

Phew. So no T-Rex hat wearing for me!

Apart from my little dance situation my classes are going well, I don’t feel like I am too tired to join in class and I feel as flexible as normal too. I was lucky enough to have a one to one session with an awesome dance technician at Studio 68 this week. During which I was put through my paces to be quick, neat and controlled. As a dancer, I dance big and wide spread, I like to cover ground and feel centred by being open. Thats why its so important to have a technique class that forces me to be right on top of my legs and stay quick and close underneath myself. By the end of class I had changed my stance, my posture and nail more then one triple turn! Great to test ones self every now and then 🙂

Thats about all for this second week, all that talk of fibres has worn me right out!

More next week 🙂 

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