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Winning Ways:
Free To Be Me

Wednesday, January 19, 2000

By Gregory "Graig" White
SJSports Physical Fitness Advisor

Ladies, are you afraid of training with free weights? Scared that lifting free weights will make you look like a man? Well, let me let you in on a secret, as long as you are not taking a male hormone, lifting free weights will not make you look like a man.


Most women avoid free weights, most time out of fear. Using machines can be less intimidating, easier, and safer at first. But if you want maximum production for your efforts, free weights are the way to go.

Take Vikki Franklin for instance. Every time we train it's with free weights. She comes in, gets her workout done and leaves feeling great. Vikki also acts as an ambassador. She helps me change the minds of women who are a bit fearful of training with free weights. The fact that Vikki can squat 210 pounds for reps at a bodyweight of less than 130 pounds gets her lots of attention.

"Free weights are efficient," says Vikki. "Training with them allows me to move naturally while I am lifting." Machines limit movement, you are only training on one plane. So using a machine to create strength you can not use in everyday life probably is not the best to go.

Knowing that summer is near and the time you have to get fit is getting shorter, you have to work smart. Free weights are efficient and will help you get you to where you want to be. Take it from Vikki, "free weights not only create quality muscle, but it also builds strength that will help you outside the gym."

Photos by Art Redd

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Do you have a fitness or conditioning question for Graig? Send it to If your question is used in an article, you will receive a free Team Conditioning Systems t-shirt.

For previous Winning Ways, visit Graig's Archives.

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