You can’t do that… You’re a woman!


After hearing a whole bunch of ignorant traditionalists go on tirelessly about my approach to women’s fitness and self defense, I thought I would make my next post (inspired by a CF paper) about the psychology behind a certain mental block that I see examples of every day.

Historically, women have been told about all the things they can do. They can cook, clean, put on makeup, be a mommy and a loving wife. More importantly, women have been told all of the things they cannot do. Let’s forget other parallels for now and stick to physical fitness. Of course the female physiology is vastly different but having less relative strength to  a man is very different from being helpless. Lets do a quick run through, See if you can relate.

It’s common knowledge that women can’t lift heavy boxes, fight back, drive or play “men’s sports”.  There is a term that’s been coined “girl push-ups” for those push-ups done on the knees.  It’s a mindset that’s instilled in young girls from the earliest ages “You, as a female, are incapable of doing full push-ups like men.”  The fitness industry also capitalizes on this image. They sell pink rubber coated dumbbells of 1 and 2 kg as “girl weights”. Some might say, “Hey, that’s all I can lift, Im a girl!” And I say to them, “It’s‘ all you can lift because that’s exactly what everyone has told you your whole life” . With such a low-intensity pace and pre instilled defeatist mindset, it’s no wonder women see low results in spite of those boring 45 or 60-minute cardio workouts. Weight machines using cables or stacks of weights have been the ruin of real fitness. This is the industry’s way of saying, “You are too stupid to learn free-weight exercises safely!”

Commercial personal trainers fertilize this mutation, Women are scared away from strength training by looking at sick images of manly and chemically enhanced female bodybuilders equating high intensity with abnormal swells and bulging veins. Supporting this perception is the press and media putting out what is popular vs what is right.

Most women today are left in a state of denial. They believe certain things are outside their grasp. They wont  even allow themselves to imagine doing pull-ups, sprints or cartwheels. They deny themselves the confidence to believe their goals are possible, attainable or winnable. Their whole lives, they have heard one thing: “You can only do as much as we tell you that you can.” I can’t count the number of times women have pre-empted their briefings with me saying: “I don’t really want washboard abs or a fit/strong body, I just want to lose a little weight”. Really?? I don’t believe you!! And I’m sorry… but that stuff is inevitable when you get real fitness training and no, it doesn’t matter if you are a mother of two. No, wide clavicles don’t mean you’ll never have a great butt, quite the opposite actually. All you have to do is work hard and trust the process. Go to a designer  gym if you want false gratification.

Combat Kinetics invites you to get down for a free orientation class. Trying won’t kill you — just  ask any of my girls at CK … You DO have what it takes. Be smart, be focused, find out what you’re really made of, believe in yourself and commit. The results will follow on their own.

8 replies
  1. Thacholi Nayer
    Thacholi Nayer says:

    Respected Sir,
    I am interested in learning Malyutham (submission Grappling). Do you teach this art alone, or is it taught only along with MMA’s sir. Also, I read from adimurai.blogspot.in that you teach a Hybridized form of Adi Murai, named Mudhalvan Adi Murai.
    I am very much interested in learning these arts, and would like to get more details on the classes sir. Kindly guide me please. I am from Chennai.

    Thank You


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