Lady mags have a tendency to publish health and fitness content that’s ineffective at best; dangerous and misleading, at worst. And on both ends of the spectrum, they tend to advertise it with women who all meet the same height-weight qualifications (which, surprise surprise, are pretty far from the average American woman). But finally, Glamour magazine has a one-month slim-down plan that doesn’t give fitness a bad name: It’s a workout (with real weights), demonstrated by a trainer (with real muscles) that actually promotes healthy advice for readers (who really want to get in shape; not just cleanse their way to quick weight loss).
The trainer, Jamie Corso from David Barton gym in New York, is by no means “average”: She has incredibly defined muscles and hardly any body fat–it’s clear she’s a trainer. But she does look like she’s probably at a normal height and healthy weight; sadly, this is refreshing by women’s magazine standards.
And even better, the workouts she demonstrates focus on safe, smart weight training: Something so many magazines and even trainers shy away from encouraging women to do. The program doesn’t involve gimmicks, and the magazine doesn’t encourage readers to spend unhealthy amounts of time at the gym:
She designed four weight-lifting workouts, all under an hour, to help you drop a dress size in four weeks. Complete each of the workouts once a week through the end of the month. Because the first three workouts focus on different muscle groups, you can do them on consecutive days. Make sure to take a rest day after the fourth workout, though. For faster results, add high-intensity interval training on your “off” days.
They’re not reinventing the wheel, but that’s a good thing: These are practical workouts that you can safely do with little experience, and they’ll get good results. (Sure, they left out the part about how you need to watch your diet in order to really drop a dress size, but we kind of like that they didn’t emphasize starving yourself to lose weight, like so many other “fitness” and “health” articles do.)
Articles like Allure‘s collection of celebrity trainer tips (which was so bad, we still remember it two years later) tend to use ultra-thin models or celebrities and tips for burning calories without ”bulking up.” Not only is this a pretty minor concern for most women (our hormones make it difficult to build very much muscle mass without trying REALLY hard), but it easily makes many women completely gym-phobic. So to see an article that idealizes a muscular woman doing a workout designed to build muscle and make women strong is a breath of fresh air.
Good job, Glamour. Here’s to getting fitness right in 2013.