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One Small Change

The Surprising Secret to Bigger Muscles and More Women

Here’s a tip for all you single guys (or those seeking flexibility in a current relationship): Sign up for a yoga class. Whether at sea or on land, all the classes I’ve ever attended were predominantly women. Indeed, yoga is to the female sex what a construction site is to guys—it fascinates them.

Case in point: On my flight to Los Angeles, I was reading Yoga Journal. It sparked so much interest among the flight attendants that one of them actually slipped me an extra pack of peanuts.

It’s true, gentlemen: Yoga is the puppy that you’d like to parade through campus at an all-girls college. It’s the six-pack you’ve always wanted to unveil at the municipal pool. It’s an instant way to meet girls.

So why aren’t more men doing it, especially when you consider the added fitness benefits?

I think can think of at least three reasons:

  1. Stretching can be humbling for guys.
    Women have less muscle mass and a different skeletal structure (most notably wider hips for baby delivery), so they’re naturally more flexible. Thus, their down-dogs look textbook, while men’s resemble impoverished-mutts. So it’s not easy for a guy to stride into a yoga studio, unroll a mat, and retain his swagger.
  2. Progress usually comes more slowly for men.
    Because they’re working through additional muscle mass and dealing with tighter hips, flexibility arrives more grudgingly. And this is yet another blow to the I-want-it-now male ego.
  3. You can't see the results in a mirror.
    Most guys, including myself prior to this experiment, view any form of stretching as low priority. I mean, come on, what would you rather do: Spend some of your limited exercise time elongating your hamstrings or beefing up your summer biceps? When you look in the mirror, do you want to see perfect posture or a powerful pair of pecs?

But here’s the twist: According to Ann Frederick, co-author of Stretch to Win, “the single fastest way to improve strength and size is to increase flexibility.” Say what?

“It’s true. The more pliable the muscle, the more ability it has to produce work,” she explains. “And by stretching the surrounding connective tissue, you’re able to have larger, more defined muscles, not just stronger ones. This is because tightness in the fascial tissue restricts how much a muscle can grow from a bulk standpoint.”

So there you have it: Bigger muscles and more women than you can handle. What else could you ask for from a blog?

Somewhere a yoga class is starting in 30 minutes. Be there.

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About The Author

Joe Kita – Joe Kita is a noted writer, editor, motivational speaker and teacher. He authors the blog "One Small Change" for CorePerformance.com.

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Tags: Stretching, Flexibility, Build Muscle, Leisure Time