In the past few years – and let’s face it with the increased culture of Instagram based fitness models/posts – it’s become more and more widely accepted for women to weight lift and train to be strong. Heck everyone’s doing it!
This has for some (yup, me, right here) been a revelation. I genuinely hated going to the gym, just like many of us (check out this blog post by alanis, and This Girl Can here which I think describes all the feelings I had on gyms) I felt like an absolute idiot and l knew that if I went anywhere near even a hand weight I’d get a distinct eye roll or a raised brow.
Since starting my original run of weight lifting using Stronglifts to now I’ve noticed a massive change in the reaction, or shall we say non reaction, to women in the weight section.
My original dabble with weights was in around 2013/14 and our (because I couldn’t go alone out of fear of being judged, there’s safety in numbers – always be a pack) first experience was that the guys didn’t really trust us around ‘their’ kit. Even though it came from a good place (if a bit sexist) they were very quick to step in and give us an ‘easier option’ or would find a way to ‘simplify’ the set for us.
This time round, I’ve noticed there are more women already in the weight section and that the guys couldn’t care less about us invading their space. They’re more accepting of women lifting, in fact I think they’re a bit impressed by it. One of the regulars where I train asked my PT (who’s also a woman) for advice on a squat variation they’d seen me doing because they wanted to be able to work a different area in their routine.
That’s another thing, more women PTs, there’s been a surge in women becoming personal trainers (or if this isn’t the case, more visibility of them) and this is another factor that’s improving our access to these spaces. I don’t care about the gender of my Coach, but for some women that’s important, and anything that gets more of us off our asses and into the gym/out for a run/doing exercise is positive, and inspiring to others!!
It’s so much more fun to lift weights. I’ve never in my whole life sweated like I do in my current sessions, and an hour on a treadmill just doesn’t do it for me.
Don’t get me wrong I still do cardio, outside, in the wild, where it should be!! But the dramatic change to my body, my strength, and my mental attitude, that’s down to weights… and it’s something I plan to stick with.
Check out Roller Derby Barbell Club – they’re a great follow on Instagram and have all sorts of challenges and tips for those who lift, of any gender 💜