I walk into the gym, set my bag down, warm up, slip my gloves on, and I get to work. I always try to push myself HARD and usually wind up grunting louder than the average guy does. Between sets I may look around to check out who else is in the weight room, but to my disappointment, all I ever see are guys. I often stick out being the only female, but day in and day out, I can’t let that stop me from going hard with all the boys.
This attention was something that used to intimidate me to the point where I’d feel much more comfortable on the treadmill or in a yoga class. I didn’t want guys staring at me when I didn’t really know what I was doing! I can’t concentrate on my workout with eyes on me! They would all judge me! And of course there was this thought of, EW! Weights?! I don’t want to get all buff and bulky! Talking to more girls about lifting made it clear that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Looking back, I was another victim of the widespread misconception that females who weight train are going to end up overly muscular and looking like female bodybuilders. I didn’t know it then, but my views on weight training would change drastically as I experienced first hand the ACTAUL affects it can have.
Now I have no shame in saying I am addicted to lifting. There are so many reasons why I strength train. Maybe if I tell you a few reasons I love it, you will keep an open mind to weight training as a woman (or man, to the guys reading this). Here are a few:
- I’ve seen the most changes in my body with strength training. I’ve lost fat, toned up, have better posture, and now have the most feminine curves I’ve ever had (who doesn’t want this?!). These are all things I could never achieve with cardio, yoga, pilates, spinning, kickboxing, etc.
- It feels good moving heavy weights. The endorphins released make you feel incredible.
- Don’t worry about not knowing what you are doing at first, you will learn over time. Besides, NO ONE knows what they are doing when they are starting to learn something that is challenging.
- I don’t care what US weekly says, Jessica Alba, and Beyonce did not build those bodies by “hiking and riding their bike twice a week.” They built their bodies with strict nutrition and hard work in the weight room! Anyone who tells you different isn’t giving them credit for the very hard work and dedication they put in.
- A girl who knows what she is doing in the weight room can be damn sexy.
- I am able to see my strength increase, which is the most rewarding feeling!
- It has helped me build my self confidence.
- You get in tune with you body. You learn how to push yourself a little more every single day, but also learn when it’s a good time to back off a little.
- Every workout is a mental, physical, and emotional challenge. How cool is that?
- I’ve seen such an increase in my mind/body connection.
- Training is THE best stress reliever.
- I saw a dramatic increase in my dedication, commitment, and drive. Not only just with training, but also in how to apply those traits to other important things in my life.
- Every time I’m in the gym now I get approached at least once by someone encouraging me, asking me what I’m training for, or asking for advice. That feels so good.
- It’s humbling. I know that I’ve made progress, but I also know there is a long, long way to go.
- There are still times I feel those judging eyes on me and have a moments where I feel self-conscious. Then I stop and remember I belong here too, and I use those judgments as fuel to push myself to be that much better
- The satisfaction of being able to deadlift more than the guy next to you is priceless.
It’s funny to think that what I used to be afraid of now encourages me. I am no longer afraid of being stared at or approached. If I don’t know how to use a machine or do an exercise, I watch youtube videos or just ask someone at the gym. I no longer fear that working hard in the weight room will make me bulky or masculine, because the truth is, I know it will only make me, leaner, sexier, and more feminine.