“I have a dream…. that one day, half of the free weight area will be filled with WOMEN!” – Danielle Rae Pietrocarlo
And WE are getting closer to that. The Free To Be Fit Heavy Metal Club at the studio focuses only on squatting, dead lifting, and bench pressing (power lifting) is made up of MOSTLY WOMEN!
However, there is a huge stigma that is continuing to keep women away from the weights and stuck as “cardio bunnies” ; Lifting weights as a female will make you big and bulky.
The struggle is real and I wrote this in effort to hopefully inspire more girls to lift, and change that male to female ratio in the free weight area. Women specific fitness businesses (ie. Curves, weight watchers, etc) unfortunately only approve ankle weights and 3lb dumbbells. Take a stroll through your “women’s only” portion of the gym. I have yet to find a barbell bell and no more than two 45lb plates.
Why is there an underlying and stereotypical assumption that women weren’t “meant” to lift heavy weights? Its insulting! Sure men and women’s bodies have different capacities but again, they still work the same way. Just like MEN, we (women) are homo sapiens, with the same basic physiological makeup.
So why should you, as a lady, lift? Here are some of the benefits of picking heavy things up, and putting them back down. (and repeat). After I cover the benefits, as well as de-funk the ultimate stigma.
Improved Functional Strength AKA Independence
Feeling physically stronger will absolutely make you mentally stronger. There is nothing I love more than being able to carry all of my groceries in ONE trip to the car. “No I do not need help carrying this, Thank you!” is the BEST, especially when there is a male offering the help. Very polite but “I got this.” Its unbelievable how much the functional strength gained from weight lifting is used everyday. Carrying two, 50lbs containers of cat litter ( with proper form), moving bags of mulch, or being able to squat down to pick up something your child dropped on the floor while holding them. Un-measurable.
The skill of perseverance and the ability to push yourself when everything else is saying stop. Overcoming a little discomfort this week, and then the following week, that SAME thing that was a little uncomfortable or “heavy” begins to move with ease. Do this with a partner or group of people? Camaraderie. Experiencing this “discomfort together”, creates a sense of community and belonging. You then have this group to share success with and cheer you through the heavy stuff. AKA The Heavy Metal Club
Bone & Joint Health
Women, more than men, need to meet the minimal essential strain (aka lifting weights) required for bone modeling to occur. This along with calcium is your best defense against osteoporosis. Cartilage, tendons, and ligaments also have minimal essential strain requirements. Optimal strength development requires loads and intensities that progressively increase the training stimulus or stress. Strong cartilage, tendons, and ligaments are essential for joint integrity, stability, and injury prevention.
You are probably so intrigued by the benefits that you already forgot why you were avoiding the weights in the first place! In case your not, lets finally de-funk that stigma that most women struggle with:
“If I lift weights I will get…. Big, Bulky, Manly, Beastly etc.”
Naturally- this will never happen because of the next 5 words…
Women do not have testicles.
Thank you! Goodnight! No encore!
In all seriousness, women do not have enough testosterone to get that HUGE girly-man look. Even men, who naturally have more testosterone than women, can make it happen faster BUT still have to have a specific diet and super tough regime to maybe get “huge”.
Do not be afraid of the weights, it could just get you the results your NOT getting from your cardio rituals. Lifting weights for both males and females will give you strength, power, stamina, endurance, bone density , confidence, and get you closer to that toned physique you are looking for!
– Danielle Rae Pietrocarlo
Not sure what to do in weight room? Stay Tuned January 2015, Danielle will be releasing Weight Training 101 program! It is designed for women who are eager to get into the free weight area of their gym, start lifting weights with proper form, and most importantly with confidence! Program will be available to all Dani-Stream Members January 2015.
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