In the insanely small time that I have been involved and around the strength, and powerlifting community in particular, there is no doubt that it has become increasingly popular among females – and to be honest, I am not really surprised.
I have never been shy about what this style of training has added to my life mentally and physically, and after many conversations with other female lifters, I have found our thoughts and experiences to be the same or quite similar. SO, today I wanted to put together 3 reasons why you should give it a go if you’re maybe sitting on the fence; and simultaneously talk about how it is truly building up the wave of today’s powerful women in both training and life.
1. It teaches you to look beyond the superficial, and acknowledge how capable your body is.
It wasn’t a shock to me that this was one of the most significant points that popped up when both myself, and other women, spoke about our experiences with strength training and what its brought to our life. And I say I’m not surprised, because in this day and age there is so much focus and attention on how we look, how we dress, how much we weigh, how we compare to others, and what we do in the gym to compliment these things – that we often forget, or look past, our bodies capabilities away from these these extrinsic observations and features.
Getting under a barbell, picking up that deadlift you never thought you could pull, nailing an unassisted chin-up, or even simply bench pressing the bar – these movements and achievements, all included within a strength training set-up, subconsciously start to help us look BEYOND this shell for what it appears, and look within for all that it can do and the strength it inhibits.
It’s truly been the first form of training I’ve found that encourages females to acknowledge their inner and athletic strength, accept it, and most importantly – embrace it and put it into practice. Slowly but surely, with time and consistency, this body of ours becomes a whole lot more than just something that can look bangin’ in a LBD. Its purposeful. Its capable. Its strong. And strength training is building our female community to finally welcome that with open arms and inspire others to do the same.
2. It encourages you to embrace your own mould and set your own standards.
Times are a-changing, friends. And strength training, whether we realize it straight away or not, is literally a big, fat, Shrek looking middle finger to society and all its ‘ideals’ for women and what we choose to do with our bodies.
For too long we have been told not to lift heavy. Not to put on ‘too muscle muscle mass’. That its not ‘feminine’ for us to lift a large amount of mass. That it can be intimidating. That we need to do X, Y, and Z to be happy in this body and fit in. And consequently, the message becomes loud and clear that it’s wrong to channel and love the heck out of our athleticism and strength.
Getting under that barbell and lifting heavy is basically you saying to society that you don’t need, nor do you want, to fit these standards. That what you do with your body and how it looks is on your own terms. And that you don’t have to accept or succumb to their unrealistic and suppressing limitations…
AND DAMN DANIEL, DON’T YOU TELL ME THAT DOESN’T FEEL GOOD.
Play your own game. Make your own rules. Set your OWN standards. And channel your inner rebel by redefining all the above for yourself.
SO… I’ll see ya’ll at the squat rack.
3. Physically breaking down ‘impossible’ barriers and goals helps you establish your potential away from your training as well.
Something I have both personally experienced and noticed with other females who stick with strength training for a consistent period of time as well; is that the confidence gained in that environment crosses over into our other goals in life that aren’t necessarily physically based.
We often step into strength training thinking that a lot of our goals are along the lines of impossible or unattainable. For me personally when I first begun powerlifting, pulling a double body-weight deadlift was pretty much the equivalent of being able to ride a rainbow colored unicorn in my lifetime – 99% chance it wasn’t going to happen. I ended up getting that deadlift, am yet to ride a unicorn, but what I gained from that experience was a whole lot more than just a 10kg PB.
Literally breaking down that physical barrier, kicking that goal, and establishing my potential as an athlete – put me in a position to critically reflect on my other goals I have outside of training. Be that in my career, relationships, personal life… But instead of deeming them as unrealistic this time around – I found myself taking baby steps towards them with a new-found confidence, work ethic, and mind full of possibility.
We place so many unnecessary limitations on ourselves in life, and I have seen and know first hand that some amazing things can happen when women kick athletic goals to the curb and make that cross-over into the rest of their life as well. Strength training progression, and physically accomplishing something you never thought were possible, is one of the greatest tools I have found to re-wire that beautiful brain of yours to ‘Well, HEY, why the heck not?’, and ‘If not me, then who?’ – and these will forever go beyond just what we choose to do athletically in the gym.
Disclaimer: Although this looks legit – strength training doesn’t promise you a ride on a rainbow unicorn, sOz.
Extra, EXTRA reasons (these may or may not just be fulfilling my need to be sarcastic):
4. You can weed out your potential partners by whether or not they fist bump after seeing how much you squat for the first time.
6. You get to wear a onesie in public if you decide to powerlift and its acceptable.
7. Your new party trick is to squat a dude.
Here’s what some of my favorite ladies in strength have to say: