One time someone asked me, “who do you prefer training, men or women?”
That was a tough question to answer as it implies I have a favorite but when it comes to the pure joy of lifting weights, women own it.
My answer was, “a man looks at 300 pounds and expects to lift it, a woman looks at the same weight saying ‘I can never lift this’ and when they do, it’s like a switch goes off in their head and their world changes”
Women have been historically “told” to be thin. The fashion industry uses models that are waif like in build so the designed clothing fits them the way it is supposed to – according to the designers.
We, as a society, have commented on women’s appearances by saying “she is too big, too skinny, too muscular, looks like a man, etc” and it carries on today.
As a kid my mom was always self-conscious of her thighs as my own father would routinely call them thunder thighs. My own dad contributed to it, and now women are starting to embrace muscular legs more and more.
Haylie (in the picture) is a 15 year old girl who absolutely loves powerlifting. As a member of our gym and competitor her lifts are world class and her potential is limitless. She has a muscular back, shoulder, and legs, and she loves it.
We have women in our gym who brag about needing to buy new dresses, ripping their pants when putting them on, and hitting milestones with their lifts. Seeing them light up when they cross that 300 pound barrier in a lift is magnificent. That proverbial switch goes off and they know how strong they are, physically and mentally.
Recently we have a DPW (deadlifts, pizza, and whiskey) party at our gym and the women’s winner was Emily Kaye Ruble who pulled a strong 405 pounds. Her winning lift was cheered by women and men, she was ecstatic and her good friend, Jordan, who was also competing, high fives her at the end.
The 15 year old, the competitors, the 45 year old nurses who just like being strong, the 60 year old women who still lift weights, and my own mother, who at 70, no longer worries about her “thunder thighs” but instead lifts 3 times a week and loves it.
I can’t answer the question “who do I prefer training?” but I can answer this…
A gym full of strong women and strong men who treat them as equals in that gym is truly amazing.
Women are the future of strength sports and they are finally kicking the door down to shout it loudly.
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