Strength Over Stereotypes
In the past it has been common for women to fear entering the area of a gym oriented around weight training. That section of the gym is often occupied by seemingly intimidating men with large muscles, since stereotypically, men lift the weights and women stick to the cardio machines. However, this stereotype is challenged in today’s society as more women are learning about weight training and its benefits.
According to the article posted by CBS News, “Women weightlifters challenge stereotypes: ‘It’s cool to be strong,’” women are feeling a sense of empowerment from weightlifting as they learn to become strong both physically and mentally. With this newfound sense of empowerment, women are focusing less on what society expects the female body to look like and do. Instead they are focused on becoming “comfortable in their own skin.”
Women On the Rise in Competitive Powerlifting
Women are also showing a greater interest in competitive powerlifting. According to the article from CBS, more women competed in the raw powerlifting division than men at the 2015 Arnold Classic, a large sports festival that attracts around 18,000 athletes who compete in events ranging from bodybuilding to strongman to fencing.
The club powerlifting team here at Penn State has also had an increase in the number of female members over the past 3 years. Three years ago there were only four or five women on the team and now there are over fifteen. In the annual Iron Lion competition hosted by Penn State Club Powerlifting, there were actually more female lifters than male who competed in 2015.
More women are learning that weight training can positively impact their minds and bodies through gaining confidence and strength.