When you hear the word “weightlifter,” an image of a large, bulky man probably comes to mind. But in recent years, female weightlifting has certainly been on the rise.
Male competitions have been around since the 1800s, and the first women-only competition didn’t take place until 1987. While male weightlifting has always been part of the Olympics, female weightlifting wasn’t introduced until the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia. Now that women are finally taking centre stage, their accomplishments have skyrocketed.
Women are actually setting the bar even faster than their male counterparts. Since that first competition in 1987, women have reached milestones like a 400 pound clean and jerk and a double bodyweight snatch in half the time that it took the men.
But getting women to the competitive and Olympic stages was just the first step. As more and more women started to gain notoriety as power lifters, even amateurs started to take notice. In addition to cardio and group fitness classes, women in gyms across the world are turning to the weight bench as part of their workout routine.
For many years, women avoided lifting heavy for a variety of reasons. The first is that they felt intimidated by the largely male-dominated sport. Even local gyms featured weight rooms heavily populated with men.
While breaking into the “boy’s club” of the weight room may seem intimidating for some, the women’s empowerment movement and rise of prominent female athletes has helped give women the courage to lift and lift heavy.
But for women that are still concerned about the judgement of other gym-goers, especially men, there are other options. Creating a private space at home may help women who feel shy about lifting weights in public. Websites such as Home Gym Strength provide guidance on what equipment is best for building a home gym.
Despite having many different options of where to lift, some women still feel hesitant. They think that lifting heavy will make them look too bulky or muscular. But with a mix of weight lifting and cardio, there are ways to tone muscle without bulking up.
Reaping the benefits
Women have started overcoming these obstacles and noticing all the benefits. The main benefit, of course, is that they physically feel stronger and more fit. Weightlifting can cause the number on the scale to increase for some women (since muscle weighs more than fat), but lifting weights can also help give a more toned figure.
But besides the mental and cosmetic benefits, lifting heavy can also help improve many different aspects of a woman’s health. Working those muscles helps fight off atrophy and strengthens bones. Since women are more prone to osteoporosis, bone health is especially important.
Women are breaking barriers in so many different areas, and weightlifting is no different. Yes, women care about looking good. But they also care about being strong. They care about feeling good about their bodies and doing what makes them feel powerful.
Gone are the days when lifting heavy was just for the men. Now, women are strapping on those belts, chalking those hands, and raising that barbell with pride.
With thanks to Home Gym Strength for the article