“I can’t believe how much muscle she is building, does she want to look like a man?”
“It is crazy how even though you are a woman, you are able to lift more than him.”
“She should probably lift lighter weights so she gets toned, rather than getting bulky.”
These are just a few of the unnecessary things that I have heard people say when talking about women who are weight-lifters. The saddest part is that both men and women have made claims like these.
Society’s standards for women are constantly changing, and it has become impossible to keep up. One minute skinny bodies are being glorified, and the next minute curvy bodies are the ones being praised.
NEWS FLASH! Women are not working out to meet society’s expectations. They are working out for themselves and doing what is best for their own body! Believe it or not, not everyone has the same goals when it comes to exercising. Some individuals go to the gym to run five miles and sweat it out, while others go to the gym to lift weights and build their muscle. Some people do a combination of both.
Recently, weight-lifting has become more and more popular for women. While it has the ability to help one gain both muscle and confidence, it can also help in areas such as metabolism and cardiovascular health. Not only does weight-lifting help physically, but it also has a huge positive impact on mental health.
Hearing other women say that they are scared to start weight-lifting because they are afraid that men at the gym will judge them is upsetting. In all honesty, I have been in this position before myself. It sucks because we want to believe that it is all in our heads, but at the end of the day people are going to be judgmental no matter what you do. My friends and I have all had experiences of men trying to rush us on machines or make us feel like we did not belong there. Making someone feel uncomfortable or hesitant in their workout routine carries a lot more weight than you think… no pun intended. But seriously, it’s not cool.
In my opinion, one of the worst things that you can do to somebody is to make them feel bad about something that they are passionate about. Being excited about something just for someone to tear you down completely for it is heartbreaking. Instead of using stereotypical beliefs to be critical about workouts that somebody else is doing, why not put more energy into supporting them in achieving their goals? Or at the very least, why not just mind your own business?
Considering running is my main form of working out, I have great admiration for women who are good at lifting. I weight train here and there, but ultimately I have decided that running is what I enjoy doing the most. I have had weight-lifters tell me that they have considerable respect for me being able to run long distances. At the end of the day, supporting one another for our strengths goes a lot further than tearing each other down.
Celebrate women trying to become stronger, both mentally and physically. It’s pretty badass to work on doing what is best for you.