Lift Like a Girl

Deadlifts - Gotta love 'em

Now I don’t usually notice anything that’s going on around me when I train in a commercial gym. I get it in a zone and nothing else matters. All I can think about and focus on is the barbell, and knowing I must do better than last time.

But during this training session, I noticed a girl kept watching me. In between her sets of stability ball crunches she would watch me lift.

I was deadlifting that day, and her facial expression changed each time I loaded more weight onto the bar. It was that “what muscle does that work?” kind of expression.

The bar was loaded to 285 pounds. I chalked up my hands, tightened my belt, approached the bar, set my feet, filled my belly with air, stuck my chest out, pushed my butt back, grabbed the bar, and pulled it off the floor for a total of three reps.

After taking off my lifting belt and taking a sip from my water bottle, she finally came up to me.

“Um, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but why do you train like a man”?

After thinking, “you’re kind of stupid” for a brief moment, I offered a more appropriate response since she clearly never lifted anything that wasn’t coated in pretty pastel colors. “I don’t train like a man,” I said as I put my water bottle back down and started stripping the weight off the bar.

“What do you mean? I’ve seen you in here a lot and you don’t do crunches, kickbacks, weight machines, and cardio like every other woman,” she said with great disdain in her voice.

“Take a look around the gym,” I retorted. “Most guys in here bench press every day and then spend an entire hour working on their biceps. And the closest thing to a ‘leg exercise’ they perform is walking to the water fountain. So you see; I don’t train like a man.”

“But aren’t you afraid of getting big and bulky”?

By this point I was growing increasingly annoyed. “I’ve been lifting heavy and getting stronger for a decade, and I haven’t gotten ‘big ‘n bulky’ yet”.

“Well, you’re supposed to lift light weights and perform a lot of repetitions to burn fat and build long and lean muscles.”

“Look, all that stuff you read is not true. Lifting heavy weights does not make you big or bulky; having excess body fat, however, does. Believe it or not, lifting heavy is one of the best ways to build the body you want. It’s not about burning as many calories as possible on the elliptical or isolating your inner and outer thighs with a machine. It’s about getting stronger. I deadlift, squat, overhead press, perform bodyweight chin-ups, parallel bar dips, push-ups, inverted rows, and other compound exercises. Building a better body comes down to lifting heavy with compound exercises, getting stronger, and eating smart. Bottom line – I lift like a girl. Maybe you should finally give it a try.”

Do you Lift Like a Girl, too? Tell me below.

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  • “I freaking LOVE this info! I'm determined to be a Beautiful Badass!” -Tina V
  • Karine

    I sure do! I pulled 160lbs yesterday for 3 reps, then did hip thrusts with 140lbs, then turkish get-ups with a 12kg bell for 5 reps each side. 113lbs and 48 years old. ;) And YOU are a huge inspiration!

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewNalepa Andrew Nalepa

    Holy shit. That was the best fitness training article I have read in the past 10 days, hands down. It seems like every women ever thinks like that girl you met.

    As a man who wants to be the strongest version of himself, I think there is nothing sexier than a woman who wants to be the strongest version of herself. Not big, bulky, or muscular, but strong: strong in mind, body, and spirit. And that is why I love this site, and the fact that you are trying to help women become real strong.

    Keep up the good work.

    • blersian1980

      I just fell in love with this comment

      “I think there is nothing sexier than a woman who wants to be the strongest version of herself. Not big, bulky, or muscular, but strong: strong in mind, body, and spirit”
      Thanks for sharing that

  • Bethany

    It amazes me that women like you and I can lift heavy and be living proof that lifting doesn't make us “big and bulky”, yet women still refuse to believe it. Most women think that they are special and that they “bulk up really easily”. It's impossible to talk sense into them.

  • http://myomytv.com Marianne

    This is Great Nia!! I laughed at you wanting to deadlift her LOL!

    This is where we all need to step up and spread the word about training with intent, skill and understanding. I used to think that way too and it's really not her fault, if you look around at the information / MIS-information women are sold. It makes me so angry!

    Training like a BB needs to become mainstream. At the min, it is seen as unusual or strange in most circles.

    Your answers were great and let's hope she takes it on board.

    It's a serious point, but it still made me laugh ;-)

  • Claudia

    Great Nia!

    Unfortunatelly this kind of things happens all the time. But when the trainer at the gym is a woman who thinks exactly like this girl you mentioned, things got a lot worse. It happened to me and it still forces me to change gyms all the time. While I am training they come and go until start make me questions and when I realize, I am being “invited” to get out because that's not the way women are suppose to train.

    I couldn't say it better when you wrote that these women think they are special for bulking up easily. I used to fell very bad about this because I couldn't “see a diference” in such little time. Now I feel like laughing every time I hear that. These people don't have a mirror, for sure.

  • http://www.TheIronSamurai.com Nick Horton

    I was laughing very hard at this! My female lifters get this kind of crap all the time. Too much BS out there, my friend!

  • Penny

    Just this moring my co-worker and I were discussing how dicouraging it is to try to deliver a message when there are so many more outlets (mags, TV, TV “experts”) presenting opposing information.

    I have a hard time beleiveing why anyone would listen to me when I am telling them they should do the exact opposite of pretty much everything they've ever practiced, heard, or believed.

    How do you deal with this, I mean besides the example above? What do you do to convince clients that you know what you're talking about and wouldn't lead them astray?

  • http://www.margiechance.com Margie Chance

    I loved the points you made…just not the attitude with which they're made. A year and a half ago I imagine you would have called me a stupid woman…when in fact I was ignorant. When the majority of information put out there by popular culture is contrary to your reality, don't you have a responsibility to share your perspective in a respectful way? Had my coach, Nick Horton, called me stupid when I began, I doubt we'd have started out with a very good relationship.

    Honestly, I get your frustration. But you're right. And when you're right, why get frustrated and annoyed at others' ignorance? Just educate them. Share your knowledge with those who are clueless…not just those who already agree with you.

    I'm just sayin'

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Awesome, woman!! Do work! : )

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Thank you very much! I'll continue to do my best to help as many women as possible.

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    I think a big part of it is that they just don't want to work that hard. It's an excuse to take the easy way out and just read a magazine while they waste time on a machine.

    Yep – we are proof, but some will just always refuse to believe it.

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    I just can't stand when people try to give me advice on how to train! I've had women say crazier stuff to me than that before.

    That's a big reason why I now have my own training space at home – I just can't stand the crap I get a commercial gyms.

    By the way – I've been checking out some of your training videos! I'm going to try one of the out sometime. You move VERY FAST – hopefully I'll survive! ; )

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Wow. That's crazy!

    Keep up the great work, and keep being a BB!!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Most definitely! I can only imagine the kinds of looks/comments your women get when they throw a heavy snatch overhead, or clean more than their bodyweight. ; )

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Well, I gave up on trying to “convince” people a long time ago. Most people just see me, and my clients, and that usually changes their mind about things.

    Something that does help – I ask them if what THEY have been doing has worked. The answer is usually “no”, and that provides an opening for me to share with them what really works.

    Then again . . . some women will never try lifting heavy weights no matter what.

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Please keep in mind parts of this post were meant for entertainment. I would never blow someone off if they had genuine curiousity and really wanted information about how to get results.

    I talk to people in the gym all the time that don't have a clue what they're doing. But people that think they know better than me and just want to start an argument aren't worth my time.

    I've had plenty of women who used to do nothing but cardio, spin classes, etc come up to me for advice, and I freely share with them. I never think they are “stupid” – just misinformed.

    Again, I was trying to be entertaining in the article posted. ; )

  • http://www.margiechance.com Margie Chance

    Point taken, Nia…point taken. I think I was just responding to this sort of polarization I see in the fitness world which I think is kinda sad. Yes, you were being humorous and tongue in cheek. At the same time you really hit the mark. I'd just like to see more matter-of-fact education in the world rather than the more judgmental approach. Just as I prefer to see more curiosity from people instead of judgment and criticism of things people often know little or nothing about. thanks for your response!

  • http://unblob.blogspot.com/ Cort The Sport

    I lift like I girl. I don't waste time watching ESPN on the gym TV, I leave puddles of sweat on the floor, and I'm more than happy to leave the 135 or 225 on the deadlift bar for you if you are waiting for it. Just tell me how far down to strip it for you :-)

  • http://unblob.blogspot.com/ Cort The Sport

    …by “you” I mean others. Not “you” as in Nia!

  • http://kiss-amanda.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    I'm proud to lift like a girl! Squats, deadlifts and presses with a ton of kettlebells mixed in – no 25 tricep kickbacks with a 5lb pastel weight for this girl. I actually just had a similar experience this week, so your timing is perfect! Love it…thanks!

  • Jenica

    I was definitely laughing at this post! This situation unfortunately happened at my old (commercial) gym all the time. At some point, I decided to turn it from frustrating to productive and organized a group of girls to lift together one day a week. Its a bit of organized chaos, but we earned a reputation pretty quickly…a bunch of girls putting up decent weight and not looking “bulky” in any way! We always received lots of questions, so it turned into something that was motivating for us but also educational to other less aware gym-goers. I'm proud to not only be a BB, but help others be one too!

  • Lani

    Oh wow when I worked out in a commercial gym I had the male PT's there tell me the same things with the same attitude. As in:

    “You know if you squat heavy like that with such short amount of reps you're just going to gain heaps of muscle”

    Thats a bad thing?

    or while deadlifting

    “Oh one of the meathads must not have deloaded the bar, do you want some help deloading it?”

    No thanks, this is my working weight for Deadlifts

    “…no really”

    Yeah..really, thanks for the offer though.

    When they were telling me I'd look better if I ran more and did lighter weights for higher reps I met them with a perked brow. I think they gave up when they saw me overhead squatting one day they finally gave up. That was around the same time I decided to set up my own gym. hehe

  • Kathleen

    I have a t shirt that says “I lift like a girl” I'm proud to wear when I'm lifting “manly” weights.

  • http://gordonwatts.com/#health Gordon

    Good point about not looking like a man –on occasion, when I want to make that point, I will show a fellow-lifter a print out from your website, and point out that YOU don't look like a man.

    In fact, just for ha hah! laughs, I will sometimes even point out that *I* list close to 300 pounds in the deadlift –AND eat everything that i want, and even *I* don't 'bulk up,' and I really AM a man, LOL. (I'm very skinny — that's why I can say that 7 get away with it.)

    Some people will fall 4 anything that comes down the pike & believe in 100%, without engaging brain in gear 2 check it out 1st.

    *** People should NOT be afraid to train hard and eat well — many people show that it won't 'make you fat or ugly.' ***

  • Tami

    I do lift heavy and I love it. Just last week while I was moving some heavy weight a man was needling me (after he told me that i was ' ripped as hell, like a dominatrix' whatever that means) he pointed to the aerobics room and asked why I wasn't with the other girls. Umm, because I want to be strong and lean not weak and soft. Rise up BBs! ;)

  • http://heyjoob.com Juliet

    I read this earlier today and I believe that I sighed audibly. I was also happy that it was my leg day and I had deadlifts worked in because I felt the overwhelming need to PR on them.

    Also, for the first time, I did glute bridges out in the open of my gym (filled w/ dudes today for reasons unknown) instead of a corner like I normally hide and do. I was almost as proud of that as i was of the deads. HAH

  • http://www.johnphung.com John Phung

    RE: “Most guys in here bench press every day and then spend an entire hour working on their biceps. And the closest thing to a ‘leg exercise’ they perform is walking to the water fountain. So you see; I don’t train like a man.”

    This is sooo true!

    I guess after reading this post I lift more like a girl than a man lol

  • http://chocolatechillimango.com/ Viviane Buzzi

    I so wish you had deadlifted her and taken a video of it!!! I laughed hysterically…great post!! Awesome.

  • http://www.athomeinscottsdale.com Dru Bloomfield

    I squatted just over my body weight (135 lb) last week for the first time ever. 5 reps, and I'm 55. Age doesn't matter when it comes to trying new things, and feeling strong. Had never even considered trying until I started reading your blog. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Ha ha! Rock on, girl!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Thanks for sharing! Glad you enjoyed it.

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Wow. That is AWESOME! What a way to spread the word and prove that women can be strong AND feminine! Amazing. ; )

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Yep, you're definitely a badass!

    That is incredible though that trainers were encouraging you to leave the weight room. Sad. Pathetic.

    Most men I know think it's sexy as hell when a women squats and deadlifts!

    Keep training hard – they'll really be in for a shock when you're warming up with their max!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Nice!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Thanks!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Awesome story! Thanks for sharing. : )

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    HA HA HA!! I know the feeling about doing glute bridges and hip thrusts in a crowded gym. Leave it up to some guys to make jokes, etc. At least you're building a rocking ass! ; )

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Ha ha! Thanks, Jon! Yep – you're definitely a Beautiful Badass too. ; )

    I meant to include a link to my Bro Badasses to show how REAL men train. ; )

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Glad you enjoyed it!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    That is AWESOME!!!

    You are right – age doesn't matter. I know some people say “that's easy for you to say” since I'm still in my 20s, but my Mom is 51 and she trains hard and heavy, too. And she has clients in the 60s and 70s who deadlift, do push-ups, squat, etc.

    Keep training hard! That is an impressive squat. You should record it and send it to me for the next BB edition. ; )

  • http://www.torontowedding-photographer.com/ Heather Kearns

    It's funny – I'd been overweight – let's call a spade what it is – fat – for most of my life. Thought I had the same build as my father – I had borderline diabetes, thyroid issues, went into early menopause – etc.

    I joined a gym in 2007 to change all that – my trainer got me started on the right path I believe. Her approach was to condition me – I responded really well, so … as a competitive trainer, she groomed me for a Figures Competition. I loved the heavier weights, but was not a fan of the others pushing me to take 'stuff' – I was in this for health and if a trophy came along, so be it. I discovered I was actually really small boned and instead of being over 200lbs and squeezing into a size 18, I lost 85lbs and slipped into a size 3.

    In September, I was introduced to CrossFit with a Fight Gone Bad Challenge – holy cow! I was hooked! All the muscles I thought I had meant nothing without the strength and the met con to go with it! I got on board the CrossFit Train, turned Paleo and now Rx most of my WODs – I'm 42 years old and feel like an Evangelist of sorts. I've rebuilt to 135lbs and now wear a size 5 to fit my quads, which are still only 18″ – a far cry from the 27″ they used to be before I trained. I'm enjoying this midlife crisis :)

    Do I look like a man? Not a chance! A Spartan Woman? Well – I'm aiming to :)

  • http://www.torontowedding-photographer.com/ Heather Kearns

    Ooops – I double posted! Tech is not my strength :) Sorry!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Holy hell! I bet it's awesome seeing you and your fighters in action! Not only in the the ring and on the mat, but in the gym. Awesome!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    “I'm enjoying this midlife crisis”. THAT really made me smile!

    Thank you for sharing your story! That is absolutely awesome. You inspire me to work harder!

  • http://www.redpointfitness.com Molly Galbraith

    Love it Nia! I can always count on your for a laugh (and some inspiration)! And I am similar to you. If someone approaches me with genuine curiosity or seeking help… by all means I take time out of MY BUSY day and my workout and help them. But if they act rude or condescending or like they know it all.. then I have a tendency to get annoyed and short with them. I guess it's because I feel like I am fighting this stereotype ALL DAY LONG EVERY DAY.

    And to be honest, it's probably a little bit easier for you to fight the stereotype since you have a much smaller frame than me. At 5'10+ and 165 lbs it's hard to convince a woman than lifting won't make her bigger by telling her to look at me. It's not that I am “big” by any stretch of the imagination (I wear a 6 from most women's clothing stores) but I am bigger than most women and people never saw me before when I was 185 lbs and a size 12-ish… so they don't always “get” my transformation came from heavy lifting. They can look at my teeny clients of course…but I constantly feel like smaller women (albeit much squishier women with MUCH higher body fat %'s than me) are looking at me like, “well you lift weights and you are bigger than me so…”

    Maybe it's my own insecurities (yes, we all have them) but it drives me crazy! And I guess it's too bad that a lot of those women don't realize how much guys like curves and muscles. Yes, all men. Not just those who work out. I get creepy messages from guys of all shapes and sizes. ;-)

    Anyway… thanks for the venue to let me rant. And thanks for spreading the good word!

    BTW… the question that I have to answer so that your site knows I am not spam asks:

    “Are rocks heavy or light?” I want to answer with: “Heavy for the majority of guys… but probably light for me and Nia.” Does that answer work? ;-)

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Molly, you're awesome. : )

    Yes, you nailed that right on the head about helping people but getting annoyed with others.

    I think you are AWESOME and look friggin' awesome! You inspire me every day, girl.

    And, yes, I like your answer to the spam question. ; )

    Can't wait to share your novel . . . I mean story . . . with the rest of the world.

  • Corine Blok

    Hi Nia,

    Loved this one. I am 44 and started lifting weights 2 years ago. I think it is hilarious how differently people respond. I have lost over 50 pounds eversince I have started doing weight training. The girls that thought I was an idiot now ask me for advice, guys ask me about my kettlebell workouts after having watched me from the corner of their eyes for a long time.

    Biggest compliment I got from a 24 year old guy from my gym I bumped into on the beach: Shit, you have the body of a 20 year old, you look absolutely amazing!

    So I keep lifting like a girl, enjoying looking like one.

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    I friggin' LOVE that story! Absolutely awesome. ; )

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  • http://www.michaelgrayfitness.com Michael Gray

    Man, I would have liked to have been there to hear that conversation!

  • http://Www.fivex3.com Emily

    Nia,

    That conversation was unbelievable. I cannot wait to have one just like it some day. ;-) Every single word uttered out of that young woman's mouth came straight from out of one of those damn Shape magazines. I am working with an overweight client right now. She just reached 135 pounds with her squats. After 7 sessions. She started at 190 pounds and is slowly shrinking before my eyes. What else does she do? Deadlift. Push ups. Body rows. Kettlebell swings. Self limiting exercises such as sand bag carries, farmer walks. She works hard and is not intimated by what we do at all. She is amazing. Great post as always! Thanks for your no nonsense attitude when it comes to females and strength training. ;-)

  • Julia Ladewski

    oh girl, you know what I”m about to say……. “good for putting her in her place!!” we need more women like us and everyone else who left comments, to stand up for what works!! unfortunately, it's so hard to tell a woman that it works unless they experience it for themselves. of course they think they are the ones that “have tried it but always left them bulky”.

    keep standing up for lifting like a girl, ladies!!! we can change the world!! ;)

  • http://www.bridgefit.co.uk Steve

    Well said, i will definately be circulating this article further afield….in fact I can see a space for it on my gym wall now!

  • http://www.fivex3.com Emily Socolinsky

    I still cannot believe that you actually had this conversation. She has definitely been reading Self and Shape way too long while leaning on the elliptical machine for two hours.

    Below is a link to one of my posts from my blog about three weeks ago. I put it together to show friends and clients that lifting heavy weights does NOT make you “big and bulky.” I think people really don't get it until they see it….of course, there will always be the non-believers out there but hey, one woman at a time I say. :-)

    Here is the link – http://fivex3.com/2011/06/26/how-a-girl-trains/.

    Thanks Nia!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Awesome story! Keep kicking ass!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Too bad you weren't there . . . you know . . . squatting HUNDREDS of pounds, benching twice your bodyweight, etc. ; )

    Looking forward to watching you dominate that meet next month!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Thanks for the support, and sharing the message!

  • http://www.beautifulbadass.com Nia Shanks

    Thanks!

  • http://www.partylifefitness.com Major RKS

    New to your site, but came across this post and wanted to thank you for sharing this experience! I really wish more women went into the gym with this type of attitude. It's a real struggle to convince and inform some women on the type of workouts they really should be doing in order achieve their fitness goals (especially when the advice is coming from a guy). I really wish the male ego of bench and biceps didn't keep a majority of the women out of the free weights section. Looking forward to reading some more post and digging back into the archives. Thanks!

  • Jessica

    Thank you for having an awesome site.

    I grew up in globo gyms and then did a martial art for 8yrs and went back to the globo gym. I even did the all womens gym, ugh. What a joke! LOL, then I got my eyes opened when I started Cf April 2010. I love to see the women lifting heavy bc strong is beautiful. It helps me to visualize what is to coming my arms, legs, back etc. I love lifting heavy bc it feels good and there are amazing and fast results. When my husband hugs me he says ok lets see what has changed today. It makes me giggle at how much he is amazed and loving my results.

    I had to look up who Tracy Anderson was.

  • http://everythingstrength.com Barney Shannon

    I just tell gals they aren't gonna get “big and bulky” unless they grow Testicles. Heavy Squats is the best butt exercise that a lady can do. Girls ROCK!

    ~Barney Shannon

  • Lily

    I just don't get why women (girls) have to be the mockery of Cross Fit in so many articles?

    Do you realize how many topics cover women and how they should be lifting heavier, sucking up callouses, and being one of the guys?

    And the most pathetic part of it all is that women are jumping on the bandwagon and exposing their own kind and for what? What do you get out of it?

    A strong woman (girl) to me is a woman who is not afraid to be feminine, takes care of her body (meaning, can go home and sand down her callouses with a pumice stone following some hand cream), go out on a date, look good physically and never have to prove to others that she just busted her ass in a gym. The proving is done within.

    Enough of the “go heavy or go home”- did you ever stop to think that if one does not have the experience they will “go home for going heavy?”

    Women have a long history of being victimized- Cross Fit, should be promoting women to come to their gyms regardless of how skinny they are, regardless of their interest in Shape magazine, regardless of their interest in Lee press on nails.

    The goal is to have a positive impact on women and teach them that we can too, learn new challenges. There is nothing worse than taking on the Nazi approach and intimidating women who are afraid to take the plunge. I have news for you- it's called fear of the unknown- and the more you instill fear, the more you destroy their psyche- their self esteem………

    A good business who really gives a damn about the real message of Cross Fit will encourage all walks of life.

    Females, Ladies, Girls- speak up and don't hate your own kind- they may not be like you and may never be like you but they are your kind, no matter what.

    So go out there and support the skinny fat girl, the Shape magazine girl, the breast augmented girl, the fat girl, the butch- why do you prefer to jump on the bandwagon of misogyny? This just proves that you may have a strong body but a weak mind………

    At the end of the day, it makes you a better person to not hate and who knows you may learn a thing or two from these “girls.”

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  • Toni

    Ooo, the comment about Tracy Anderson kool-aid totally got my attention! I thought I was the only one who thought she and her 'star pupil' a.k.a. Gwneyth Paltrow were full…of it, lol.

    True story: While I was in Target recently, my gaze was fixed on the advertisement above the fitness equipment. *Of course*, they had the guy lifting 25 lbs. and the girl was shown lifting a mere five lbs. This stupid ad had me seeing red so when the manager walked by, I waved him over. He politely asked if he could help me with something. I pointed to the overhead sign and simply said, “this is so wrong”. He gave me a puzzled look but realization began to dawn on him when I picked up two 25 lbs. dumbbells and proceeded to do a shoulder press a few times. His facial expression was a odd mixture of shock and amusement. I smiled sweetly at him, put the weights down and said, “that's how a real girl lifts”. I walked into the next aisle grinning like a damn fool. I swear to you that normally, I don't balk over such stupidity but I had had enough of this silly notion that women are somehow the weaker sex.

    Loved this. :)

  • Diane

    Nia,

    I understand your frustration. But honestly, I think you lost a valuable teaching moment to snarkiness and a bit of a chip on your shoulder. The woman who approached you was uneducated on the topic at hand, but obviously saw something in your appearance and training style that didn't click for her with the knowledge she has/had.

    Would it really have been so horrible to talk to her like she wasn't annoying you, like she had misinformation (which she does/did) and meet her where she was?

    Many here seem to support you, so I'm gonna presume that you are a generally kind person but it's okay to be kind to people that aren't on the same page with you…yet. I hope next time someone asks you the “dumb questions” you realize they're just sharing with you where they are now and you have the blessed opportunity of helping them take a step or two toward where you are.

  • Jo

    No, but I want to.  I always loved challenging myself when we’d do weights in phys ed (a million years ago), but we were being fed that low-weights-high-reps garbage then, too.

    Best I’ve felt in my life was working in a produce job, lifting 50lb boxes when we unloaded the trucks.  I know I can do more than that.

  • Jill

     Why such need to prove yourself? Just be healthy, geez…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mariska.koele1 Mariska Koele

    Recognizable, I now train close to my office in Amsterdam in a pretty rough neighbourhood (West). I have been lifting for 1,5 years. The first time I was there, there were no women lifting weight. I did sumo deadlifts and a guy turned his had in shock and said ´That is what guys do. I don’t even do that, I can’t` (I am sure he can, I am only 5´4). Since then they (the men) say ´hello´ and help me clean up the weights. Strangely, me the office mouse, has been excepted.

    In Rotterdam a trainer stayed with me at the legpress because he thought I was going to kill myself with 160 kg. All I saw in his face was a big question mark. I have been advised to go and do cardio or Pilates. Lucky I have a trainer who shares my believe in getting strong. I just think it is sad that I hardly see any women do this. So far I have met one in the city centre.

    I really like the info online by Marianne Kane and al the other girls from Girls Gone Strong.

    It is good to see that we are not alone.

  • Nadine

    Nia,
    The kind of things I’m reading in the comments are the reason I don’t belong to a commercial gym, but train in a private gym owned by a male ex-power lifter, who does one on one personal training. I came to him having not lifted at all for 20 years, though before that I spent 10 years in women’s gyms. The women working the floor would get annoyed when I wanted to use the free weights and bars instead of the machines, so I purchased my own bench and weights and trained alone in my home throughout my 20′s, only going to gyms for the cardio machines and classes. Gotta have variety and at the time my body was the envy of the other women. When they asked how I got that way, and I said lifting, they were too scared to try! All that nonsense about bulking up, you know.
    I recently purchased a rowing machine and needed lessons, which is how I found my trainer. He teaches indoor rowing and lifting. I will be 52 in December and have never gotten as much out of training as I am with him. I’m making big changes to my body and mind, working with the trainer one day a week, and working out at home the other 6 days. Until I can find a commercail gym that allows and supports me to Lift Like a Girl, its better this way.
    I’m getting stronger and healthier and can’t wait to go back to the cardiologist who suggested I take up rowing due to a mild heart valve defect and let him see how much healthier I have become.
    Thanks to you for supporting women in the quest for true health and beauty! I’m glad I found your site.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jenjohnston86 Jen Johnston

    I totally lift like a girl. Only problem is, I am getting some bulk. Just my body type. Thing of it is, I do like the bulk, but, it makes it hard to find cute tshirts. :S

  • larrisa

    I like this. I have been ttraining to become strong, but some times get upset because i dont if i could ever do it. Woman like you makes e ant to try harder. :P