I was at the gym a few weeks ago and a thought occurred to me, which I’ve always known, but never realized on a conscious level. Very rarely do I see another female lifting weights. I go up to the cardio room and there’s an even mixture of men and women on the various machines, running, biking, walking, or rowing, but the weight room is always dominated by men. Now, this is a smaller gym, the exercise facility is for company employees and their families only. But I have to wonder; where are all the women? Do females think that they aren’t supposed to lift weights? Or that they don’t need to?
As a high school athlete, I was taught proper form and expected to lift twice a week with my team when we were in season. How hard we actually worked in the weight room varied greatly, and we were never pushing ourselves to get stronger. We didn’t have a strength coach, our workouts were supervised by our volleyball coach, and she often didn’t show up until the end of our session.
However, at the high school where I now work as an athletic trainer, our boys and our girls get in the weight room everyday (in season and out of season) and work hard to get bigger, faster, and stronger with their sport coaches plus a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS). These girls don’t just go through the motions, either. They are breaking school records, winning championships, and challenging the notion that women shouldn’t lift.