Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Stronger Together: Why Girl Gains Is the Campus Club for You

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Carleton chapter.

Picture this: I am a freshman at Carleton, stepping into the campus gym for the first time. It is bustling with activity and I am one of the few women there. Being new to both the university and to weightlifting, I feel a mix of overwhelm and uncertainty. I was excited to discover that Carleton offers women’s only fitness hours, yet I had no one to join me. That’s when I remembered Girl Gains, the vibrant and welcoming weightlifting group I encountered at the club Expo during orientation week.

Girl Gains is a judgment-free fitness community that empowers women of diverse backgrounds and fitness levels to feel confident in the weight room. Carleton University is the first Girl Gains chapter in all of Canada, which began during my freshman year in 2022. I decided to attend their first meeting, and I am incredibly grateful that I did. The club has taught me invaluable lessons about fitness and reinforces that I can take up space within the weight room. Their workout classes, led by certified personal trainers both on campus and at various gyms across Ottawa, such as Suyin Lifts or Bodies by Phil, have encouraged me to venture outside of my comfort zone with my workouts. Likewise, I appreciate the free workshops and resources that Girl Gains offers about nutrition, wellness, and health on campus.

Nevertheless, if weightlifting and working out are not your thing, that’s completely fine because this club offers a myriad of events. For instance, in September we all channeled our inner Swiftie with a friendship bracelet-making night in the quad with new friends. We also let our creative sides shine at our tote-bag decorating event in February. An aspect that myself and other members cherish about Girl Gains is how it’s community of women who support one another and create meaningful friendships. Girl Gains has introduced me to countless strong women who motivate me on my fitness journey. I even met my best friend through this club, a friendship that now extends far beyond the gym. I am exceptionally thankful that Girl Gains brought us together in our first year.

Laine Southwood, our upcoming co-president, echoes my sentiments and affirms, “this club creates a community where I feel seen and have made so many like-minded friends. Being part of this community not only empowers me, but allows me to support and empower other women.” Overall, Girl Gains is an excellent opportunity for you to meet friends and become more involved on campus, regardless of your year or program. We have collaborated with several Carleton clubs, including a workout with the Powerlifting club, a yoga class with the Women in Leadership club, and even a Christmas social with the Sisterhood Society. 

Fast forward to the second year of this club, I am now the Director of Marketing and am inspired by this club every single day. I am immensely grateful for the community Girl Gains has brought me, and can bring you too. Chloé Lépine, the co-president for the next school year, affirms that she and Southwood aim to “bring a welcoming presence to Carleton’s fitness community by creating fun and engaging events. With the new semester coming, my wish is to create a strong and encouraging community of women in and outside of the gym.” 

So, now picture this: I am in my second year at Carleton, entering the women’s only hours at the gym. I wave to the girls I have met through Girl Gains and confidently walk over to the weights section. One girl compliments my workout set and another helps me with my form on a new machine. I feel welcomed and empowered, and so can you. Whether you’re a new student at Carleton or a returning Raven, I highly encourage you to check out Girl Gains this upcoming school year. I promise you will not regret it.

You can follow us on Instagram @girlgainscu to keep up with updates and activities throughout the summer and in the new school year.

Daniella Tredre

Carleton '26

Daniella is a writer for the Her Campus chapter at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She writes on an array of topics, including fitness, campus life, and popular culture. She is in her second year of Communication & Media studies with a passion for writing and content creation. Daniella is the current Director of Marketing for Carleton’s female weightlifting club Girl Gains, where she manages the social media content and engages with the Girl Gains community. She is an active member of the Carleton community through her involvement with the Relay for Life, various Girl Gains events, or as a volunteer notetaker. In her free time, Daniella can be found at the gym, reading a book, or listening to Taylor Swift. She also loves to travel and explore new destinations!