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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Carthage chapter.

With the overwhelming Instagram takeover of YouTube fitness gurus like Nikki Blackketter and Whitney Simmons, female weightlifters are no longer a peculiar sight at the gym. Women all around the world are finally smashing the myth that lifting weights will make you look masculine and it’s kind of everything.

Growing up an athlete, I can remember always skipping out on the lifting portions of practice and instead focusing more on conditioning, which is probably why I hate running to this day. I had this idea that if I lifted weights, I would start looking like a man. In my youth, maintaining my femininity was the top of my priority list. It wasn’t until I got a little older and stopped playing sports that I felt I was letting myself go and running just wasn’t going to cut it. After bingeing what seemed like a hundred YouTube videos, I stumbled upon a video titled, “Get Fit & STICK with it | How To For Women.” The video was under five minutes, but I was left wanting more. So, I clicked on the content creators name and after just two more videos, Whitney Simmons gained a lifelong subscriber.

The very next day I dug out my favorite leggings and went straight to the gym. I followed one of Whitney’s workouts and I’ve never felt as strong or as empowered. As the months progressed, I started noticing changes in my body both mentally and physically. I was getting stronger and, with my determination growing, I reached some of my major goals in just four short months. The thing about weightlifting is that it’s more than just lifting heavy things. Weightlifting pushes your body to limits that you never imagined you could reach. It challenges not only your physical stamina but your mental stamina as well.

I know that I’m not the only one out there with a story like this. Millions, if not billions, of women are influenced by the desire to feel strong and empowered, and many of us found that weightlifting is the way to do that. But weightlifting has no boundaries and being a woman into weightlifting makes it that much cooler.

If weightlifting sounds like something you want to do, but you aren’t sure where to start, try taking a look at your on-campus activities. Many colleges have gyms that offer weightlifting instruction so that you can learn the right way to do it. Some even have clubs that you can join, so you’re surrounded by like-minded people who are all striving to achieve the same goals. It all starts with a single step. Or, in my case, a single click.

Karina Lee

Carthage '19

Karina is a senior at Carthage College majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Urban Education. She is a Kenosha, WI native who hasn't experienced anything other than life on the lake! She is a Senior Resident Assistant on campus and Vice President of the Black Student Union. When she finds free time, she enjoys lifting weights, creating YouTube videos on beauty, health, and lifestyle and spending time binge watching The Office.