Women feeling weighed down in the weight room

Ladies, I am here to tell you that the conflict between masculinity and femininity compels our society to hold one another back and stigmatizes certain actions and appearances. The weight room is no exception. Lifting is for men, and if you are a woman who lifts, you are associated with words like “butch” and are thought to be "bulky". Being intimidated by the classic meatheads that hog the weights and stomp around grunting in the weight room is something all gym goers have experienced, but there is room in there for us women too. 

Women working out does not just have to mean we're on the elliptical in a cute pair of leggings and a matching headband. We can work out how we want to, and if that happens to be lifting more than five pounds, then so be it. Exercise is completely based on what makes you feel good and gets you excited; no stereotypes or negative connotations should restrain that. 

Lifting is incredibly beneficial for our bodies. According to Mayo Clinic, it can result in stronger and healthier joints, weight loss, and stress relief. Huffington Post also says that lifting helps speed up your metabolism and can help to manage and subdue your hormones and menstrual cycle. Adding weights to your workout regime can tone places that cardio will never be able to get to. Beyond that, physical strength, in particular, can be empowering and rewarding. Being able to tangibly see improvements due to the work that you put in in the weight room drives up your self-confidence and gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Women should not feel weight room shame or feel pushed around in the weight room. The feeling of being out of place or even feeling as you might offend someone is common for women, but this can change if we start showing our society that archaic gender roles fill the weight room and need to go. Some ways to break the glass ceiling in the weight room are to go with a friend instead of being alone, do your research before and learn about lifting technique, lingo, and exercises, and (most importantly) be confident and patient. You are already a badass, and now you can be a strong badass. So yes, dare to climb of the mundane Stairmaster and try touching a barbell. Cardio is not the only way we have to work out anymore, so get out there and get sculpted.

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