Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Wellness > Health

Girl Gains UCSB — Your Newest Swolemates!

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 UCSB chapter.

Gauchos and girls, it’s finally back to school season for us quarter system students — and that can only mean one thing: it’s also back to the grind! 

For most of us, keeping up with the academic rigor of a new quarter is hard enough. When you throw in the fact that, on top of our studies, we actually have to take care of our minds and bodies with nutrition, socialization, and routine exercise, suddenly, the season of “back to the grind” turns into something nearly impossible

But, what if I told you there was a club on UCSB’s campus that will not only help you keep your mind and body healthy, but also help you find your new best friends!

Though it almost seems too good to be true, UCSB’s chapter of Girl Gains is here to help all womxn at UCSB maintain their mental and physical health, from helping with motivation, to nutrition, to workouts, to general wellness, to friendships, and more! 

Girl Gains is a national club, dedicated to fostering a welcoming and inclusive fitness community for women and non-binary individuals. Originally founded at SDSU, Girl Gains has grown into a national phenomenon with 90+ chapters throughout the United States and Canada — including our own chapter here at UCSB!

Girl Gains’ mission is to create an inclusive and welcoming weightlifting community at UCSB that helps broaden members’ knowledge of fitness, while empowering them to excel in the weight room and to succeed in their everyday lives. The impact of Girl Gains extends far beyond the weight room, with its values, examples, and goals influencing its own members as well as the broader UCSB community. 

“The evolution from a weightlifting club to an uplifting community in and out of the gym is the evolution that really inspires us,” says Lara Bloom, Co-President and Co-Founder of Girl Gains UCSB. “Girl Gains has brought together some of the kindest and most hard-working individuals on this campus.”

Now, with over 600 registered club members on Shoreline, UCSB’s Girl Gains chapter has become one of the most popular and recognizable clubs on campus. However, the impressive quantity of members is far from the most impressive aspect of the club — the community it has created is extremely special. 

While building this sense of community, Girl Gains has created a culture of acceptance, welcoming everyone no matter their background or level of experience. By building relationships in and out of the gym, Girl Gains has assured that all womxn at UCSB have a safe space and have friends to have their back at the Rec Cen. 

Gymtimidation” is real — and it’s a little too real at UCSB’s Rec Cen, where the male-dominated atmosphere can make the weightroom a daunting, sometimes hostile environment. Girl Gains’ promoting of a community of acceptance combats this issue, making the gym a friendlier environment for womxn across campus, while enriching everyone in the fitness community with all that Girl Gains’ strong, motivated womxn can bring to the table.  

“A culture of misogyny still exists in the gym that can create a really uncomfortable and sometimes unsafe space… [Girl Gains] want[s] to go beyond our mission of creating community and providing resources, we want to change the entire narrative in the gym to one that acknowledges the incredible strength of womxn and respects and safeguards our right to be there,” says Jasmine Aizley, Co-Founder and Co-President of Girl Gains UCSB.

“Our club has greatly increased representation in the weight room, normalized and discussed struggles many womxn face, and educated and empowered the womxn of UCSB,” notes Joelle Lok, Girl Gains UCSB’s Director of Marketing. “Girl Gains has made me more confident as a woman in and out of the gym,” Lok recalls. 

Strengthening muscles and strengthening community aren’t the only things Girl Gains does best — they also put on engaging, innovative, and inclusive activities for womxn of all fitness levels! Workshops, guest speaker events, socials, and group workouts are just a few of the activities members get to enjoy. Members can even submit when they achieve a new personal record (PR) through their club PR highlight form, and get celebrated by their club-mates!

Andelina Araujo, Girl Gains UCSB’s Vice President, has witnessed firsthand how impactful the group workouts and recognition are for members: “Many members come to our group workouts reserved at first…but throughout the course of the workouts I notice members becoming more confident and gaining the courage to try new things.”

In addition to scheduled group workouts, Girl Gains UCSB offers a “Swolemate” program, allowing members to be matched with their very own workout buddy! Whether you’re a self-proclaimed “gym-rat,” a “Pilates princess,” or have never set foot in a gym, Girl Gains, and its community, will welcome you wholeheartedly. 

The driving forces behind these activities and initiatives are the core values of Girl Gains, which the club incorporates in all aspects of their culture. 

“Our four pillars — knowledge, Strength, Community, and Body Positivity — have allowed us to create a sense of community that can be hard to find in the current state of the fitness industry, but can be easily replicable in any circumstance, no matter if it’s the gym or in the real-world,” says Nataly Jimenez, Administrative Assistant.

Evident in Girl Gains’ community, and in the hardworking, passionate, supportive executive team who leads them, is the promise of a successful future for the club. UCSB students can be on the lookout for more workshops, guest speakers, and collaborations with other campus organizations (like Her Campus at UCSB)!

“We truly believe that our organization has the potential to create lasting relationships with like-minded individuals who seek to better themselves through the world of fitness, and better yet, we strive to create better relationships with the most important individual in anyone’s life — themselves,” remarks Jimenez.

Whether your grind is academic, professional, or athletic, here at UCSB, (where we work hard, and play harder) you are sure to find the perfect club or organization on campus to help you achieve your goals! So, remember, before you go back to your school-year grind, take care of yourself, whether it’s through self care or by joining a club like Girl Gains.

“Oftentimes, we forget that we are just college students who are trying to thrive in an environment that can feel isolating. A club like Girl Gains allows for womxn to feel included and to dominate — inside and outside of the gym,” remarks Melody Torres, Girl Gains UCSB’s Co-Events Coordinator.

Happy lifting, and good luck finding your “swolemate”!

Eva is Her Campus at UCSB’s Editor in Chief, as well as a third year Communication major at UC Santa Barbara, where she writes about anything and everything she feels is exciting, fascinating, or entertaining. When she isn't writing for Her Campus, she is usually overthinking, working on one of her projects, or listening to Taylor Swift.