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Be About It

CPC's Blog About Health and Wellness

Ladies Only Lift

Monday, 6 / 27 / 16

L.O.L – It’s NO Joke

Ladies Only Lift or, L.O.L, as I have begun to affectionately call it will be back on from summer hiatus in mid-August. The last 8 weeks have given me time to step back and reflect on it’s success. I’ve talked with many of the participants and asked them why they loved it so much. Their answers are not as simple and straight forwards as you’d think.

Not to be Captain Obvious but the title really should give it away, Ladies Only. The program was inspired by, created by, and run by women. This goes right down to how the building is scheduled. From 6:45-8pm on Tuesday and Thursday night the men on staff finish their sessions and are heading home by 6:30pm to allow for a TRUE Ladies Only setting.

The Intimidation Factor. Weights and weight rooms are a very intimidating place, especially for women. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the weight room my freshmen year of college and yes, I too was scared as hell to go to the weight room. Many women were not offered the same exposure to weight training as I was. Fear of getting hurt and embarrassment of doing something wrong only added to the anxiety experienced when stepping into a weight room for the first time. Ladies Only Lift has created an environment that allows women to step into a weight room free of extra noise, overly loud music, and the stereotypical testosterone laden grunting gents picking things up and putting them down.

Social Acceptance. Historically it wasn’t as socially acceptable as it is now to lift. Skinny legs, arms, waistlines were the highly sought after body image of choice. Now, the social norm has changed. Strong is the new beautiful. Strong is the new skinny. Whatever line you want to use, being “STRONG” in the literal and figurative sense is and should always be the norm. For example here’s just how social norms have changed regarding women and lifting heavy weight; Kate Upton doing a Landmine Deadlift RDL combo of over 100lbs. I’d like to note that by the end of Ladies Lift 1.0 & 2.0 over half of the women participating were doing a Classic or Romanian Deadlift of over 100lbs.

There are also the not so obvious reasons for it’s success.

Nuisances of the weight room. Every weight room has a culture or a norm as to how the simple things are handled. Spotting. Set up & break down of weights. When to drop weights and when not to. When to be vocal and “breathe” and when not to. Let’s not forget breathing in general regardless of how loud. There are plenty more but the point being made is that someone walking in “green” to a weight room has no clue. Ladies Only Lift provides an environment that teaches the women everything they need to know, right down to how to use the weight clips.

Amber wrote a blog a while ago about women and catty, unsupportive behavior versus camaraderie and embracing weaknesses and rallying around them. Not only have I experienced this myself but I was watching it play out in front of me every Tuesday and Thursday night in the most positive way. I received an email from one of our participants immediately following a Tuesday night lift. It was a sincere and heartfelt thank you. She had never had the courage to do a box jump. Box jumps were in the night’s program. Out of fear she asked to given a modification. With some prodding the women around her encouraged her to at least give it a try. She did. She landed squarely on top of the box. A small fear being conquered felt like the world and she would never have tried it without the women around her providing support and encouragement.

The women who have participated in Ladies Only Lift come from so many varied backgrounds. We have mothers and grandmothers; educators, businesswomen, and medical professionals. We have former collegiate athletes and women who have only recently started a fitness routine. The common thread running between all of them is the desire to be STRONGER. I can assure you that everyone that has been a part of Ladies Only Lift is stronger in so many more ways than just the obvious. For all of women who are interested or men who have women in their lives that would benefit from a program like this our next round of L.O.L starts the week of August 16th!

TAGS: Community, Performance, Ladies Lift, Success, No Fear
Sarah Kelly