Sunday, February 8, 2009

Back to the weight room

I've mentioned that I recently joined the 24 Hour Fitness at Fifth and Flower. One of the unexpected benefits of working out there has been seeing women in the weight room who are lifting what I call the Big Boy weights. I saw one woman who was squatting 75 pounds, another woman who was doing a rapid-fire clean and jerk sequence with a 30 pound barbell and yet another woman bench pressing a 45 pound bar. This is amazingly cool for me since I've been weight training off and on for about four years and until now I've always been the only woman in the weight room lifting anything heavier than a 10 pound dumbell.

Most people are pretty surprised when they hear that I'm into weight training because A. My name is not Helga, B. I don't have a mustache and C. I don't at all resemble our Governor. It's unfortunate, but most people assume that women who are into weight training are ugly or less than feminine. But when you think about it, weight training for women makes a lot of sense. Women get pregnant and have to haul around extra weight for nine months, and then they have to carry around their babies, not to mention the laundry, groceries, etc. I mean, we're lifting heavy weights already, right? So why not train for it and make your day-to-day life easier?

I first got into weight training when I had to stop running because of a bad knee. It was scary going into the weight room for the first time because as I mentioned above it tends to be men only. But I found a website devoted to women's weight training ( and decided to take the plunge.

As it turns out, I love lifting more than any other sport I've tried. It takes a lot of concentration to lift weights with proper form and without hurting yourself, and I really enjoy the mental aspect of it. I also love what it does for my body. Women think that weight training is going to turn them into gorillas but unless you're taking steroids, you just aren't going to get big. What you will get is a more toned body that looks better in clothes. Even though weight training didn't cause me to lose weight, people thought I'd lost weight because muscle looks better than fat.The other nice thing about weight training is that it doesn't require a big time commitment. You can lift as little as 30 minutes twice a week and see results. So if you're busy and don't have a lot of time for the gym, weight training is a great option.

I had to take a workout break after a tough pregnancy and I'm just getting back to the gym a year and a half after my son's birth. I've got a way to go before I get back into fighting shape. But it's really cool to see other women in the weight room with me, women who also don't resemble the governor but who are strong and kick-ass and not afraid to do something a little unconventional.


skidrowdude said...

Li- I LOVE it! You are a great ambassador for women's weight lifting! Everything you say I believe too (including that mother's are some of the strongest people, carrying around the little ones for hours on end- it makes me tired when I see how hard they work).

You and I seem to like weight lifting for the same reasons- not only the changes you can make to your body, but the mental aspect of trying to be better is fun too- and you don't have anyone else to rely on like with team sports.

Keep hitting the iron- it does a body good!


Li said...

Thanks Eric! I figured you'd approve of this post.

skidrowdude said...

skidrowdude approved! LOL!