8 Ways Strength Training is Changing Women's Lives
When you’re in the little bubble of strength training, it’s easy to fall into the belief that this is how all women experience their lives: with confidence, strength, and all-around empowerment. As soon as we step out of the fitness world, some may start to realize that the women around us who have not begun strength training may not have the same experience in their bodies and minds. To bring light to all the ways that picking up a barbell can change your life- aside from just getting physically strong, Snatch Magazine asked its 4,000+ followers on Instagram to finish the sentence “Strength training POSITIVELY influenced my life by…” and these are their answers.
1. THEY’RE SEEING MENTAL BENEFITS
Gives me an outlet for my mental stress & I get to feel strong!
When I touch a barbell, everything just dims out. I feel so connected to myself.
Making me mentally TOUGH! (in training and out).
Being the only outlet that helped me struggle with a trauma in my life. Therapy sesh!
Knowing my strength doesn’t come from enduring my trauma but from within.
Helping me deal with my anxiety! Nothing is more scary than getting on the platform.
Giving me a space where I have to put aside whatever I’m dealing with and focus.
Empowering me mentally through what was initially a physical challenge.
Giving me an outlet and making me feel strong!
Having a place to put my emotions without judgement.
Release anger, therapy, a goal to work to, body positivity.
Giving me an outlet for my anxiety.
Helping me recover from PTSD caused by sexual abuse.
Giving me a way to feel strong and in control even when my life was falling apart around me.
I’ve been sober for over 2 years now and I think the barbell has kept me sober.
Forced me to be PRESENT in and with my body after religion told me my body ways bad
Focus on fun and throwing shit around with purpose/skill.
It gave me a positive outlet for my stress.
It challenges me, which has transferred over to all aspects of life- learn to overcome!
Allowing me to have an outlet.
A way to actually see measurable progress and get stronger, helping me kick depression’s ass.
Other than the obvious health benefits in the doctor’s office, I finally found something I’m good at.
Giving me my life back!
2. WOMEN ARE COMBATING INTERNALIZED FRAILTY
Helped me gain weight back after an eating disorder because bigger is better in the gym!
Helped me recover from an eating disorder and feel proud of my body for what it can DO.
Totally changed my mindset from what I “needed to lose” to what I could GAIN & DO.
Helping me view food as fuel and fostering a positive relationship with food from there.
Goals changed to become strong instead of just skinny.
Radically changing the way I think and speak about my body.
Helping me stay active in a healthy way while I recovered from an eating disorder!
That the scale doesn’t measure my fitness level… it just measures my weight class.
Teaching me that food fuels the body and is good for you. Food isn’t the enemy.
Giving me something to measure my improvement by. Watching those numbers go up!
Giving me a space and purpose to celebrate my strong, tall, and athletic body.
Giving me something to focus my energy on, stab ility in chaotic times.
Taking the focus off how I look and putting it on what I can do.
Giving me something to work to that wasn’t a smaller number on a scale.
Finally helping me have a healthy relationship with food after years of disordered eating.
Encouraging body awareness in and out of the gym.
It made me feel comfortable in my body!
Being one of the ways I found confidence to overcome a ten year battle with an eating disorder.
Discovering how capable I am and how much potential I have.
Positive body confidence.
Helped me build a way healthier relationship with food.
Weightlifting made me love my body for what it can do instead of hating it for what it can’t.
Helping me see my body as something that I define rather than something that defines me.
Helping me learn about mindfulness and focusing on my own process.
Helping me deal with my emotions (anger/range) in a healthy way.
Making me care less about what I look like, and more about the things my body is able to do.
It allowed me to seed the number on the scale differently, in a good way!
3. THEY’RE LEARNING THEIR BODY’S CAPABILITIES
Allowing me to see what my body is capable of doing.
Helping me be proud of my body and what it can do.
I learned to love my body and all it can do #brickhouselife.
Making myself more body positive and empowered by my strength.
Giving me an opportunity to be PROUD of my body and what it is capable of.
I am capable of anything I set my mind to.
Showing me I am capable of so much more than I ever realized- in AND out of the gym.
Seeing my body for what it can DO and not just a number on a scale.
Proving what my body COULD do rather than what it couldn’t!
Teaching me to be proud of what my body can do instead of how much it weighs.
Changed my goals from scale oriented to what I could physically do.
Changing my mindset from what my body looks like to what it can do.
Turning me into a thick, powerful, badass bitch.
I feel strong enough to defend myself if I ever need to.
It made me unafraid to walk alone at night.
Making me aware of my body CAN do instead of focusing on what it’s NOT.
The physical strengths helps my mental strength. And I did my first meet today!
I wanted to ‘feel’ strong and know that I don’t need help carrying ‘heavy’ things.
Showing me I’m stronger than I ever imagined I could be.
Giving me more pride in my body’s capabilities.
Giving me the experience of being an athlete for the first time in my life, at the age of 40.
Helping me appreciate my body for what it is/ what it CAN do.
4, WOMEN ARE NOT AFRAID TO TAKE UP SPACE
I stopped wanting to be small (physically and personality-wise).
Seeing what my body is capable of. That it’s okay to take up space. It’s okay to be strong.
Accepting that these big thighs are good for something.
Making me want to be bigger rather than smaller.
I stopped trying to be small and started to take up space.
Making me more comfortable with the weight gain I had already gone through.
It makes me feel powerful and makes it easier to accept my body most days (getting bulky!)
Allowing me to unabashedly accept my intensity.
Providing an opportunity to feel like a competitive athlete.
Made me realize I’m allowed to take up space.
Showing me that I am allowed to take up space in this world.
Helping me to realize my strength, self-worth, and passion and by helping me empower other women.
Realizing how POWERFUL I am. Mentally and physically! I feel it even when I fail.
Learning to love being a “strong girl” and the body that comes with it.
5. THEY’RE LEARNING LESSONS IN SELF
Proving that I am self-sufficient. I can pick up heavy shit and take care of myself!
Helping me learn patience!
Helping me to see my body as an instrument and not just decoration.
Giving me a chance to prove to myself that I don’t need a team to get shit done because I am the team.
Showing me how hard work pays off.
Teaching me patience, self-worth, confidence, persistence. I owe the barbell so much.
Helping me learn how to trust people and be vulnerable again!
Helping me learn the importance of self care and self appreciation.
Showing me how to take care of my body for the long term, not just for aesthetics or others.
Showing me that I am capable of doing difficult things.
6. IT’S TAUGHT THEM RESILIENCE
Teaching me resilience in the face of something that seems impossible.
It’s shown me I am capable of accomplishing things I never thought I could. Pride in myself.
Always reminding me that I can do whatever I set my mind to.
Creating discipline in all areas of my life!
Teaching me more about grit, persistence, and mentality than anything I’ve ever done.
Showing me that improvement takes patience and consistency.
Giving me the drive to constantly strive for improvement and getting creative in finding ways to improve.
Teaching me to come back from failure and succeed when it’s hard.
Giving me SOMETHING where consistent effort gets consistent results. The grinding is reliable.
Showing me that everyday work gives results. This mentality has helped so much in my work!
Teaching me mental toughness. Being okay with failure and making a plan to succeed.
Teaching me persistence.
What it means to not quit when something is hard.
Staying dedicated to something.
I developed resilience, grit, and patience (a little, lol)
7. IT’S GIVEN THEM CONFIDENCE
Giving me the confidence to try things that scare me and helped me believe in myself more.
Making me confident not just in the gym but in everything I do.
I am infinitely more confident in my abilities- physically and otherwise.
Helping me channel my inner boss at the gym and at work.
Giving me confidence I’ve never had before and showing me that I can be happy.
Making me physically stronger improves my confidence and self-esteem too!
I now know I am capable of more than I initially believe.
Increasing my self confidence.
Making me feel powerful.
Self image, confidence! Doing the things I cannot do, admiring the strength one can have.
Giving me a new confidence in myself outside of the gym. It transfers!
I am capable of anything I set my mind to.
Making me believe in myself.
Confidence! The feeling of doing things I never imagined I could ever do!
Setting me apart from the pack. I don’t feel weak and small anymore.
Allowing me to not be afraid to fail!
Increasing my confidence.
Made me confident and strong enough to try things that scare me like ballet, tumbling, trapeze etc.
Giving me the confidence I needed to see myself as a badass outside of the gym too!
General confidence as a person living my life.
It made me so much more CONFIDENT in and out of the gym.
Giving me confidence, especially since I was initially afraid of a barbell.
8. STRENGTH TRAINING PROVIDES COMMUNITY
I made a lot of really good friends, got to travel, made me realize that I am quite resilient.
Giving me a family.
Connecting me with a community that is so positive and encouraging.
Gifting me with a community of individuals who support my growth and progress as theirs.
Giving me a sense of community and belonging!
I have met so many inspiring, kind, strong people who want to see each other succeed.
Bringing me into a great supportive community!
Introducing me to a friend group with similar values.
Introducing me to new, like minded, goal oriented people!
Equipping me with the strength to help others who need it. It’s one of the ways I serve.
Making me a truer person to myself and to others!
Introducing me to some of my favorite people in the world (including my husband).
Introduced me to an amazing community of supportive women who want to get strong together.
Introduced me to people with a similar passion that SUPPORT me whether I make or miss a lift.
Community of new friends. Confidence in myself. Focus and goals.
Giving me a second family I can depend on for anything.