‘Strength Training’ sounded a little intimidating to me before I started my training. Heavy weights were supposed to be a man’s thing, but then that all changed for me when I watched the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – specifically the Women’s Weightlifting (58kg category). I was in awe of each and every woman who stepped on the platform to lift, they had pure strength. This made me realise that women should be strong, not just mentally or emotionally, but physically as well. Thus, I decided to try out strength training, and my journey began. So how did it go? Read on to find out in Strength Training for Women: My Journey So Far…
I have always been hyperactive, and gave my mom a hard time as a child. At the age of sixteen I was a state-level athlete until I dislocated my knee. As a result, I channelled my energy output into swimming for a few years followed by Pilates and yoga. At the beginning I had never even considered training with weights, until I realised the boon of having muscles. It’s been more than three years now that I decided to start strength training and I have never felt more confident. For me it is not only about how I look but how I feel, and I feel EMPOWERED.
For women it is difficult to increase muscle mass compared to men, but that does not mean we cannot work on our strength. In the beginning I could not deadlift, but with proper training and posture correction, today I can deadlift more than 70kg (I try to take it easy on my knee). My muscles may not be that visible, but my progress implies that I have become stronger.
There is no shortcut to increasing strength, if a woman is lifting heavy, that’s because she has worked hard to reach that level. Unfortunately, that is not a super-common sight in a gym. If I am doing sets of ten, relatively high-weight rep face-pulls, I still get the stares. Sometimes a few men take it awkwardly if I perform an exercise with a heavier weight than them. Despite everything, I choose to stay focused and challenge my limits, so I can be better than what I was yesterday.
Strength training has changed my life in a lot of ways; I feel more energetic, I am sleeping better, my physical endurance has increased, I am more patient, muscle injury or inflammation heals quicker, I can concentrate for longer, my dislocated knee pains are gone and my movement has improved, and a lot of other positive changes have taken place. I have become comfortable with my imperfections, even though I have a bit of cellulite and stretch marks, I wear them with pride. Strength training is not only about making your body look a certain way, it’s an overall development of you as a person.