Women in Powerlifting, Fitness and Strength Sports Part 3

Women in Powerlifting, Fitness and Strength Sports Part 3

Jan 20, 2013


Lady Lifters!

In the first two parts of this series we reviewed two surveys on strength training and women. The first survey involved feedback from women in powerlifting, fitness and strength sports; the second involved feedback from the ‘general public.’ It was pretty obvious that within strength sports the general female athlete, ranging from a short time in the sport to decades, embraced a passion for their sport, camaraderie, and resulting self-confidence. It was equally obvious that those outside these sports, both men and women, were generally opposed or neutral towards women in these sports holding pre-conceived notions of the impact of strength sports on women. The force and congruence of the stereotypes was significant and, in some cases, bordered on potential violence.

The irony of the resistance towards strength training by women is that a majority of studies on women health promotes strength training over other forms of training for women, especially post-menopausal women, for weight control and to avoid a large number of aging diseases (reference National Institute of Health (NIH) library). Unfortunately, the stereotype of a female strength athlete has been supported both through the general media and those within the strength sport community itself. When discussed, an over-muscular, manly physique is immediately pictured for sports involving weights, vanity for fitness athletes, and lean and healthy when running sports are involved. In general, it appears that there is very little resistance within the strength sports community to embrace the female athlete in what are normally considered masculine disciplines. Instead, the resistance comes from those individuals who have very little experience in fitness and are frequently exposed to media in print, internet, television, billboards, and others that propagate the stereotypes.


Download the complete Women in Powerlifting Part 3  study paper here!


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