At times, a woman’s journey for strength and self-discovery may also be spotted with stories of stigma and backlash that can be specifically sourced from one’s own ethnic background.  

A gender-transformed gym may be more welcoming to participants who previously disengaged precisely due to these very gender dynamics, getting us closer to our goal of “strength for all.”

As a woman living in Zimbabwe, powerlifting has changed my life.

Too many lifters look only at the short term results and are scared to gain weight, preventing them from reaching their long-term potential.

What does a simple set of weights have to do with changing the world? As a squatting scholar, I was determined to find out.

The female lifting experience is often defined in relation to men. We are seen as weaker; we are supposed to be smaller. And, in instances when we are, in fact, stronger, we are sexualized or otherwise diminished.

What’s going on here?

Our culture teaches women and girls that strength and size are not things they should value. Is it any wonder, then, that boys and men gravitate towards strength sports in higher numbers and at earlier ages?

"They falsify every single piece of advertising and media that comes out with photoshop and airbrushing. So when we see cellulite, dimples, wrinkles on our own bodies, we think that something is wrong with us

Then bang, we’re right back into that cycle."

“Drugs made me somebody that I wanted to be, but I didn’t know how. Powerlifting has become an outlet to discover who I really am. I’m a fighter. I’m a warrior. I’m a survivor.”

If we warn women that lifting will make them look bulky, then the question has to be asked; what are we supposed to look like? Who decides?

This event exemplified what can happen when you decide to explore the unknown—it leads to growth and welcomes friendships with others who also decided to step out of their comfort zone.

Lifting has made me assertive. My needs are essential and I have become an advocate for obtaining and protecting my needs. I do not sacrifice my needs to make others comfortable.