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  • Writer's pictureCarla Bull

Breaking Barriers: Empowering Women in Strength Training

Strength training offers an abundance of benefits for women, from building lean muscle and boosting metabolism to enhancing bone density and improving overall health. Despite these advantages, many women encounter barriers that hinder their confidence to get started. Barriers to strength training for women come in many forms, from fear of judgement and lack of confidence to logistical challenges and time restraints.


A big focus we have at Empowered is forming the right mindset and creating strategies to overcome these obstacles before getting started!


Challenge: Fear of Judgment

Starting a strength training program can be intimidating, especially for women who feel self-conscious about their abilities or appearance in the gym. The fear of being judged by others can be paralyzing and prevent women from even stepping foot in the weight room.

Solution: Reframe Your Perspective

Remember that everyone starts somewhere, and nobody is born an expert. Embrace the learning process and focus on your own journey rather than comparing yourself to others. Remind yourself that most people in the gym are too busy focusing on their own workouts to pay attention to what anyone else is doing. Surround yourself with supportive friends or trainers who uplift and encourage you, and gradually build your confidence over time.


Challenge: Lack of Knowledge or Experience

Many women may feel overwhelmed by the technical aspects of strength training, such as how to use equipment properly or perform exercises with correct form.

Solution: Seek Education and Support

Take advantage of resources available online, such as instructional videos, articles, and reputable fitness websites, to learn about strength training fundamentals and proper exercise techniques. Consider hiring a certified personal trainer who can provide personalized guidance and instruction tailored to your goals and level. Join a Group fitness gym (like Empowered!) that focusses on technique to learn new skills and gain confidence in a supportive environment.


Challenge: Time Constraints and Busy Schedules

Balancing work, family, and other commitments can make it challenging to prioritize regular strength training sessions.

Solution: Make Fitness a Priority

Easier said than done right?! Allowing yourself this time will without a doubt bring positive changes into the rest of your day-to-day life! Treat exercise as an essential part of your self-care routine, just like eating healthy or getting enough sleep. Schedule your workouts into your calendar like any other appointment and commit to sticking to them. Remember that even short bursts of exercise can add up and contribute to your overall health and well-being.


Challenge: Lack of Access to Equipment or Facilities

Not everyone has access to a fully equipped gym or the resources to purchase home workout equipment. Limited access to facilities or equipment can be a significant barrier to starting a strength training program.

Solution: Get Creative with Resources

You don't need fancy gym equipment to get a great workout. Many effective exercises can be done using just your body weight or simple equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells, or household items. Explore outdoor spaces like parks or trails for opportunities to incorporate bodyweight exercises into your routine. Get creative with your surroundings and make the most of what you have available to you.


Challenge: Lack of Motivation or Accountability

Staying motivated and consistent with a strength training routine can be challenging, especially when faced with setbacks or obstacles along the way. Without accountability, it's easy to fall into a rut and lose sight of your fitness goals.

Solution: Set SMART Goals and Find Support

Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals to keep yourself focused and motivated. Break your larger fitness goals down into smaller, actionable steps that you can work towards each day or week. Find an accountability partner, such as a friend, family member, or online community, who can support and encourage you on your journey. Consider joining a program that provides structure and accountability.


Challenge: Intimidation in Male-Dominated Gym Environments

Many women feel intimidated or self-conscious when entering spaces dominated by male gym-goers. The atmosphere may seem daunting, with unfamiliar equipment and a perceived lack of inclusivity.


Consider seeking out women-friendly gyms or fitness studios that prioritize inclusivity and create a supportive environment for all. Additionally, bring a workout buddy or join group classes where you can connect with like-minded women and feel more comfortable exploring strength training.


While there may be barriers to overcome when starting a strength training regimen, each challenge presents an opportunity for growth and empowerment. When you get started, sit down and write out your plan. At the bottom of that page, write out your barriers – anything that may prevent you with following through with your plan. For each barrier, write out your solution to overcome this and you’ll be prepared for anything!


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