The conversation usually goes like this:
“You must stay in shape from all the running around you do.”
Nope. Actually, I co-own a gym with my husband.
“Wow really? Where at?”
It’s in Gainesville. Called Wolf Den Strength. You should check it out.
“What do you do there?”
We get you strong by getting your mind right.
“What do you mean?”
We teach you how to lift weights, how to move right, and push yourself so you can learn how to build confidence. It’s the confidence building that helps you in every aspect of your life, relationships, marriage, your job, or anything you do really. As a woman, you learn how to treat yourself better. It’s not just about how you look.
“I don’t want to get big, bulky, and muscular.”
And so it goes…
This is the conversation I have with almost every woman I encounter. I shake my head, take a deep breath, and start to demystify their perception of women & weights.
Let’s face it, women have a body image problem. Between television and social media influences, we get blasted with Photoshopped cover models, the ultra-thin bikini clad girls romping along a white sandy beach, or the super impossibly curvy pop singer strutting her stuff on stage. More often than not, subconsciously, this type of bombardment leads to dissatisfaction with ourselves and in many cases, some kind of eating disorder. It’s a vicious cycle that ends with defeat and further depression about who we are in the world and how we identify with the image staring back at us in the mirror.
I would like to begin to change that.
One of the reasons we built the gym is to empower women through what we do. Women are powerful creatures and are taking a bigger stake in the world today. I’m not talking about the feminist movement. I’m talking about exploring what makes you happy and going for it, whatever it may be.
Most gyms and programs focus on weight loss, aesthetics, bootcamps, and fitting into that dress you bought back 5 years ago. Although initially enticing, facilities that focus on these values will lead you further down the path of feeling even worse about yourself. You see they feed on the very thing that put you in this mindset to begin with, the body image problem that you now need to “fix” by giving them your hard earned money to engage in activities that aren’t going to truly make a long term impact.
I want to change that.
Myth: Lifting heavy weights will get me big and bulky
Truth: The majority of women simply do not naturally produce enough testosterone to look like a body builder with big muscles. However, strength training when done appropriately, will improve your body self-image and you will become a stronger version of you. You will increase your lean muscle mass and increase your metabolic rate. Increasing both lean muscle and metabolic rate will lead to burning more calories throughout the day and lead to greater fat loss. It’s what we call the side effect of what we do in our gym. The focus is not on the body but the result is that your body will reflect your performance.
Myth: I just want to tone my “core”. Can’t I just do “core” exercises to tone it up?
Truth: Our bodies are a complex series of connections where nothing works in isolation. Almost every movement we make with our upper bodies and/or lower bodies are connected by and through our abs, back, hips and glutes. Using spot reduction theories are just another gimmick to get you to buy the latest machine. Focus your energy on complex exercises that recruit muscles from all over which forces your “core” to stabilize and on learning about proper nutrition for women. Both of which we do at our gym.
Myth: Just doing cardio will keep me in shape and healthy.
Truth: No. Solely doing steady state cardio (treadmill, running, cycling) will not optimize your health. As a woman, we have to protect ourselves from debilitating things like osteoporosis as we age. Performing exercises like incessant running is not only destructive on your joints, ligaments, and tendons, but will actually lead to loss of muscle tissue and bone density over time. Ever seen those skinny fat runners with jiggly legs? Loss of muscle mass and bone density will lead to further exacerbate osteoporosis as we age, among other things. It is far better to maximize your bodies cardiorespiratory and strength ability through a mix of strength, power, and endurance training exercises.
Let’s start by redefining ourselves as individuals and not by what the media and television offers as our ideal selves. Focus on defining what you want out of your life and not what the commercial is telling you. Your mind is a powerful tool. It has the ability to take you places you would never even imagine if you would only stop setting limits for yourself. I see other women drown themselves with doubt all the time. Many of which still live in a world that they must fit into a package of duties and responsibilities defined by society.
Aside from being co-owner of Wolf Den Strength I’m also a Service Advisor for Ford Motor Company. It’s a position ruled by men. I work amongst men daily and quite often bear the negative brunt of such an environment with critiques, lack of trust, and a constant test of wills and knowledge. It’s the car business and they say I don’t belong. What I don’t know, I learn. I ask questions, I study, I read, and I listen. Eventually, I make sense of things and it’s proven to be successful. My performance is top notch, not because I’m special or a woman, but because of what I’ve learned in life, which is what we teach in our gym. Fear is nothing but a state of mind perpetrated by something we’ve not yet experienced.
We take the gym’s artificial environment and expose each new member to progressive challenges, which over a period of time, builds confidence, strength, and mental fortitude. The side effect is that we feel better about ourselves, have a more positive self-image through mental and physical changes, and gain the ability to do more and set higher standards. All of which are experiences that annihilate the fear that society creates for us. We build fearless women who lift barbells, sling kettlebells, pull heavy sleds, and aren’t afraid of getting a little dirty in the process.
Join me in creating that change for women.
Wolf Den Strength & Conditioning is going to start offering Women’s only classes soon. If you are interested in joining I would be happy to discuss how we can help you develop yourself into a strong and confident woman. I encourage your comments, questions, and concerns. We are going to build a community of strong minded & strong willed women, one at a time.
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What are you waiting for? You are so worth it!
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