The most common objection I hear from women regarding strength training is the concern that they will "bulk up" and look super "muscly".
So here is my story - by Amber.
This past weekend, I participated in a powerlifting competition to assess where I am strength wise, and give me a base to work from going forward. I am definitely not where I want to be long term, I have big goals to work towards, but I did surprise myself.
Powerlifting is a test of 1 rep of each of squat, bench press, and deadlift. You get 3 chances at lifting each of the 3 lifts, and your highest successful lift of each counts towards your overall total.
I am currently the lightest and smallest I have been for a very long time, however, I am also the strongest I have been, EVER!
I really didn't have the best prep leading in to the competition, I hadn't trained enough, I had just returned from a week in Bali, and I woke up the morning before with a crazy head cold and sinus infection. But let's not make excuses! I turned up and did what I could on the day!
I don't have a video of my squat (if I find one, I will add it in here!), but here is my bench press and dead lift.
This bench press had to meet competition standard, heels on the floor, butt on the bench, arms locked out to start, a complete and controlled pause on the chest at the bottom, and arms locked out at the end.
This is 45kgs.
And here's my deadlift. I totally underestimated what I could do here and probably opened with my first lift a little light which meant I couldn't really test out my max. Here's my 3rd deadlift at 95kgs, which I hope looks SUPER easy! :) 100kgs has been a real mind block for me... I will post a video when I get it, hopefully soon!
But what do I currently look like? Am I "super muscly" and "bulky" seeing as I am lifting relatively heavy weights? I will let you be the judge (but please don't be mean, this takes quite some guts and I am not one to show my body online!)
These are some photos of me in Bali last week, it really is paradise! A huge thanks to Carli, my official photographer!
I want you to enjoy lifting weights - the challenge is great for you mentally and physically.
Please, challenge yourself, stop worrying about your weight, eat well, love your body, and what you can do. Look for all the other benefits - self confidence, energy, improved movement, reduced pain, better posture, better sleep, reduced risk of osteoporosis, improved overall health, and you enjoy it!
My body might not be your goal, that's lucky because you can't have mine, it's already taken, claim your own.