I recently had the pleasure of attending a “Women In Strength” event at my gym; The Warhouse Gym in Reading, Pennsylvania. The event was hosted by Dana Linn Bailey, Jennifer Thompson, and Megan Gallagher (AKA Meg Squats). The event filled the gym with nearly 400 women (for the majority).
The event started with each woman sharing about their history in strength training. They shared challenges they have faced and achievements they have met. Their talks were as much about mental strength as they were about physical strength, and I felt honored to hear their stories. Each woman shared what “Women In Strength” meant to them.
The Lineup & What “Women In Strength” Meant to Them
- To IPF World Champion powerlifter, Jen Thompson, Women in Strength means empowerment.
- To coach, YouTuber, and original Strong Strong Friend, Meg Squats, Women in Strength means friendship.
- To former Miss Olympia turned powerlifter, Dana Linn Bailey, Women in Strength means confidence.
After the women each spoke individually, they came together for a Q&A. Following the Q&A, there was a demo of each of the big three lifts with cues from the hosts. Some lucky women even had their form analyzed by the guests of honor. Finally, the event ended with an open lifting session and meet and greet.
The event was truly an amazing experience. It was amazing to see so many women in the gym lifting heavy weight and supporting each other.
What You Can Expect From a Women’s Powerlifting Event
1. New friends
You will meet other women that share your passion for lifting. You may be able to find women that you connect with who live close enough to train with regularly.
2. An Uplifting Environment
You can expect to see women watching and cheering on other women as they lift.
3. The Opportunity to Learn Something New
Maybe you’ll learn a new cue to help tweak your form a tiny bit or learn how to do an accessory you’ve never tried. Maybe you’ll share recipes or talk about your favorite resources.
4. The Feeling of Inspiration
There is no way you can walk away from a few hours shared with other women sharing stories and uplifting each other and not be inspired.
5. A New PR
Who knows? Maybe the warm fuzzy feelings, energy from the crowd, and cheers from your peers will help you set a new personal record.
Why I Think Women’s Only Events are Important
Although it’s getting better, the sport of powerlifting continues to be dominated by men. I go to a powerlifter-friendly gym, and there are only three regular members (including myself) that are female powerlifters. I get direct messages all the time from women stating that they want to start powerlifting, but are intimidated.
Having a women’s only event is a nice way to create a welcoming and inclusive environment that can hopefully provide women with the tools and confidence necessary to venture into the weight section in gyms on their own. Women’s only events are also super fun, and who doesn’t love a good party?
I’m already looking forward to the next women’s event. I highly recommend that any woman who lifts and is interested in meeting people who share the same interest look for a women’s only event near them. If you can’t find any, why not make you own? Talk to local gyms and see if any of them are interested and get the word out!
Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.
Feature image from @danalinnbailey Instagram page.