This is a question as much for my male readers as my female readers: do you have a conception of how much weight women can/should be lifting?
Because relatively few women lift free weights and of those who do, many are new to lifting, it is deemed appropriate to be encouraging about any lifting stats – the mere fact that a woman is lifting being enough.
But if women don’t know the potential, the scope of the lifting talent, they might not push themselves as hard. It is all too easy to be satisfied with too little, to be the big fish in the small pond, the strongest woman at your gym. Without that competitive edge or knowledge of what other women – ordinary trainees, not elite lifters – are achieving, can you really strive to be as good as you possibly can?
It is also true that the mere knowledge that someone has achieved a certain feat makes it easier to imagine yourself achieving it too. It’s about setting your expectations at the right level. Imagine if a complete beginner walked into a gym to have her induction and the personal trainer said to her, “In six months time you’ll be squatting your own bodyweight.” Not knowing any different, she’d probably go on to do just that, or something pretty close.
It also seems that the majority of men have no idea what a good lift is for a woman. This is not surprising; so few women do proper strength training that men don’t have a benchmark to measure against. If you’ve never seen a woman do a pull up, how can you be sure whether 1 pull up, 10 or 20 is a decent number?
But what men think is, in this case, very important! Many women rely on men for information and advice on what is seen as a guy’s sphere of expertise. Many men want to encourage female friends, wives or girlfriends to get involved but don’t know what level to push them towards. Even personal trainers might not really understand the art of the possible where non-elite female weight training is concerned.
In my experience most people underestimate, but occasionally people overestimate too. For example since I am known for being into my lifting, people sometimes assume I have much better lifts than I actually have. Men often think I lift the same as they do – which is kinda sweet but not always true!
I’d like to know what you think. Do you have an idea of what women at different levels (novice, intermediate, advanced) are lifting? What would you say to a woman who asked you ‘how much should I be squatting?’ How much does it matter anyway?
|Stumble it!||Share||Subscribe to this blog|