the joy of strength training


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:06 am

Women’s Strength Symposium – here on 8th March

Enter the symposium here.

Symposium – a meeting or conference for the public discussion of some topic especially one in which the participants form an audience and make presentations

Gubernatrix is hosting an online symposium on women and strength training on March 8th, 2010, which is also International Women’s Day. You can access the symposium here, pre-register on the forum and introduce yourself. The symposium itself opens on 8th March.

Strongwoman Joan Rhodes chucks a man over her head for fun

Strongwoman Joan Rhodes chucks a man over her head for fun (photo from Life magazine)

The purpose of this symposium is to share experiences, generate ideas and inspire people to take action – to change perceptions of women’s strength, bust myths, get more women lifting heavy and generally break down barriers to strength training for women.

How will the symposium work?

I have invited several writers/strength athletes to compose a ‘think piece’ on a particular issue or challenge, to generate discussion.

These will be posted at the top of the forum thread for people to discuss within the thread. People may want to start new threads if discussions seem to be taking off in a certain direction. It’s up to you the participants to decide where you want the discussions to go.

What’s the big issue?

As most of you know, I have been lifting heavy weights for years, as a powerlifter, olympic weightlifter and even strongwoman.

But in the ten years I have been lifting I have seen very little progress in attitudes towards women strength training. The same myths about ‘getting bulky’ persist, year after year; women are still given bad advice in gyms and magazines; the free weights area is still an intimidating environment for most women.

I know that there are many women out there who would not only benefit from lifting heavy things but would really enjoy it too. I want to find ways to make weight training more accessible for women.

Understanding the issues

Putting the issues out there in a discussion forum should lead to some real insights into what motivates women with regard to training, strength, muscle, personal empowerment.

Of course you don’t have to be a woman to benefit from this kind of discussion – or indeed to take part! Since strength training is so male dominated, men are a very important part of the discussion and can have an immensely positive impact. Guys, we look forward to your input.

Taking action

I am lucky enough to have access to an incredible resource, women across the globe who are having fun and getting stronger, defying convention and forging their own paths. I have met you through this blog and through the Women’s Strength Training Network I set up on Facebook.

I hope this symposium encourages people to put their heads above the parapet and make a small difference in their communities. This could involve anything from encouraging friends to start lifting, to starting an all-women lifting group, writing about strength training, running workshops or even just be able to explain to people how beneficial and empowering strength training can be and cut through all the negative perceptions.

Old time strong woman lifts dumbbell

So do come along and take part at You can drop in on 8th March at any time and join in the discussions. You will also be able to access the forum in the days following the symposium to see what was said and to continue the debate.

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  • 1

    Gubes I really appreciate the way you have initiated this forum-The gospel of Strength is one which can benefit women immeasurably in coping with all aspects of life
    Yet it is the most misunderstood,and ignored.Looking forward!

    varsha on March 3rd, 2010
  • 2

    […] Internet Muscle, Stumptuous, recently posted a link through her twitter to this online symposium on womens’ strength training (registration required), which I’m very disappointed to have missed back in March.  Included […]

    Fabulous Muscles on February 7th, 2011
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