5 Women Whose Lives Changed By Lifting Weights
These strong women are crushing the stereotype that lifting weights is masculine, and it’s helping them live their best lives.
To be a strong woman means to empower others to be strong too, in whatever way ‘strong’ means to them. Here’s how lifting weights helped these five women do just that:
Kyla never imagined she’d be able to lift 300 pounds—yet now, she can carry 330. She feels strongest when she’s “able to discover something new about myself,” and she does that through overcoming any excuse to try.
Because she was part of the Track and Field team in college, strength training was a requirement. It made her love the feeling of getting stronger and testing her limits; she found a safe space in lifting, and has never stopped since then.
What was once her way of achieving what she thought was her dream body became the means to something greater. She admits she may never be 100% happy with how she looks, but “lifting weights is my reminder of what my body can do.”
Ultimately, her end goal is to help women realize that lifting weights will “make you strong and make you feel good.” While she acknowledges that there are so many strong Filipinas who have already proven this, she wants to be a part of that growing list and be an example that “strong is beautiful.”
Cam is a born and bred athlete. Starting out as a gymnast and elite cheerleader from a very young age, she was trained to master her own body weight, lift heavy at the gym, and literally and figuratively lift her teammates too.
She’s felt the benefits of lifting weights very early on—she became physically stronger, lighter, and tighter; she learned what it meant to be mentally focused; and she’s kept her body healthy and protected from injuries. The gold medals she won in the process are nice additions too.
“I am the best version of me,” she says. Lifting weights teaches her mental toughness and discipline, as she always challenges her own limits. “I feel confident in my body because I have this amazing armor to protect me—there’s so much freedom in that!” she adds.
Because she feels strong as she lives a healthy and balanced lifestyle, she’s able to enjoy its benefits and empower others to do the same. She lives to be an example that anything is possible with commitment.
“I wanted to lose weight for my wedding”—this was Michelle’s goal. So, best friend and personal trainer Ida Paras asked her to lift weights, which Michelle thought would make her bulky. “My only goal was to look skinny, but the entire program made me strong,” she shares.
Prior to getting pregnant and becoming a mom, lifting weights for Michelle was always for aesthetics, and never about being strong. Afraid to have a difficult pregnancy and recovery after, she was relieved when her OB gave her the clearance to continue lifting.
“I was really lucky to not have suffered through my pregnancy at all because lifting weights made my physique a lot more stable and strong,” she shares. Delivery of baby Nia and Michelle’s recovery were fast too. “I was able to sit up and walk around less than 24 hours after giving birth,” she adds.
For her, being a hands-on mom to a six-month-old baby girl is what makes her feel her strongest. She’s able to carry Nia longer and rock her to sleep (which can go on forever!) with little to no difficulty, all because she listened to Ida and took lifting weights seriously.
Having been a fan of high-intensity activities since the beginning, Lexi was afraid lifting weights would make her bulky. But, when she found herself at a plateau with her cardio workouts, she gave in to lifting. She knew that trying something new was the only way for her to progress.
The benefits she gained from it were way more than she imagined. Not long ago, she was diagnosed with several skeletal imbalances which affected her strength and performance. Through proper weight training, she was and still is able to strengthen her muscles to prevent further deterioration of her body.
Throughout her pregnancy, she still kept lifting; her OB advised her that a strong core (which she has developed through lifting) will help deliver her baby—and true enough, she naturally delivered her son in less than 15 minutes!
For Lexi, being strong means accepting challenges and powering through them headstrong, while allowing herself to take a step back when needed. She was back to lifting and exercising two weeks after giving birth and vows she’ll never stop!
“I work out to feel strong, and I feel strong every time I work out,” Ida says. She trains whenever she feels defeated, to teach herself to be comfortable in the uncomfortable, and to keep trying no matter how many times she fails.
When asked how she got into strength training, her answer is simple: “I started to lift weights ONLY because I wanted to beat up the boys in my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team.” While she was able to achieve this, it evolved into something more: the little Ida who would always try to skip her PE classes growing up ended up loving fitness so much, she made a career out of it!
She fell in love with group fitness, made a lot of girl friends and realized that they were afraid to lift. “I even remember being discouraged by some of them,” she shares.
A combination of both a eureka moment and her and fiancé Nenzo Cruz’s dream, The Movement Studio, a group fitness concept focused on strength training, was born. Coming from all her experiences, it’s become her lifelong mission to help others achieve sustainable fitness—and that’s exactly what The Movement Studio stands for.