Why are we afraid to show realistic portrayals of women who lift?


While I was training in the gym today, I had a light bulb moment.


It was the first session since my lifting meet (end of April) where I really felt like my old self. Powerful everything and lots of energy. I’m still working lighter weight, higher reps and gradually increasing each week.

Today I was busting out my last set of squats, super strong. The guy next to me said “really nice”. Then another guy complimented me on my chin ups. 


And earlier another guy apologized thinking he had taken my spot where I was warming up. I told him he hadn’t. He’s a regular like most of us and joked, “Yeah, I’m sure if it was, you would have beaten me up.” (Not the first time a guy has joked to me about my “owning” the gym.) A few minutes later in passing I joked back “I have never had to resort to physical violence. Mere intimidation has always been enough”.



(When lifting heavy, you need to invest all of your energy. I’m not doing this for the guys.)


All joking aside, I get a lot of respect, I mean a LOT, from the guys at the gym where I lift. I don’t worry about looking pretty, I don’t tip toe around, and I make some damn ugly faces and noises. And guys respect it! They like it! They admire it!


So WHY do so many women let the fear of “not looking feminine” get in their way of really going for it in the gym? Why can we not see more realistic depictions of women who lift in the media? Women who actually look like they are busting their ass? Because in reality, women who are serious lifters bring out some serious aggression, just like men do, In order to get to that next physical level.


I’ve realized that the people who don’t find “real” attractive often are the people who don’t know what real lifting is. They’ve never seen it. They’ve never experienced it. Especially not where women are highlighted as the movers, the powerhouses, the gym dominators. And we are currently growing rapidly in number.


Most guys are thrilled (and a tad awed) when they see it on display.



(When I’m trying to break a personal record, I am not wasting a single spec of energy on what I look like. My looks don’t get me record lifts. My abilities do.)


I’m looking to make serious changes when I’m in the gym. I’m looking to defy odds, my age, stereotypes. And although I’m not caring if that’s appealing to others, the irony is that, it IS.


I encourage more men and women to start using REAL action depictions of strong women who lift. All it can do is encourage more people to push their boundaries, let go of limiting stereotypes and insecurities, and to feel even better about themselves through action based accomplishments. And that all leads to a real [FIT] life.


Now get out there!


If you enjoyed this and found it inspiring and useful, then join our real [FIT] life community! Sign up for our FREE real [FIT] life newsletter (at the top of this page) today!


Jeannine Trimboli, CEO, real [FIT] life