Women's Strength Training

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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We all know the benefits of weight or "strength" training, which are reflected both by the mirror and by cholesterol and sugar blood level tests. Benefits such as these are desirable for both men and women. However, for women specifically, strength training can have an impact on their sense of self and personhood--in a way which most men could never understand.

Most men take being strong for granted. By and large, men don't have to "step up" their sight, hearing, and even "spidey-sense" just to feel safe walking down a somewhat dark street after 10 o'clock. Most men feel they've got more at their disposal to protect themselves than fearful anticipation and a can of three year-old pepper spray. Most men don't know what it's like to be afraid simply because they are members of a certain sex.

Strength Training: Building Confidence, Razing Fear

Strength training, then, does more than just make a woman's butt and arms look better. It can actually cause a paradigm shift in how she views the world, and how she perceives herself within that world. To feel strong, fast, and capable can be enormously empowering to those referred to as "the weaker sex" for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Of course, the first time one picks up a five pound dumbbell it's not going to be like she channeled Wonder Woman or Mighty Isis. Strength training alone won't cause a woman to know how to get a would-be rapist in a head lock in less than 10 seconds. But studies do show simply walking in a manner that exudes strength and confidence can rebuff a predator looking for a so-called "weaker" target.

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