William & Mary

All-Women's Free-Weight Lifting Class

weights1It is common knowledge that free-weight lifting equipment in fitness gyms is predominantly utilized by men. There are numerous reasons why women generally avoid weight lifting equipment. Some women lack self-confidence around men, others simply are not educated on how to use the equipment properly, and others find weight lifting to be masculine and undesirable. These stereotypes are insulting to women, and in fear of embarrassing themselves, they avoid weight lifting altogether. Due to the above reasons, women generally take part in cardio work outs and weight lifting machines because these activities appear "safer".

There were three main goals for this Community Action Project. First, the project sought to empower women and encourage the self-confidence needed to utilize the free-weight equipment at the college Recreational Center. Second, we wanted to educate women about how to properly weight-lift.  Third, we aimed to increase and foster self-efficacy so that women feel comfortable weight lifting on their own.

We advertised the Free All-Women's Weight Lifting Class through Facebook. The class, led by certified personal trainer Marilyn Auza, emphasized the proper strategies and work-outs that women can perform with the free-weight equipment to best benefit their bodies.  Additionally, "crazy" spandex shorts were sold to foster a sense of female community and we will be donating $30 to the Avalon Women's Shelter in Williamsburg.