Women who weightlift: a Different Kind of Strength

If you enter the Rec Plex on any given day, there’s a chance you’ll see a small group of women clad in pastel-colored hoodies. The words “PUMP COVER” are sprawled on the front of it, and on the back, you can see the logo of the club they belong to: Women’s Strength Club.

Marquette’s Women’s Strength Club aims to create a space for women to pursue a healthier lifestyle without pressure or judgment.

“I feel a great responsibility to educate members on more than just weightlifting. There are so many components to a strength-focused lifestyle for women, including lifting form, proper diet, injury prevention, and supplemental nutrition,” Allison Schmidt, a sophomore in the College of Arts and & Sciences and president of the club said.

Schmidt formed the club in early February of this year, and since then, the club has been active.

“We have weekly meetings on Sundays. They’re [the elected board] all nice, and no one is judging you. I’m a total beginner at all of this, but it’s a process, and that’s OK,” Emma Strick, a junior in the College of Arts and & Sciences and member of the club, said.

These Sunday meetings typically consist of different workouts that members can do in the gym throughout the week. The elected board members take time to demonstrate the correct form for several lifts and offer guidelines that can be personalized based on experiential and physical differences. The meetings take place in AMU Room 252.

“We offer a lot of specific knowledge that is super helpful for women. We give girls an avenue to gain the skills to be an experienced lifter,” Alyssa Kolesari, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and vice president of the club, said.

Unlike other fitness organizations on campus, the club was explicitly designed to create a safe space for women interested in fitness on campus.

“I’m an exercise physiology major, and I am learning about all of this in class, so I use what I learn and bring it here. It’s helpful because then we can correct what we thought was true about lifting and bust those false narratives for other girls,” Maddie Arnett, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences and marketing manager of the club, said.

The elected board uses their personal experiences and the knowledge they gain in their curriculums to create workouts and nutritional suggestions and create a system to help their members actively pursue a healthier lifestyle.

Weightlifting is a sport that often reinforces the importance of proper form when lifting. Improper form can not only lead to undesired results but can also cause strains, tears, and other injuries.

Apart from these meetings, members are also encouraged to create their workout groups and apply the knowledge they learned previously to reduce the risks of injury.

“I decided to create the Women’s Strength Club because weightlifting has had an enormous impact on my life, and I want other young women to learn and experience these positive impacts. Lifting is a great outlet for stress, and it improves physical and mental health. To see and feel progress, lifting requires discipline, accountability, and persistence. These are qualities that I believe are incredibly important to succeed in life,” Schmidt said.

The club also organizes dinners after meetings and is very active on social media. Their Instagram displays pictures of members clad in their matching hoodies and club updates.

“It’s like a support group. We’re all here for each other,” Grace Bell, a junior in the College of Nursing and secretary of the Women’s Strength Club, said.

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