• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 24 comments on Women and Weight Lifting: It’s Good for You

  1. It is weird I find it kind of gross that in the first picture the girls heads are on the “butt pad” in the best way I can describe it. Other than that, its awesome to see the community as a whole getting more educated and active.

    1. It’s good to see people being active; however, I would hope that someone would say something about what position to be in while using the equipment.

  2. I’m glad that someone is bringing up this topic. I’ve been looking into Weight training for women for a while. I think it’s better to have a coach for weight training — they know that to focus on, they know effective techniques for training and they know the limit for trainers at different level. Even though I know that FitRec@BU has a weight training class, but it never works with my schedule. I wonder is there any other way to get in touch with trainers or take classes on weight training? Thanks a lot.

    1. Hey Lillian, if you’re interested in weightlifting myself and a group of other students at BU do powerlifting, which is a sport centered around lifting the most weight possible. We have a ton (pun not intended) of collective experience and several state record holders, male and female. We’re always interested in helping people learn about weightlifting. Find us on facebook under Boston University Powerlifting.

  3. Great article! I find the “I don’t want to get huge” mantra difficult to bear because it seems so self-defeating. More women need to realize how difficult it is to obtain a “Schwarzenegger” physique – were talking a caloric surplus diet, intense workouts, testosterone level, and genetics among other things.

    One thing I think the article failed to mention however is that women should lift like men. I find that a lot of people think that lifting light weight for a high amount of repetitions somehow “tones” their muscle. It needs to be brought to light that you either gain muscle or you don’t. “Toning” I guess would equate to dropping body fat so you can see some of the muscle under the skin.

  4. Interesting article. I actually love weight training and I do it at least three times a week. However, the fact that all the weight spots are male dominated does make me a bit self conscious. Sometimes I am the only woman in the first floor weight area, which can be intimidating XD!
    But then I just put my music on and just enjoy a nice workout. You get over the intimidation pretty quickly. its just a matter of taking the first step!

  5. I do some weights on the second floor, and always have respect for the women out there doing their thing. Some of the guys can be somewhat macho, making it seem like a woman-unfriendly environment.

    In my opinion, if you go out there as a women and just buck stereotype and pump serious iron–well, you’re awesome. Keep it up.

  6. This is great! I’ve been trying to get one of my friends to start lifting, just so that she can be self-dependent and protect herself if necessary. She’s seen this article. Hopefully it’ll help!

  7. I HATE when girls think they are going to get giant from lifting, when the truth is they will just get leaner, healthier, and more attractive.

    As a guy, I’m trying to bulk up, eating 3500-4000 calories per day, and lifting 5x a week, and I’m still barely gaining weight! If it’s hard for me to get bulk, y’all girls certainly won’t get big, only more fit.

    Thanks for this post!

  8. One aspect this article doesn’t mention is the gym environment. While college gyms maybe different, at alot of public gyms weight lifting areas are dominated by men. One of the reasons why women stay away is from not wanting to be harassed, catcalled while just trying to work out.

  9. It’s good to see people becoming health conscious. These women inspire the women’s world a lot. Weight lifting is a great kind of workout to reduce the body fat and strengthens the muscle. The muscle always weight more than the fat. The physic of the woman boosts her confidence which helps to overcome many problems in life. Being fit makes a person’s psychology stronger in the decision making. The building muscle not only involves the workouts at gym but also taking a balanced diet. Also not to expect the results fast as soon as they start working for the building of muscles. It needs a span to shed the fat and build the muscles.

    1. Hi Nancy… My cousin used to go to gym and she worked on weights for 4 weeks. Due to health issues she stopped weight lifting, now she is suffering terrible back pain. Is this the effect of weight lifting, will she get cure by continuing her weight lifting. Please let me know.

  10. For both men and women, muscular does not automatically mean huge. I find it heartening to increasingly see muscular woman when out and about, where as back in the 70’s and 80’s, one would almost never see women with even slightly muscular physiques. However, these women are never “huge”. They do not look freakish; just fit.

    It’s healthy and attractive and women should continue increasing their use of weights in exercise routines.

  11. It’s good to be active and to workout smart. To know proper techniques for training will help you build muscle and stay injury free. Proper technique is the number one rule in weight training.

  12. Weight lifting should be gender neutral and this article is a nice step toward making that happen. I’m glad to see the women in the pictures using free weights rather than machines. I think that’s the better way to go.

  13. I liked this article but I think they failed to mention that many women don’t start weight training because they don’t know how to begin or anything about proper form.Instead of looking stupid or starting out with just the bar they opt out.This was how I felt until I began to really educate myself on how to lift and got my own weight set/rack at home.

  14. Muscle DOES NOT WEIGH MORE THAN FAT. A pound is a pound. Muscle is more concentrated than fat. So a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. Please help stop this false belief!

  15. Women fearing looking bulky makes me laugh because i know that as a woman who trains; muscle is extremely hard to build even if you WANT muscle and train and lift heavy to gain it! Most people who think they are bulky simply have a layer of fat on top of their miniscule muscle.

    Also, there is nothing more empowering that training for strength on the big three; squats, deadlifts and bench and lifting more than the guys in some cases. It’s more rewarding mentally than training just to look good etc.

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