There has always been this stigma with women and lifting weights, especially when it comes to the upper body. Women are always afraid they are going to get “bulky.” I hear this all the time when I tell women that I enjoy powerlifting. Bench press may not be one of the more exciting forms of lifting weights/powerlifting, but I still really love it and the effects that it has. I love being able to see the definition of muscle in my arms. It makes wearing tank tops that much more exciting.
It can be more difficult for a woman to gain big PRs when it comes to upper-body weights, just because women are not designed to be stronger in the upper body. This does not mean that we don’t try to gain as much as possible. Several of the Miss Fits that competed in the fall meet last year found this to be particularly true. The gains they made in the bench press from the fall to the spring meet were small compared to what they were able to accomplish in the squat and deadlift. But hey, a gain is a gain, right? It still doesn’t stop any of us from being determined enough to make those gains larger. I get to see how much I can gain when I compete again in the fall. I was able to accomplish an 83-pound bench press at our May meet; my third attempt at 88 pounds didn’t count. My ultimate goal for our fall meet is to be able to bench 100 pounds. Got to have a goal, right?
I have been doing some pretty serious arm workouts over the past year and a half, and by far have not become anywhere close to “bulky.” I have noticed more definition in my shoulders, biceps and triceps. If anything, my arms have become leaner and a little more defined. Aside from looks, what really makes me happy is when I’m out somewhere getting ready to pick up something heavy and some random guy comes along to offer assistance (although this is a nice gesture). This is the part where I really enjoy saying, “I got this.” And to be honest, the look of shock on their face also makes me happy.
Truth be told, I am a fairly independent woman. I don’t like to ask for help, and I want (and try) to do just about everything on my own. Being strong not only in my lower body, but also in my upper body helps to make a lot of these things possible. Who doesn’t want to say they don’t need help when lifting something heavy?