Reagan girls working hard in the weight room

Dani Foust, Photo Editor

When most people think about weightlifting, they think of big, bulky dudes with humongous arms, “pumping iron” at their local gym; putting in work to get, as many people put it, “swole.” Though, the girls here at Reagan are changing the image of what the average weightlifter looks like with their go-getter attitudes and their strong work ethic; these girls are helping shed the typical stereotypes surrounding the place of girls in this historically male dominant class and sport. 

For years, there has been this stigma associated with girls and weightlifting.  Many think that if they lift they will drop the bar on themselves, will be the only girl doing it, or they will get “too big.”

“Most of the time, girls are like, ‘I am going to get too big’, the weight is going to be too heavy,” said coach Kerry Harbor.” “It is similar to what you see in a lot of people who have gym phobia or gym anxiety; they don’t want to workout because they don’t want to get too big or too bulky, so they think ‘I am not going to do it.’

Though, contrary to this popular belief, weightlifting has many health benefits; none of which cause those who take part in it to acquire a large physique, unless they desire to.  Some of these benefits include improved bone density, promotes fat loss, increases the strength of connective tissues, muscles, tendons, and improves the quality of life.  

“I show a video of a 70-year-old power lifter

Junior Skylar Horsley prepares to do a shoulder shrug. This is a movement to prepare to do a power clean.

in my class.  In the video, she talks about the importance of strength training, not just now, but over the course of your life,” Harbor said.  “You lose a lot of muscle mass as you get older.”

Over the course of the last few years, the amount of girls who chose to enroll in the weightlifting course here at Reagan has increased.  Harbor now has a class where over half his class is filled with hard working girls, always willing to work. 

“The girls in my class this year do a good job of working hard everyday. They are enthusiastic, have a great outlook on physical fitness training, and  work well together and with the guys in the class as well.” Harbor said. “I just want more girls to look at trying, not only weightlifting, but team sports, individual sports, all of the different physical education classes that we offer.”

Many girls enrolled in weightlifting here at Reagan chose to take this class due to a previous interest or experience that prompted them to take it this school year.

“I took weightlifting this year because I like working out,” said junior Bri Fain.  “Coach Harbor makes weightlifting fun, and always has something new to work on in class.”

This class has even prompted some female students to consider adding lifting to their weekly workout regimen.

“After taking weightlifting last year, I started to do more weights every time I go to the gym,” said senior Anna Orgon.  “I feel like this class was the thing that really got me interested in it. I am taking the class again this year because I enjoyed it that much.”

Weightlifting is a physical activity that any girl can take part in; no matter their prior experience.  This class is for people of all different skill sets; people do the weight they can handle.  

“There are young ladies in this class that are working hard and are doing the weight that they can handle’” Harbor said.  “It is showing that weightlifting is a safe and effective physical activity.”