Is weight lifting manly?

Is weight lifting manly?

It is no secret that personal training is a very male-dominated industry. There are 70 trainers that use the studio I manage, but only about five are women. Needless to say, I feel like I’m surrounded by men all the time (side note: personal training is a perfect job for a single lady!).

I’m often referred to as ‘one of the guys’, which never bothered me before. However, two of my colleagues separately called me a tomboy. Hold up. I have never thought of myself as a tomboy. In high school, I was the definition of girly girl. When I turned 18, I loved nothing more than dressing up in heels and partying the night away. Until about two years ago, I never even wore jeans. I lived in skirts and dresses.

I still think of myself as quite feminine. I do spend a lot of time in gym clothes but I still love to wear dresses on the weekend. I may not be high maintenance, but surely that doesn’t make me a tomboy (not that there’s anything wrong with being a tomboy – it’s just not how I see myself)?

So I asked my colleagues why they were calling me a tomboy, and they said it was because I lift weights.

Now I know weight lifting is a largely male activity, but why does the fact that it is my exercise of choice automatically make me masculine? Why is it considered feminine to be weak and frail? Are all women doomed to the cardio area of the gym?


I think a woman who can squat and deadlift heavy barbells is strong AND sexy. Most men who see me work out every day don’t bat an eyelid, and nor should they. Yet there are other men who don’t think women should be working out like men. I believe it stems from their own insecurities.

On the physical side, lifting weights will not make you look like a man. I have always been told I have ‘curves in all the right places’, and nothing has changed since I started lifting. Squats only add to your booty! Unless you’re eating too much, you will not get bulky from lifting weights.

Yes, I have visible muscle definition and it looks like I work out. What is wrong with that? Sometimes I do struggle to find clothes that fit my broad back but I do not think it makes me less feminine – it just means that most clothes are not built for chicks with guns!

When I am in the gym, I am not afraid to grunt when I am hoisting some heavy ass weights above my head. I am not afraid to swear when I miss a lift. I don’t care if it is unladylike. The gym is my place of release and I honestly couldn’t care less if anyone thinks I’m less of a woman because of it.

Maybe the guys I work with are just scared of me because I can out-lift them!

What do you think? Does lifting weights make you a tomboy?

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