There’s a million ads sending out the wrong message – especially about the sport. To be exact, the sport of fitness, strength training and weightlifting. Primarily all these are about performance – even at a recreational level. However, in the world of money-making, it’s about, for most girls, selling the unattainable ideals and the outlooks.

MiniBig Lifts is a team of 3: Lauren, Sarah and Rose. Three weightlifters are on a mission to encourage women to pursue strength training and more. Follow their blog: www.minibiglifts.com

I think we all want the same thing. We all want to be happy. Be happy with ourselves and that is why we do fitness. Strong women lift others up. ~ Lauren

Lauren and I had a discussion on those “wrong” messages, stereotypes and all the myths surrounding strength training and women.

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What comes to your mind when you notice a “look-this-way” ad?

Pressure on women to look a certain way and be a certain way. I worry about teenagers that are influenced by these images and fad diets. It promotes depression, anxiety and low self esteem like many adverts.

Media and companies are so manipulating when it comes to women’s training and health?

I think the manipulation comes from a lack of beliefs and ethos. Some strength companies don’t have beliefs, they just sell stuff. If they would have beliefs then they can encourage women into strength training for the right reasons.

Most women mistaken Olympic Weightlifting with being “a sport appropriate for professional athletes only”.

It’s one of the hardest sports I know. It just gets massive respect. I don’t think it is for everyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s elite. It challenges you and pushes you out of your comfort zone. If people stick at it, they can learn a lot: eliminating this idea of perfection, being patient, working through a plateau, etc.”

“A good coach from the start is the key. You could argue that is the elite part. It is not as accessible as we would like it to be.”

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The most popular excuse ever is: “I will get too muscular”?

I was depressed with a thigh gap and now I am happy without one.

A lot of people say muscles are not feminine?

What is most important is how you feel not what others think. For me it is important to wear a dress every now and then. It’s empowering. It’s not for anyone else. It’s appreciation for your body.

The times of 800-calorie diets are over. How do you think a woman that does any kind of strength sports should eat?

Eat what you want and enjoy it. That is really my advice. I think even in strength sports, there is pressure on women, and their bodyweight. It’s really annoying.

For a beginner – do not worry about it. I wish I hadn’t worried about it at my first competition. Make sure you have enough carbs prior and post to fuel weightlifting. Take particular focus on insulin control- eat fruit and take dextrose.

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Strength training definitely teaches a woman to get more comfortable with feelings like aggression, anger… What do you think?

It’s an expression. I think the loudest people have most of their communication suppressed and guess what, that’s okay. Do what you need to do to make the lift.

 “The process of becoming stronger can change your life«. Please explain.

It changes your life because you take that time out of your day to channel your focus into one thing. Your head isn’t anywhere else. It can help people through struggle and it can force people to become stronger mentally as you have to deal with having bad sessions sometimes.

How did “getting stronger” with Olympic Weightlifting change your life?

I am not sure I can answer that yet. I am finding my voice and it’s realigning what I value in people like hard work, performance, grind. 

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