Four Strong As Hell Women Share What They Learned From Weightlifting

+ dish out life advice

Photo via @swoleesi/Instagram

Functional strength. Better bone density. Feeling appropriately smug in a muscle tank. Whatever the motivation may be, more and more women are picking up a barbell and doing some heavy lifting, despite decades of taboo (thanks to some deeply rooted ideas of what a woman’s body is capable of, not to mention the occasional questionable advice from fitness mags and gurus) around this form of exercise. While it might be cliche to call these women “badass,” it’s tough to think of a term that so appropriately describes the sight of, say, a 100-pound woman doing this to a bar laden with 364 pounds of weight. After all, being able to deadlift hundreds of pounds or bench press the equivalent of a mini horse feels pretty damn powerful.

As more women are starting to dominate the weight room, they're also learning how beneficial it can be—and not just for their overall long-term health or physique. From getting a boost of confidence to learning patience and how to love your body for what it can do, and not just how it looks, the trials and triumphs of training in a weight room can come with a host of unexpected life lessons. We caught up with four women who have made weightlifting a major part of their lives to talk about what the sport has taught them and how it’s shaped them, both inside and out.