Record rise in women weightlifting to feel strong, boost overall health

NO longer fearful of braving a man’s world, women are taking up strength training and weightlifting at a rate previously unseen, according to Australian Sports Commission data.

The number of women participating in amateur weightlifting grew fivefold between 2016 and 2022, while the number of men almost tripled.
Experts say strength training is important for women’s long-term health as it strengthens muscles, stabilises joints and improves bone density, all of which reduce the risk of fractures later in life.
Frontline Fitness Belmore weightlifter Marissa Khoury said she loves the way strength training makes her feel.
“I’m not going to end up looking like a buff bloke but I’m definitely stronger and much more confident,” she said.
“It’s also helped me with weight loss and increased energy levels.”
World Gym Chullora’s Brandon Nasr says because there is more education around fitness and health, and weightlifting is so beneficial, more women are keen to give it a go.
“We’ve got our own female weightlifting section now which is getting busier all the time,” he said.
Health Mates Fitness Centre Revesby’s Myf Meredith said there had definitely been a shift in ideas.
“Women used to be fearful of bulking up but now they’re discovering weightlifting is actually ideal for weight loss, bone density, reducing blood pressure and mental health,” she said.
Anytime Fitness Belfield’s Julianna Varon said her gym now had a community of female weightlifters.
“Women no longer feel intimidated by strength training and realise the huge benefits,” she said.
“For many women, lifting weights isn’t about looking a certain way, but increasing confidence and improving overall quality of life.
“When you feel strong, you carry yourself differently in the world, and that has huge impacts in and outside of the gym.”