Girls push abilities to lift more weight

This story was originally published in the third edition of The Lion’s Tale (December 12, 2017).

Weightlifting is a sport that pushes the boundaries of both mental and physical strength. Constant training helps discipline the body and the mind.

“It impacts your personal fitness tremendously,” said sophomore Sarah Swetland. “When you lift five days a week for two hours, you start to see definition in muscles that you didn’t know you had.”

At practices, the girls’ weightlifting team either has arm day or leg day, and they complete different workouts that help improve their stamina and strength.

“The biggest common mistake about weightlifting is that you are going to get super bulky and that’s not true, especially if you’re a girl,” said sophomore Caroline Preston. “You get toned, not bulky.”

Weightlifting helps tone muscles, which means to get them into shape and make them look defined.

“I think most people are put off because they think you can never make significant gains for meets,” said sophomore Alex Barton. “But there’s such an obvious improvement, regardless of when you start, and literally anyone can get stronger and improve their fitness with work.”

Mental fitness is just as important as physical prowess.

“The reason a lot of girls miss their second or third lift is not due to lack of strength, but because they got in their head and doubted their ability,” Swetland said.

During meets, the girls are required to step up and lift two events, with three tries for each. They attempt an easy lift, a max lift and push the limit by attempting a weight they have never lifted before.

“You’re really clearing your mind whenever you are lifting and focus on whatever you are doing at the moment, which really helps clear your mind,” Preston said.

Being put under the immense pressure of trying to lift really can train the mind, according to Swetland.

“When you are in the moment, your entire team is screaming, cheering you on to get the lift,” Swetland said. “In the moment, it’s not about physical strength, but if you can push through the fatigue and complete the lift.”