CAS junior Tessia De Mattos wants to see more women in the weightroom.
That’s why she cofounded NYU’s first women’s weightlifting club Girls Who Lift. Women involved in the club hope to change some of the negative perceptions related to women’s weightlifting.
“A lot of girls get scared when it comes to weights because they think they are going to get bulky or something,” De Mattos said. “That really doesn’t happen. You just end up looking super aesthetic and ‘toned’ as the media would say.”
The club is brand new, having started this semester, and is welcoming girls who are beginners and are hoping to learn the basics of weightlifting to experienced lifters.
The club has informational meetings that include discussion of many different topics including training programs, nutrition, technique and other such appropriate topics.
De Mattos plans to supplement these meetings with teaching and training sessions held by the members of the e-board and will focus on one of the major lifts during each session.
CAS sophomore and club treasurer Chelsea Flanagan said girls should remember that their bodies are different than men’s.
“It’s really important for girls who lift to be in contact with other women with similar goals,” Flanagan said.
Flanagan explained that her initiative to start lifting started in high school after finding out she medically qualified as obese.
“Since then, I have made staying healthy one of my top priorities,” Flanagan said. “I really want the ladies in Girls Who Lift to see that no matter what their starting point may be, they can reach their goals as long as they have a strong support system and a lot of personal drive.”
For now, the club will be focusing on the major lifts, including press, overhead press, squat and deadlift.
De Mattos said she knows girls can be intimidated to go to the weight room, but the club is meant to help feel more comofortable.
“I want it to be a normal thing to see a girl in a weight room and basically even out the number of girls and guys there,” De Mattos said.
As of now, there are about 55 girls listed as members of the club. Meetings are coordinated over emails, which are sent out by De Mattos.
“One of my biggest goals for this club is to show women that lifting can be for anybody, with any schedule, eating habits or personal goals,” Flanagan said. “It has something to offer each and every one of us.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 3 print edition. Sean Billings is a contributing writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.