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FYI: Stop Telling Women They Should Not Lift Heavy

FYI: Stop Telling Women They Should Not Lift

A few weeks ago I received a random comment on the vlog.

My initial reaction was — WTF?

It’s not my nature to get pissed on comments from “anonymous” accounts but I felt a tang of frustration because why the hell would you put such remark online? Later, I figured it’s because IT IS YOUTUBE (welcome to YT, Shaira) and right, people are entitled to their own opinion, whatever that might be. But it also inspired me to write about my experience and how things have changed me especially the past few months. 

I used to always be size 0-2. I’m payat payat and for so many years, I thought I already got quite a decent figure because yes, I can fit into most clothes and I look pretty okay on photos. I’ve also been very active most of my life and initially, I thought that is already good enough. I run, I do a bunch of sports and I do Muay Thai on the side. Active gurl huh? Until I met my partner Land who introduced me to Crossfit. 

The first time we went on a workout date, he asked me to do a some squats, lunges, push ups and also a couple of lifts. I was terrible. I cannot even lift a 5lb dumbbell properly let alone squat with the proper form. And while I have a really strong stamina (thanks to Yawyan), my strength is not as good as I thought.

It was September of last year when I started with a formal strength training. Every day, I’d have to follow a program that is specifically designed for me. It’s both fun and difficult. While I like overstaying in the gym, I have to admit that it’s quite a challenge to workout alone. I have to constantly push myself to get up, beat time caps and do as many quality reps as possible. 

I also had to change my diet along the way. From eating whatever I want to focusing on a high-protein nutrition, counting macros and eliminating all the junk, juices and sweets.

Little by little, I started seeing the changes in my performance. I lift better, my form is better and my general lifestyle has improved. I’m also quite proud that in this quarantine, I was able to unlock a bunch of skills! I can do a lot of good push ups, some double-unders, a lot of rope tricks, monkey bars (yes this is so much of an achievement lol) and just recently, I was able to do a pull up! On top of all those, I also saw a lot of changes in my physique. I still have the little fats on the side but I’m seeing visible muscles on my arms, back, shoulders and even on my tummy! 

I even made a push up tutorial!

For 30 years, I never saw myself in this form. I still have a lot of things to work on but this progress is good progress. 

Now why I am writing all this yadahs? It is because I don’t see anything wrong with MUSCLES. 

We’re so used to this idea that men should be muscular and women should be thin and lean. Thanks to this notion, the entire fitness world sends two different messages, one is for men to ‘bulk-up’ and the other, for women to ‘slim down’.

A bit of science (especially for my girls) – your muscle starts to deteriorate as young as 25, putting you at risk of injury and more. Also, our little muscles collapse at a faster rate than men’s (plus it’s more difficult for women to replace lost muscles). This is enough reason why women should do strength training because in general, we all want to function better and live longer. 

I know, lifting can seem intimidating, especially in a gym where the weight section is dominated by the big dudes. And women often fear heavy lifting will make them look like those men. 

I say nah, not the case. First, lifting will grow you defined muscles and second, you bulking up actually depends on your program nutrition. This is why it’s important to get a good coach who can guide you along the way. 

Imagine looking pretty and toned — what else can you ask for?

And another thing, did I mention that I workout for myself? I don’t think I need to seek approval from anyone because it is my body and my goal is to get stronger and more fit as I get older. I have long eschewed social norms when I first touched my bar so boop!

Guys, next time you are tempted to comment on a woman’s way of life by telling her not to lift, workout or grow some muscles, remember that no one cares about your stupid thought.  Especially not the lady who can deadlift your weight. 

And if you’re gonna tell me that no one’s gonna date me because of my strength and my nice toned back, uh uh, I’m sorry bish but I’m already taken. 

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Call me Shai, your modern multihyphenate bbgirl. I post all my little stories, discoveries and life tips here so yeah, hope you enjoy my randomness!


Established in 2016, Wander with Me is a lifestyle blog that talks about everything that is interesting and relevant.


It has been my outlet for sharing latest trends in food, fashion, consumer products, personal thoughts and others.


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