CHALKED UP: weightlifting misconceptions


Gracie Rice discusses diet and women in weight lifting in this week’s blog.

Welcome back to, Chalked Up. Today’s blog is all about Weightlifting Misconceptions.

I have been asked recently if I diet, take protein, supplements, or steroids. These questions were quickly followed by the comment, “You powerlift and you don’t take anything?” If I am being honest, I found all of these questions to be extremely offensive. Is it so hard to believe that a person could succeed in a sport without taking something to enhance their skill? 

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: I am a WEIGHTLIFTER, not a powerlifter. There is a very big difference between the two sports. If you have trouble understanding, please see a previous blog where I clearly explained the difference between the two.

It is quite clear that there are men out there who struggle with strong women, just as some women struggle with “stronger” men. What is even worse if a woman does become stronger than the male species it couldn’t possibly have been achieved naturally. 

Is it so hard to believe that an athlete could have achieved greatness through hard work? The females on my lifting team, myself included, spend hours at the gym. Our dedication to the sport is real! Most of us lift 5 days a week in addition to other athletic practices. So, why have we all been asked if we take these performance enhancing drugs? I find it upsetting that my teammates/ friends are classified as anything other than the strong, courageous, not to be trifled with females I know them to be.

As a USA Youth Weightlifting member, I am required to be educated and trained in “Anti-Doping”.  I respect my coach, teammates, the sport, and most importantly MYSELF too much to run the risk of jeopardizing the sport or my career over performance enhancers. I personally believe that performance enhancers are a waste of time. Why take these drugs when you can get the same, or a possibly better outcome by hard work?

Our society as a whole teaches young athletes to “win at all cost.  But are they really educated on what that cost might be?  According to Partnership for Drug Free Kids 7/2014 –  7% of high school students admit to using anabolic steroids. I found additional information stating, “85 percent of young people have never had a parent, coach or teacher talk with them about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs” (Proctor and Gamble Survey).  I found this information to be shocking.  How is this not a requirement of all athletes in any sport to be trained and educated on anti-doping.

Over the years women have changed their outlook on body image, finding it cool to be strong as well as fit. Women are seeking to have muscle as opposed to just being “skinny.” The ideal body image changes often, especially for a woman.  Many girls and women have spent hours running, obsessing over cardio workouts, indulging in the newest diet and/or detox item being sold on the market to obtain the body image that society deems beautiful and ideal at the time.

Men have traditionally dominated in the gym weight rooms, but there are more and more women choosing to pick up weights, finally realizing, and possibly not caring, that lifting weights does not create a stereotypical bulky physique.

Continue reading these weekly blogs to keep up with my weightlifting journey!