Rec classes teach women to lift

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Believe it or not, as you struggle through midterms, some students even have time to go to the gym.

And yes, they do even lift.

But, mysteriously, any casual venture into the weight room reveals that lifters are disproportionately male.

The UVM campus rec class, Women on Weights, is here to change that.

Some students like senior Maddie Hobaugh, senior exercise science major and campus rec fitness instructor, believe many women fear gaining too much muscle.  

“A lot of girls have this misconception that they’ll get too bulky, when really that’s not true,” Hobaugh said.

“If you lift, you will build muscle, which builds your metabolic resting rate and burns more calories in the long run,” she said.

Hobaugh also considers intimidation to be a factor in the lack of women weight lifters.

Hobaugh, who teaches Arms, Butt and Core as well as cycling classes, considers WOW an excellent way to rid females of this fear, by teaching them the basics.img_9054-2

“[Girls] often don’t know what to do and so they avoid it,” she said. “If you know what you’re doing, you feel more confident.”

A 2010 study by Jessica Salvatore and Jeanne Marecek in the journal Sex Roles examined the lack of women in free weight rooms and why, although there are numerous health benefits to weightlifting, women disproportionately choose cardio over strength training.

According to the study, “Despite the benefits of weight lifting, everyday experience and observational studies in fitness centers and gyms suggest women are usually underrepresented among users who lift free weights and engage in other types of weight-based strength training.”

First-year Drew MacFarlane weighed in with the male perspective.

“I think the class is a good idea,” MacFarlane said. “It’s cool that there’s a program like that. It’s good that people have a way to learn if they want to.”

This class is offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.