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Women on Weights (WOW), was so popular amongst users that organizers say it will be extended beyond its original end of date of Nov.1.
The program was designed to empower students who identify as women by teaching the principles of weight training and how to use equipment properly in a safe environment with a female trainer, according to the RAC Learn To Page.
Evangelia Taylor, who originally created the original WOW workshop, says the training program has changed and morphed over a decade depending on the demand.
Taylor says that post-COVID, a class also called WOW existed, which did not return until this year.
Anissa Harris, a group fitness instructor at TMU, was asked to restart the program this fall. She is also breaking down the misunderstanding and stigma surrounding women and weight training.
“Sometimes [women think] ‘if I lift weights, I’m gonna get bulky, ’” said Harris. “There’s only a small percentage of the female population that have enough testosterone in their body to actually get big.”
Linda Rosario-Earnshaw, a member of the executive board of the Ontario Weightlifting Association and a retired Olympic weightlifting athlete, has noticed the popularity of the sport when it comes to women.
“Women are really proud and happy to get strong,” she said. “It’s a really wonderful thing. It’s just amazing to see females lifting heavyweights like incredible weight and they come in all shapes and sizes.”
For students who are afraid to take on the sport, great people and a good gym are key safety elements when taking on the sport for Rosario-Earnshaw.
“Don’t be scared, get a good coach and start off small,” she said. “Get somebody who really knows what they’re doing when it comes to weight training.”
All sessions of the program are conducted during women’s hours at the RAC and cost $10 per session.