Caitlyn Trout setting up for her deadlift

By Caitlyn Trout

When I first began powerlifting, I had little or no training experience, period. I knew nothing about the sport itself except for what my friends in the gym had taught me. Later, once I got further into training and completed my first competition I began to ask myself, “Why didn’t I start powerlifting sooner?”. The truth is, I really didn’t know what I was missing out on. That’s when it dawned on me—there are probably many more women out there that would love powerlifting but are just too intimidated or have no clue how exciting and uplifting a powerlifting meet really is. In this article I’ll explain some of reasons why I love powerlifting and why more women should take the initiative to powerlift.


Caitlyn is a great testament to how you can be feminine and incredibly strong at the same time.

Caitlyn is a great testament to how you can be feminine and incredibly strong at the same time.

1. Women can lift heavy AND be feminine too. Take me for instance. I weigh 128 lbs. and on most days I’m able to squat more than double my bodyweight. Has it ever hurt or injured me — No. Do I look or sound like a man — No. Instead, it’s made me more confident, both mentally and physically. I’m more lean and in better physical condition than I was previously, and I get many more compliments from both men and women about my appearance than ever before (which is saying something considering I weighed 17lbs. less before powerlifting AND I still wear the same clothing size!).

2. It will help you reach your fitness goals. Whatever they may be, having a competition to work towards often doubles as a great training motivator and intensifier. I know that I want to perform my very best in a meet. It makes me mentally and physically kick things up a notch. Plus, I have the extra motivation to make sure that I stay on track with my diet. End result—I become stronger at a faster rate while simultaneously seeing results in my body composition by keeping a strict diet.

3. It gives you a chance to challenge yourself/showcase all your hard work. Don’t get me wrong; I challenge myself every single day in the gym. However, pushing yourself in a competition is a completely different feeling. You get an adrenaline rush that quickly turns into a powerlifting addiction. A meet is where you shoot for personal records that you have never reached before. This is the opportunity to show yourself as well as everyone else just how much your hard work has paid off. Who wouldn’t want to showcase a 20lb bench personal record to the public? That’s something to be proud of. Especially if it’s taken you a couple of months to get over that number you’ve been stuck at for what seemed like an eternity.

4. The powerlifting community is a supportive network full of informative individuals. There’s no need to be intimidated because everyone is very supportive of each other’s goals and extremely friendly. If you need help there is always someone willing to give you a hand. Never have I stepped inside a powerlifting meet and left without meeting and learning something from at least five new people. If you have questions, these individuals are more than happy to answer them while giving you several different ideas to troubleshoot your problems. We were all beginners once and are continuously learning new things about the sport. Plus, we all share a common goal: progress.

5. Finally, competition with other females is friendly and motivating. It’s not fun competing with men all of the time. It’s nice to have some camaraderie and a little friendly competition on the platform. At the end of the day everyone walks out as friends. Unlike many other sports, the female competitors are not cut-throat. Instead, we are very supportive of one another. The group of females that powerlift is a small one, so we are all just trying to spread awareness to help the sport grow. It helps to have other women there to ask questions that men may not understand or relate to.

I can describe all of the benefits and reasons why women should powerlift all day, but the best way to figure it out is to experience it for yourself. If this article doesn’t make you want to take the powerlifting plunge just yet, try going to a powerlifting meet and observing. If just watching the other female competitors fires you up to lift some heavy weight, imagine what competing actually feels like!

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