My daughter has grown up in the gym. It is a privilege that not every kid has, but strength and fitness is something that is second nature to her. From the moment she could walk, she would stumble over to the barbells or kettlebells and try to lift them up. I don’t ever really remember teaching her how to swing a kettlebell—she watched me do it so many times she just imitated me and went for it. As a dad, I swell with pride watching her have such confidence in her physical abilities.
A couple years ago we were at an event for the gym and we had a 55lb kettlebell at our table. She watched a young boy about 2 years older than her walk up and unsuccessfully attempt to lift it. She smiled, walked over to it and picked it up with one hand! The difference between her and the boy is that she knows how to lift. Later that week she proceeded to tell me how cool it was to be strong, and how it made her feel awesome. She also has another gift: she doesn’t take crap from other kids. If she sees someone getting picked on she is the first to step up and say something. I know lifting weights isn’t a form of self defense but it is directly related to being mentally strong and feeling confident.
I have heard from many of my female friends over the years how they hate going to the gym for many reasons.
- I don’t know what to do. Should I lift light weights and more reps? Or heavy weights and fewer reps?
- I don’t want to get bulky or look like a man.
- I feel like people are looking at me all the time and I don’t know what I am doing so I get intimidated.
- I get tired of guys at the gym coming up to me to offer unsolicited advice.
Many of the above issues come from inexperience: not knowing what to do or lacking a solid foundation and knowledge of training. A big culprit is the misinformation found on social media. Whether your child is on social media or not, the repercussions are everywhere because their friends are on it. There are thousands of wannabe Instagram stars shooting to be Instafamous, and they are spouting straight trash when it comes to fitness advice. Many times they promote dangerous diet advice coupled with nonsensical workout routines. Of course every photo or video is of the Instagram model’s rear end or six-pack.
Our goal is to educate and empower so that the gym isn’t a place of fear.
I have seen my 9-year-old develop confidence in herself from strength training and my goal is to offer a program at my gym for teens to learn how to train the right way with solid nutrition advice. The best part is we have an amazing instructor who walks the walk. Kirstin Fink represents this program in the best of ways.
Please contact us with any questions.