Campus Recreation and Wellness held its fourth annual Ladies Lifting Night on Monday, Feb. 18, at Elon University as a part of the campuswide Love Your Body Week.
Campus Rec. shut down Koury Fitness Center at 8:30 p.m. to prepare for the all-girls weight lifting session. It was established four years ago as a part of the Love Your Body Week campaign, and introduced a safe and comfortable space for women to learn proper form and lifting techniques.
Event organizer junior Lauren Mihalek participated as a volunteer instructor last year during her sophomore year at Elon University. This year she helped put together the workouts, gather volunteers and run the schedule for the evening.
Mihalek loved the event last year and wants to help other women feel the strength and comfort lifting weights can provide.
“I know there was a need for making an environment for women that’s a little less intimidating even for one night,” Mihalek said. “Just to teach them proper lift technique where they don’t feel uncomfortable asking questions.”
The event featured eight different stations with instructors teaching training techniques from muscle roll-outs to proper back-squat form. It also included teaching the use of dumbbells, kettle bells and TRX bands. About 40 participants attended.
During any of this time, participants could ask questions about proper form, workout regimens and how to use any of the other equipment in the gym correctly. Pamphlets were also given to participants with pointers on every station covered at the event and a QR code that connects students to a video going over any of the information discussed throughout the evening.
Participant senior Alyssa Caffrey heard about the event through an Elon fitness class she attended with her friend earlier in the week. To Caffrey it sounded like a great way to finally learn how to lift weights — something she’d never done before.
Caffrey said she enjoyed the aspect of clearing out the gym just for female-identifying students.
“It’s really intimidating when I’m just trying to learn the technique and toning,” Caffrey said. “Whereas other people at the gym can lift like fifty pounds no problem.”
Caffrey said a great addition to the event would be simply more of it. This is something Mihalek is already considering for the future.
“I feel like we can’t advertise it enough,” Mihalek said. “Because there’s always going to be people who don’t know about it, who wish they could’ve come or maybe even just have a couple per semester instead of just one a year so more people can experience it.”
Mihalek also witnessed this event build comfortability between Campus Rec. and the participants.
“I think it’s a great way to build community not only with the Campus Rec. employees and the participants but also among the participants themselves,” Mihalek said.
Koury Fitness Center is split up into two levels — the top being primarily machinery and cardio equipment, and the downstairs area being primarily free-weights and squat racks. Caffrey said she and her friends called the downstairs area “The Pit.”
“I usually stay up at the ellipticals,” Caffrey said. “I’m going to feel more comfortable coming down into ‘The Pit’ and less intimidated. It will be nice to see some friendly faces, too.”