For a looooong time, weightlifting and heavy strength training had a negative stigma among women: "I don't want to get too big," "I'm don't want to look like a body builder," "I'm just trying to tone," etc. Finally, women are starting to realize that strength training has a ton of health benefits, can be the key to getting your hottest body ever, and—most importantly—can make you feel like a total badass.
One of our fave Rio athletes, 28-year-old Team USA weightlifter Sarah Robles, just won the bronze medal in the over-75-kilogram weight class. She straight-up crushed the competition with a 126kg snatch (about 278 lbs) and a 160kg clean and jerk (about 353 lbs). Needless to say, America was impressed and inspired by the awesome woman (in sunflower knee wraps and American flag socks) throwing 350 lbs over her head.
While Sarah Robles has a particularly inspiring story (here are five things you need to know about her), and is the only female weightlifter to come home with Olympic hardware in 16 years, the buzz goes beyond her name alone. How so? Searches for "women's weightlifting" on Google in the U.S. tripled right after she medaled.
While the #phelpsface and Usain Bolt memes are an incredibly entertaining viral manifestations of the Olympics, we have to say that this surge of interest in weightlifting is our favorite Rio shock wave yet.
Feeling inspired by Robles? Start lifting heavy and get ready to feel more powerful than ever. (If you don't know where to start, try our 4-Week Weight Training Plan for Beginners.)