I Just Launched My First Substack: Women’s Barbell Club

There’s a gap in fitness media.

Women’s publications continue to publish articles on how to “blast belly fat” and “get a bigger butt,” while female strength athletes break personal records post-pregnancy and trample outdated ideas about women’s fragility by deadlifting, squatting, and snatching hundreds of pounds.

If you look for articles about these athletes, you’re likely to find ad-filled blogs rehashing Instagram captions — with no trace of original reporting.

In the meantime, so-called fitfluencers spread myths about female physiology, international publications tell women they can’t do pullups, and women athletes are subjected to ideas that treat menstruation like an enemy rather than a key indicator of female health.

What’s an active, health-conscious woman to do?

I decided to start a newsletter.

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that I love working out. Lifting, doing burpees (yes, burpees), throwing sandbags, and trying to get just one more pullup than before.

Since high school, when I discovered that running sprints is fun, working out has been a regular part of my life. It’s how I get out of my head, how I keep my body happy, and how I keep myself feeling like myself.

Unfortunately, not everyone has a positive relationship with exercise. For many, it’s a tedious process aimed at fixing perceived wrongs with their body. And for many women, anything outside of standard cardio seems intimidating and daunting.

Women’s Barbell Club is a way for me to share my love of fitness, while also making the world of strength training and strength sports accessible and interesting to newcomers and long-time lifters alike.

If you’re interested in learning about women competing in sports like Strongman, CrossFit, or powerlifting, you’ll be able to read about them here. If you want to learn more about what scientists are learning about female physiology and exercise, I’ll be covering that. If you want to interrogate cultural beliefs about women’s physical abilities or what women should or should not look like, Women’s Barbell Club will not shy away from taking a side.

The first (intro) edition is up — with plenty more coming soon. You can read it now.

Published by meredithsell

Freelance writer and editor. Nerding out over health & fitness, women's history, and untold stories.

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