When you think of a high school weight training class, you probably envision a bunch of smelly, sweaty boys with cut-off T-shirts, picking up barbells and dropping them to the floor with loud crashes. Although this may be a reality in some places, a good weight training class is a place where male AND female students can feel comfortable as they work towards their goals.
Unfortunately, preconceived notions sometimes keep girls from signing up. If they can ignore whatever preconceived notion they have for a weight training class, they'll soon realize that it can be a place where they are accepted and respected by all of their peers. This is my tenth year teaching high school co-ed weight training, and I have thoroughly enjoyed having girls in my classes over the years because they have always been eager to learn the proper techniques of each lift. The girls have worked really hard and are consistently encouraging to each other. When the boys see the girls working hard and doing the same exercises they are doing, they just accept them as their classmates working toward the goal of improving themselves physically.
There have been quite a few classes where the girls outworked the boys in class. One young lady took my class for two years. She was a cheerleader at the time, and I was unaware of her desire to be an actress/model someday. She worked incredibly hard every day, asked questions, and never wasted a minute. Eventually, she took the work ethic that she learned from the weight room into her pursuit of a career. Upon graduation, she thanked me for inspiring her to work hard towards her goals. The reality is, she worked hard from the beginning, and weight training just helped encourage her along the way. A few years later, I learned that she had moved to L.A., gotten her foot in the door in modeling, and had a couple commercials on her resume. Her experiences in the weight room helped teach her to work hard towards a goal, inside and outside of the weight room.
Weight training can not only encourage physical fitness, but also increase self-confidence and goal-setting that transfers into all areas of life-for boys and girls alike.
Girls, we'll see you in the weight room.
Written by Clay Klavitter, Varsity Baseball Coach and PE Teacher