Learn lifting and climbing at Ladies’ Night

Aeryn Kauffman, Staff Reporter

CWU Recreation is hosting an event specifically aimed at women who want to improve their fitness.

Ladies’ Night will take place this quarter on Friday Nov. 15 from 6-8 p.m. in the Recreation Center. The SURC weight room and climbing wall will be open for the event. Recreation Center staff will be on duty to help with proper lifting form, climbing tips and questions about fitness. 

The Wellness Center, Peer Nutrition Education group and campus police will also have tables at the event to answer questions about body image, self-defense, healthy eating and much more.

Fitness and Health Coordinator for University Recreation Hannah Allen said the Peer Nutrition Education group is a group of nutrition students overseen by a registered dietitian. The group will be there to answer specific questions students have about diet and healthy eating.

“They can even do one-on-one sessions, like coaching with students about nutrition, which is really cool,” Allen said. “The Wellness Center will have a table, [and] campus police will have a table talking about women’s safety and RAD trainings.”

The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) system is “is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for women,” according to the RAD website. No prior self-defense knowledge is required.

Allen said the target audience is female because women are an underserved population in the weight room.

“We’re just hoping to reach out to those who might not feel comfortable in the weight room,” Allen said.

Personal trainers will be scattered throughout the weight room for assistance. Climbing staff will be available at the climbing wall to assist new and seasoned climbers alike.

Climbing Wall and Challenge Course Coordinator for University Recreation Logan Scully said the staff will offer belays, which is where a staff member will manipulate the end of the rope so the climber can climb to the very top of the 50-foot wall. This will ensure climber safety.

“You can see if climbing is for you. You can talk about gear, try on different things and meet people that climb so we can cultivate that sense of culture and get more people climbing,” Scully said.

Associate Director of Operations for University Recreation Michael Montgomery said there have been efforts at getting more women to come to the Recreation Center, such as incorporating more Group X classes.

You can see the efforts in the advertising, as well. Banners and posters of women working out and playing in sports adorn the walls of each area of the Recreation Center. Montgomery said women tend to participate more in Group X classes. Scully said there are many women involved in climbing, as well. There are about an equal number of CWU male and female sports teams and sports clubs, but women’s attendance in the weight room is still low.

“For the 2018-2019 academic year, average daily usage was approximately 62% male, 36% female … These numbers show why we see a need for Ladies’ Night,” Allen said.

One theory for low female attendance in the weight room is fear of gaining too much visible muscle mass.

“A ‘stereotypical’ woman is lean and petite … whereas lifting weights can give the idea that you’re more masculine,” said a female CWU Physical Education and School Health (PESH) major.

According to Fitness magazine, this idea is simply not true. Testosterone is the major hormone aiding muscle growth, and women naturally have far less testosterone than men.

This is one of many myths surrounding women and weight lifting, which prevents women from the multitude of benefits weight lifting offers. These include “increased bone density, better balance, coordination, agility, power and mobility,” and many others, according to Fitness magazine.

Ladies’ Night was traditionally an annual event, but it will now be offered quarterly. Female students can get the facts and hopefully find some support in the gym.