It seems that one of the biggest concerns facing many women training for an obstacle race is that of a lack of upper body strength. We fear that our perceived inadequacy may hinder our overall performance come race day, and our confidence is shaken as we dread that we may not be able to complete many of the obstacles we will encounter.
While our male counterparts seem to effortlessly tackle monkey bars, 8 foot walls, and rope climbs, many women feel as though we were given the short end of the stick with regards to upper body strength. We struggle through these obstacles, and some of us just never quite find a way to conquer them, grimacing with defeat as we complete a penalty or end up bypassing the cursed obstruction. Granted, our physical makeup is quite different, and each sex has strengths and weaknesses the other does not, but just because we may not be blessed with a propensity for upper body aptitude does not mean that we cannot achieve it. I truly feel that a large part of the issue is due to the face that, from a young age, most girls are made to feel as though we aren’t supposed to focus on building strength in our upper-bodies. Almost as though it’s unladylike to be strong. We’re convinced that pull-ups are impossible, push-ups should be completed with knees resting on the ground, and don’t even think about lifting weights, because you’ll bulk up and look much too manly.
Want to read more? Check out the rest of my article on the Spartan Blog!