Do Strongwoman

…’She Believed She Could – So She Did’…

Do strong(wo)man and be a fucking super hero!

Ok, not really a super hero; but if you have the mindset to pick up a bloody heavy yoke, log or stone, this can spill over into everyday life. Why can super heroes do what they can do? They have the confidence in their abilities. Now this is directed mostly to women just starting out, not necessarily wanting to compete in strongwoman (that may come).


I pretty much train strongman/strength seven days a week so I see many people in the gym. Recently, several new women that have started at my gym are amazed at the training I do. What pisses me off though is I always hear “I could never do that” or “I would never be able to lift that weight.” I always want to say just try and see. Start with an empty yoke, empty log etc. see how it feels, don’t tell me you can’t do it if you have never tried.

There is a direct connection between pushing yourself physically and pushing yourself mentally (Nia Shanks said so! ). Picking up heavy objects shows in plain view your weaknesses and strengths, as Henry Rollins says “the iron never lies.” So from this you can pick your weaknesses and train to improve them. Nothing builds mental fortitude like working past failures. Over time this translates to giving you the confidence to do this in life. Some people are very afraid of having ago in case they fail.

Women especially have massive pressure to look a certain way (god forbid you don’t have a tiny stomach roll), have the right clothes, don’t have stretch marks, don’t have cellulite, eat a certain way, behave a certain way, don’t be loud, don’t be confident, do be confident, exercise with weights, don’t exercise with weights, arrggghhh it’s a fucking nightmare. Confidence also gives you the mindset of not giving a shit. Bring it at me world, I don’t care I have a massive deadlift, fuck you! Now this takes time, and lifting weights must be done slowly and safely depending on the person’s abilities but you will find your groove, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with deadlifting for 6 years!

Not only will lifting weights make you mentally tougher it will make you physically tougher, as Mark Rippetoe says “strong people are harder to kill”


I’m not sure what context he meant, but I have anecdotally heard stronger people say; who fall over, be in car accidents, get it or have surgery that the doctor has told them if you weren’t as strong as you were the outcome might have been different. Yes this is speculative, but I am assuming the doctor has seen worse outcomes in other people. You build up those muscles around your spine its far better protected.

Importantly, especially for women as they get older, lifting heavy shit builds strong bones. I personally had a DEXA scan a few years ago (when I was just doing crossfit) and my bone density was 2x the standard deviation above the average. The standard deviation is the measurement of variation in the population so I was twice the difference from the average than most of the population. I must go and have another scan……see if I can make 3x! Also to hold off fragility and immobility for as long as possible for quality of life, you need strong bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Now I know you have all probably heard this mumbo jumbo self-affirming bullshit before but from my own personal experience I have, over the last 2 years of training strongman, feel more confident at work, deal with stress better, have the confidence to state my opinion, even if it sounds different to everyone else’s. Pick up heavy boxes, carry shopping without asking for help, people see you do this stuff they see confidence. You just get in the mindset I. CAN. DO.THIS.

Alison Dann


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