Breaking Myths: Empowering Young Women through Strength Training By Alice Heeswiijk

 Breaking Myths: Empowering Young Women through Strength Training

By Alice Van Heeswiijk – Viren Community Manager and Fitness Coach

Hello Warrior Woman, it's Alice, your guide to all things strength and empowerment. As the community manager of Viren and a Fitness coach, I've embarked on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment through sports. In this post, I’ll share why I believe in the importance of sport and strength training for young women, debunk some myths, offer tips to get started, and introduce you to Viren’s mission to support women in sports while contributing to a greater cause, and how Viren is here to support you every step of the way.


My Journey: From Horses and Cricket to CrossFit

I've always been drawn to the empowerment I felt after any physical activity. From a young age, I found a passion and connection with sports that boosted the best of me, from team sports like netball and cricket to the exhilarating solo sport of horse riding, where I felt limitless. However, it wasn't until I discovered CrossFit and surrounded myself with other inspirational individuals that I truly understood the power and resilience of strength training.

Growing up, I faced my own struggles with self-esteem and body image. Like many young women, I felt pressured to conform to society’s narrow standards of beauty and feminity. Like I needed to ‘fit the mood.’ Sports changed everything for me. I discovered a newfound sense of strength and purpose. With each lift, each sprint, each setback, each comeback, and each challenge I conquered, I found myself growing stronger, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. I understood what beautiful meant to me.

Through sweat, tears, and triumphs, I learned to embrace my strength and celebrate my victories, no matter how small. I realised that strength training isn't just about building muscle; it's about building confidence, resilience, and fearlessness. It’s about pushing past your limits, both physical and mental, and discovering the incredible potential that lies within you.


The Importance of Sport and Strength Training for Young Women

Unfortunately, the journey isn't always easy for young women. Too many of us are dropping out of sports at alarming rates compared to our male counterparts. But why? Is it societal pressure? Lack of access? Or the perpetuation of myths surrounding women, sports, and strength training?

Research consistently shows that girls are less likely to participate in sports compared to boys. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, by age 14, girls are dropping out of sport at twice the rate than boys.

Whatever the reasons, it's time to change the narrative. It's time to empower young women to embrace their strength in and out of the gym. We want to create an inclusive and supportive environment and promote a positive body image through lots of different women’s stories. That’s where Viren steps in.


Viren, Your Partner in Empowerment and Positivity

Viren is more than just a women's activewear brand; it's a movement. We're here to help you discover your inner warrior, build confidence, strength, and fearlessness.

Our mission is simple: to power your obsession with the best performance activewear, free from toxic chemicals. Because you should never compromise your health and your fitness. With Viren, you get all the performance, none of the harm. We want to go further, and with you, we aim to work with women’s charities to change the narrative and encourage more women to enjoy sports and activities.

Strength Training: Unlocking Your Potential

So, why is strength training so important for young women? Strength training is about becoming the strongest version of yourself, inside and out.

From increased muscle strength and endurance to improved bone density and metabolism, the benefits of strength training are endless. But perhaps the most profound impact is on your mental well-being and confidence. Strength training has the power to transform not only your body but also your mindset, helping you conquer your fears and break through barriers.

Why My Story Matters?

In horse riding, I found solace and joy, in team sports, I found happiness and connection, but it wasn’t until I stepped into the world of strength training (guided by CrossFit classes) that I truly understood the power of my own body.

In the gym, I learned patience, determination, and resilience. But it wasn’t just about physical prowess - it was about pushing past my fears, believing in myself, and harnessing true confidence. Each time I achieved the so-called impossible, I felt a surge of confidence coursing through me.

Surrounding myself with a community of strong, supportive, and empowering individuals, I began to focus on how powerful my body was, not just what it looked like.

Today, as a community manager at Viren and a fitness coach, I am dedicated to empowering other young women to unlock their own potential. I believe every woman has a warrior within her, waiting to be unleashed.


Debunking Myths About Women and Strength Training

Now, let's debunk some of the myths surrounding women and strength training:

  1. Myth: Strength training will make women bulky.

Fact: Strength training helps women develop lean muscle mass, giving them a toned and athletic look.

  1. Myth: Cardio is enough for women's fitness.

Fact: While cardio is beneficial, strength training is equally important for overall fitness. It helps increase metabolism, build muscle, and improve body composition.

  1. Myth: Strength training is only for young women.

Fact: Strength training is beneficial for women of all ages to increase quality of life. It helps combat muscle loss, improve bone density, and prevent age-related health conditions.

  1. Myth: Women should use lighter weights and do more repetitions.

Fact: Women can join strength training, do what empowers you, not what society tells you is good for you. If required, get help from a qualified professional to advise on a correct rep scheme for YOU, unique to you.

Getting Started with Strength Training:

Ready to meet your inner warrior? Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Focus on form: Proper form is crucial for preventing injury and maximising results. Consider working with a certified trainer to learn the correct technique.
  2. Start with bodyweight exercises: Master basic movements like squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks before progressing to weighted exercises.
  3. Be consistent: Aim for 2-3 strength training sessions per week to see results.
  4. Gradually increase weight: As you get stronger, gradually increase the weight you lift to continue challenging your muscles.
  5. Train with others: It’s supportive and encouraging. You’ll find friends that have your back and make it easier to train for the long term.

Unlock Your Inner Strength with Viren

Now, let's talk about how Viren can support you on your strength journey. Our range of activewear is specifically designed to enhance your performance and confidence during strength training sessions. Here are some of our key products:

  1. Prowess Leggings: Made for strength training, our tights are supportive, squat-proof, and built to withstand the toughest training sessions.
  2. Prowess Bra Top: Our bra tops offer unparalleled support, allowing you to focus on your workout without any distractions.
  3. Prowess Muscle Tank: Designed with strength training in mind, our vest tops are lightweight, breathable, and stylish.
  4. Aftermath Range: Made for warming up and recovery days, our hoodies and joggers are incredibly comfortable, stylish, and breathable.

All of our products meet OXEO-TEX standards on toxic chemicals, so they are good for you and the planet. Our products are designed so you feel your best and unleash your inner warrior in and out of the gym.

Join our Movement: Power Your Obsession, and help other young women

At Viren, we're passionate about supporting women on their journey to strength and empowerment.

So, what are you waiting for? Join the movement, embrace your strength, and power your obsession. Share your strength training journey on social media using #VIRENStrong and tag us. Together, we can shatter expectations and prove that strength has no gender. Are you ready to meet your inner warrior? Let's do this!

 With love and strength,

Alice - Viren Community Manager and Fitness Coach


By Alice Van Heeswiijk – Viren Community Manager and Fitness Coach


Back to blog