“Uplift and Lift Heavy”

When I first got into the fitness world, I didn’t know where to start. People have their “fitspirations” or the types of classes they want to take already in mind. I started working part time at a gym and was urged to take advantage of the facilities and trainers by the owners.

I didn’t know what a bar was, what plates were or even how to squat properly. All I knew was that I wanted to be strong. Fast forward 3 years, I’m in the gym 7 days a week and compete competitively in powerlifting — a sport that is unknown to many. But, in a sport dominated by men, one particular person stands out to me.

Ivy Knight, of @GirlsWhoPowerlift, started bringing attention to the females of the powerlifting community. What first started out as an Instagram page, turned into a store with awesome merchandise and a fantastic blog. Girls Who Powerlift is one of my favorite pages to come across on Instagram, and now Facebook.

Mixed in with their new merchandise announcements and user-generated content, is a fabulous blog showcasing all things powerlifting — from a female perspective. Their blog isn’t just full of instructional articles, they feature a bunch of top notch athletes who have fantastic back stories.

With powerlifting being such a male dominated sport, Girls Who Powerlift created a warm and accepting community. Their Facebook page has over 71,000 likes and consistent engagement across their posts.

Engagement is a tricky thing, especially with a community as specific as female powerlifters. As with any brand, some posts perform better than others. When GWPL drops new merchandise, the likes and comments are out of control — averaging between 600 and 1,200 likes.

As women in a men’s sport, female powerlifters aren’t praised enough for smashing personal records, making amazing strength transformations, or being extremely knowledgeable of the sport. Ivy has done an amazing job of making super every strong girl is represented.

Besides sharing blog posts and new merchandise, GWPL’s Facebook is mostly user-generated content. If a lifter hits a new weight, has her first competition or is rocking their gear, GWPL will repost their photo with a caption that both praises and thanks them for being part of the movement.

The only downfall of GWPL — their blog posts aren’t updated and shared as frequently as they should be. Powerlifters are a different breed — they all have hobbies and skills outside of the gym. Powerlifting isn’t a career and even professional powerlifters have to work. So many athletes could be producing informative content.

With a community so specific, but so diverse, there could be many more articles relating to things that females in the powerlifting community go through. With great features about inspirational athletes and informational posts about enhancing your squat, GWPL should be sharing more frequently.

As for engaging with their community, GWPL is consistently responding to all Facebook comments on their page and liking posts they’re tagged in. Getting a repost or a like from GWPL makes my day, imagine how the other 71K people feel.

As female powerlifting is becoming more and more popular, I only hope that Ivy and GWPL continue to inspire and praise the strong ladies who are dedicated to this sport.