Lift Like a Girl | Grow a Backbone

February 10, 2016


You can knock her down but she perseveres. She is as tough as the vertebrae that hold her together and it will take more than your opinions to bring her down. The research is in and it may surprise you… A recent study from Turkey’s Bilkent University shows that men are more attracted to women with a forty five degree curve in their spines. Surprisingly it’s the spine that makes the booty look bigger and not the actual junk in the trunk.


A nice booty just isn’t enough anymore!


The spine may be something that accentuates the booty but it’s also a metaphor for something greater…


  • Women with backbone are sexy. 
  • Women who know how to stand on their own are desirable. 
  • Strong women are attractive, beautiful and powerful!


Talking about two different types of strength here and the beauty of having both! Last week we briefly talked about the lioness, the combination of lifting heavy AND being feminine still. I want to expand on that with focus on the importance of strength training.


In powerlifting there is a focus of strength and in bodybuilding a focus of a toned physique. When I started powerlifting, I had an idea in my head and wanted to be a “hybrid powerliter” of some sort. I wanted the strength of the powerlifter but also the physique of the fitness competitor. It was intimidating just walking into the gym looking at the bench with multiple plates loaded and strong men wearing wraps and tight shirts. I could barely press the bar up! How in the world could I do this? Why did I want to do this again?


I quickly learned that the powerlifting community is a supportive network of informative individuals. Very different for me at first- coming from bikini competitions where it’s every person for themselves to a group of crazy goofballs cheering with each lift or new personal record set. They didn’t care about the difference in weight or outshining the other; they cared about each person successfully getting the lift with proper form and technique. Each lifter was excited to share a different tip or technique that worked for them. What a warm and welcoming community! They didn’t look at the number on the scale. It was about building proper strength. It was so very refreshing! This atmosphere built not only my body but also my confidence.  Before I knew it, my body had completely changed and I was having the time of my life, not only in training but at home and work too!


Beginner, expert, big or small, just for fun, for your health, for a challenge or for the competition – Any woman can and should lift weights! It is not just for men! To powerlift, there are three main lifts; squat, bench and dead lift. All three lifts will affect various areas of your body and the unique approach to training will be challenging mentally at the same time pushing you closer to your fitness goals. Your focus will be on the three lifts and properly learning technique to safely complete the lift. The next goal, once technique is learned, is to increase your strength by increasing the weight of each lift. Some days you will train for maximum effort (higher weight for fewer reps) and other days you will train for a dynamic effort (lower weight, higher reps and safe controlled speed).


Grow a Backbone| Workout #1


  • Barbell Squat 5×5 with the same weight

(Start with a moderate weight and add 5-10 pounds each week)

  • Front Squat 4×10
  • Butt Lift (Bridge) 4 x20


(Start with body weight only. Add 5 pounds each week – hold weight on lap)


  • Romanian Split Squat – 10 reps with 10lbs, 10 reps with 5lbs, 10 reps body weight only


(Drop set – No break in the 10,10,10. One leg at a time -60 second break between legs.)


Remember the lioness? She is at ease with her strength and at rest with her power… Well, WE are the same! If we limit ourselves with our fear of our own might, we forfeit our strength and beauty. When we stop struggling in our own ability, our true strength is revealed.


Embrace your strength!



TEAM USPlabs Holly Helton


Prepared by Holly Helton


Follow Holly on Twitter


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

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