The University of Indianapolis will now have a women’s weightlifting club that is free for all female students to join, according to founder and junior exercise science major, Lindsay Neighbors. The goal of the club is to help women by creating an environment where they can feel comfortable working out and asking questions about it as well, according to Neighbors. Her personal experience with working out inspired her to create a club based on what made her feel comfortable at the gym, she said.
“I always noticed that when there were more women in the gym I always felt more comfortable and I would love to be able to facilitate that space for other people,” Neighbors said.
While the club is geared toward beginners, Neighbors said women at any level of experience in weight lifting are invited to join. There will be other exercise science majors there to facilitate the workouts as well as make sure everyone understands what the exercises are and the proper way to do it according to Neighbors. Neighbors said the club will meet weekly in the Center for Applied Health and Performance for one hour, and there will be a workout already made that they will walk through with you. Neighbors said that the club may break into small groups and will walk each group through the individual exercises, depending on the amount of people that attend the meetings.
According to Neighbors, the goal of exercise science is to get more people to use the gym and live healthier lifestyles. Her ultimate goal is to get more women involved in weightlifting and by starting this club, Neighbors said she is hoping to facilitate an opportunity for everybody to be able to comfortably pursue exercise.
Sophomore exercise science major Haley Slavens is one of the women joining the club. According to Slavens, she heard about the club through Neighbors and encouraged her to start the club as she thought it was needed. Slavens said she has lifted before and has experience in a gym but recognizes the benefits of a club of this nature.
“I think it’s important to make people feel comfortable in a gym setting,” Slavens said. “I think it would make people go a lot more if they had that space. Then, once we are able to learn these exercises, we can then teach other people. So we’re gaining something from it, then, in turn, we can give as well.”
For any student who is hesitant to join Women’s Weightlifting, there are no commitment requirements for the club, Neighbors said, and showing up once in the semester is fine as her goal is to help. According to Neighbors, she also spoke on recording videos of individual exercises and movements for situations where someone may not be able to come to the meeting and wants to do the workout on their own time or in their own space.
“If you are, for some reason, not able to come to meetings, or still don’t have the courage to come join, please reach out,” Neighbors said. “My genuine goal is just to help as many people as I can.”
Athletes are also encouraged to join, as Neighbors welcomes the different perspectives they might have on lifting as well. Everyone who signs up will be added to an email chain where the time will be sent out weekly. According to Slavens, she encourages all UIndy women to reach out and take advantage of this club and community they are creating as it is a unique chance that was not offered before.
“I think that [female students] should join,” Slavens said. “I think this is a great opportunity. I’m so happy that Lindsay actually put this together, and I think that UIndy definitely needed something like this.”
The women’s weightlifting club will meet on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in CAPS located on the second floor of Schwitzer. If any female students are interested in joining, they can reach out to Neighbors at firstname.lastname@example.org to get added to the regular email chain or with any questions that may come up in regards to schedule or remote workouts.