I recently had the pleasure of attending, and coaching at a Female Only Strength Camp run out of the Australian Institute of Sport.
When the coordinator Anna Brown approached me months ago, she explained that her vision for the camp was to bring together girls of all ranges of skill levels and a selection of elite female coaches from different disciplines around Australia. This would be the first of its kind in Australia. The long weekend would serve as an educational platform, meeting of new and old friends and collaboration of female success stories.
Liz Craven (IPF Superstar) and I taught the powerlifting segment together over 2 separate days. Throughout the sessions some common points emerged, we ended up putting a huge focus on teaching proper ab stabilising for deadlifts and squats, effective hip positioning techniques for deadlift to correctly load the hips, glutes and hamstrings and how to get a whole lot tighter on bench.
Other sports that were covered on the weekend were strong(wo)man, olympic lifting, and BJJ and gymnastic warmups, breathing and bracing exercises. We had full access to some of the newest facilities at the Australian Institute of Sport including their recovery centre with some awesome equipment. As a bit of a science geek, I really liked the blend of research-backed facilities, with the high performance focus of the weekend. A highlight for me was listening to Kylie Massi, Australian Crossfit Games winner who gave her spin on training mentality and the level of commitment and sacrifice she put into achieving what she has.
I can’t imagine the weekend could have gone any better. We laughed, learned things, ate burgers and chatted with some of the coolest strong girls in Aus. I think the fitness industry still has residual beliefs that girls should be seen and not heard, that we need to be soft and delicate- focus on mindset and feelings. A woman standing confidently in her abilities, practicality and intellect without watering things down with feelings is a little bit radical. There was no airy-fairy stuff on this weekend, we had the best sporting facilities in Australia at our fingertips to teach practical and intelligent lessons and share experiences from some of the best female lifters in the country, to the next wave of strong girls in Australia. Well done to Anna and her team for pulling off something this incredible, and setting the bar for women’s strength education in Australia.
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.”
Big thank you to Anna and Mary-ann for the photos from the weekend.