Female University of Sheffield students take on strength training at Sport Sheffield

When it comes to the word gym, many think of endless hours on a treadmill that are left behind in January.

That's not the case for these girls. The Women's Only group from Sheffield University Strength Sports are leading the way for females who want to get involved in weightlifting, power lifting or simply getting fit - and they're doing it well.

The women's only group at Sport Sheffield are leading the way for female weight training.

The women's only group at Sport Sheffield are leading the way for female weight training.

The students are taking the usual preconception of a male based weights room and flipping it on its head, giving girls a comfortable space to test their strength away from the gym.

Women's officer Eleanor Trickett said: “Our women's only group started last year and gets the biggest turnout of all the groups. We now really want to get more of the girls into the mixed sessions.”

All levels of experience are welcome – from girls that have been training for just a few weeks to students such as Orla McCann, who competed in Olympic weightlifting from as young as 14.

The group has shaken up the idea of solo strength training as many of the girls help each other out with tips to make for a supporting and friendly atmosphere.

Fitness levels in the UK

Fitness levels in the UK

Women's sessions run each week at Sport Sheffield Goodwin Sports Centre, a centre predominantly used by students of the University of Sheffield.

Sport Sheffield supports 58 sport clubs and has strong links with teams across the country, encouraging both students who want to compete and those who simply want to pick up a new hobby.

The gym supports both male and female training, with a diverse range of students on the gym floor working towards their individual goals.

Sport Sheffield manager and International Triathlete Champion Fiona Kesteven said: “I've always recognised the importance of strength training and have really felt the benefit in my sports. It's great that more and more females are getting involved in lifting weights and barriers are being broken down.”

The Strength Sports girls are more than open to new ideas and are no stranger to pushing their own limits.

Student Cindy Ventura said: “It's quite interesting to see how women interact with each other and support each other whilst we are experiencing new things. Doing something that is not often associated with woman but associated with men has been the most rewarding thing so far.”

The group is open to all University of Sheffield students, with both female only and mixed classes taking place throughout the week.

Sessions are free for Strength Sports members and £2 for University of Sheffield students. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/SheffieldUniversityStrengthSports/.