Visit almost any gym around the country, and you’ll find that the male-to-female ratio in the free-weight area is usually pretty lopsided.
Alyssa Hitchcock, a trainer at Anytime Fitness in Bargersville, is hoping to do her part to change that.
Formerly a competitive powerlifter who won multiple USA Powerlifting national championships, Hitchcock is trying to encourage more women to start incorporating heavier weightlifting into their fitness routines.
“Most women are like, ‘I don’t want to get bulky; I don’t want to get big,'” Hitchcock said. “Do I look like a man? I’ve been doing it for 20 years. When women get that way, they’re doing extra stuff.
“I can squat over 500 (pounds), but I still look like a woman.”
John Wilson, who opened Anytime Fitness in the summer of 2016, said that he was trying to grow his training department and lucked out with Hitchcock, who moved to the area last summer from her native Wisconsin to be closer to her longtime boyfriend, fellow powerlifter and trainer Jeremy Hartman.
Wilson said he didn’t fully understand how accomplished Hitchcock was until he was putting together her résumé to promote the powerlifting workshops that she’s conducting at the gym today (6 to 8 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.).
“I just thought it was cool that she had done that much,” Wilson said, “but it was even more cool that she’s so humble about it that I didn’t find out about it until now.”
Hitchcock first picked up powerlifting at the age of 13, and though she originally went off to college with plans to become a physical education teacher, she quickly realized it made more sense to stick with what she’d already been doing.
Equipped with a kinesiology/strength and conditioning degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Hitchcock coached in her home state for 12 years before coming to Indiana. She notes that there were more female than male powerlifters at her high school, and she’d like to see more women hitting the free weights here as well.
“I don’t want people to be afraid, especially women,” Hitchcock said. “Most women are afraid to go over in the free weight area; ‘Oh, that’s the guys’ area.’ I want to encourage everyone that free weights are okay if you do them right. It’s going to benefit you more than hopping on the same machine over and over again.”
Former national champion Alyssa Hitchcock is holding powerlifting workshops today at Anytime Fitness in Bargersville. Both sessions are open to the public.
Where: 50 N. State Road 135, Bargersville
When: Today, 6 to 8 a.m. or 3 to 5 p.m.
For more information or to RSVP, visit the Anytime Fitness Bargersville page on Facebook.