An all-female weight training class has been introduced to Blake’s PE Department this year—one of the few all-female PE classes offered in the county.
Previously, weight training was offered as a one-semester, co-ed class. But the feelings expressed by the few female students prompted PE Department Head Christine Di Monte to offer an all-girls edition. “[The girls in the class] were the only females, they felt uncomfortable,” explains Ms. Di Monte.
Seniors Carolina Monreal and Malia Magbie express their comfort in an all-female environment, as compared to co-ed. “It’s [the all-girls class] more positive energy,” Monreal says.
The class keeps all the elements of the original weight training class while catering to needs more specific to girls. “I’m pretty much on par with male classes, but we go just a little bit slower,” says Ms. Di Monte. With many of the male students working with more advanced forms and heavier weights, the girls felt a lot of pressure working out– pressure that has been removed with the all-girls class.
“Expectations are lower and more realistic for what we can actually do,” Magbie says.
“No one is expecting you to be the strongest person or be able to keep up with one person, like it was with the boys.”
“We are easier on the weights,” Monreal adds, “and we work on the very basic so we can build muscle no matter where you are.”
Moving the girls to their own class left an all-male class in its wake, though it is just as beneficial for the boys as it is the girls.
Ms. Di Monte recalls the boys were often distracted by the girls. “[Now] this is a time where they can focus on themselves,” she says.
The girls class has been a brilliant success, with 34 students enrolled, and even more who expressed interest. Fortunately this is not the only all-female class being offered at Blake—an all-girls soccer class was recently added to the department as well, bringing all the same benefits to a beloved sport.
As a result of the all-female class, Ms. Di Monte says, “I think girls will try more things with less inhibition. . . there’s a comfort level that I don’t know would be there for teenage girls in a male class.”
Monreal agrees, “It’s more fun to do it with girls; you don’t feel so self conscious.”