Yes, women can lift weights too. They don't have to be enslaved by cardio.

It's 2019. Women should be able to work out in any way, shape, or form without being judged. This includes strength training. For some, it can be intimidating to go up to the free weights or squat rack. What holds many back is the fear of what others will think if a girl is lifting weights. The gym can be a terrifying place with a masculine presence — it is understandable for a woman to stick with what she knows.

A woman should be able to use whatever equipment she desires without feeling watched, analyzed, or ridiculed.

All we ask is to please leave us alone. We are in our zone — our safe place. The gym may be the only time of the day where a woman can work on herself, for herself. If you see a girl with her earbuds in with laser focus, let her crush her workout in peace. She doesn't need to be bothered.

We appreciate your help on form, truly. Thanks but no thanks — we know what we're doing. Just because we have ovaries, it doesn't mean that we aren't capable of performing the same exercises as a man. I've seen some women be able to squat more than most men can do. That's badass.

A woman who incorporates strength training into her routine is not less feminine than a woman who just does cardio.

In fact, I think she is more feminine because she is embracing herself. She is putting herself out on the line and going against the grain. To me, that is more womanly than cowering in fear. Don't be afraid to use free weights. It looks intimidating, but once you get used to it, it's a piece of cake!

I admire the women who dare to be different, inside and outside of the gym. I look up to the women of the fitness Instagram world that have muscles. It shows that they are dedicated, passionate, and hard-working. They are willing to go out of their comfort zone. They want to share their love of fitness with the rest of the world and change others' lives.

You shouldn't hesitate to lift weights because you don't want to look "like a man" or "too muscular."

Screw that. Those are traditional beliefs. Studies show that strength training protects bone health and muscle mass, helps elevate your energy levels, and aids in lowering the risk of heart disease and hypertension. Also, it skyrockets your metabolism. The faster your metabolism is, the more calories you burn.

Who cares about what other people think. Lift for yourself, not for anyone else. I once believed that if I incorporated strength training that I would look "too bulky." Now, my energy is the highest it's been in years. I look forward to going to the gym every day. People are noticing that I have a happy glow about me. I'm more motivated to tackle my daily tasks.

Not sure where to start? No need to worry.

In this day and age, we have something wonderful: the Internet. You don't have to have a personal trainer in order to start weight lifting. Look up workouts on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Find accounts that work best for you. Create a regimen that your body loves, and thrives off of.

Too nervous to workout alone? Find a workout buddy! My favorite workout partner is my mom. Sometimes having someone there with you will calm the nerves. Plus, he/she is a good source of motivation--someone to keep you accountable. Then, when you feel comfortable, you will be able to take on the gym on your own.

Remember this: Everyone starts somewhere.

It's never too late to start working on yourself. The best time is now! Those who excel at what they do were once beginners. It took time, patience, and growth to get to where they are today. Love yourself throughout the process.

Ever since taking up weight lifting, the journey has changed my perspective. I used to worry about looking like an idiot in front of strangers, so I hindered myself from trying new things in the gym. Finally, I let go of my fear. Now, I could imagine my life without strength training.

Go ahead: try something different. So what if you fail? So what if you can't complete a workout all the way through?

Life is too short to worry about what others think of you.

Do things for yourself.

Yes, women can lift, too.