Strength is for everyBODY and everyone deserves to feel welcome, seen, respected, affirmed, and celebrated – not to feel like an afterthought, but to feel at the center.
Chrissy King is a writer, speaker, strength coach, and self-proclaimed truth teller with a passion for intersectional feminism and creating a diverse and inclusive wellness industry. She is also the Vice Executive Director at Women’s Strength Coalition. Chrissy has been featured in SELF, SHAPE, BuzzFeed, Muscle and Fitness, and Livestrong, among others.
She empowers individuals to stop shrinking, start taking up space, and use their energy to create their specific magic in the world. When she’s not serving her clients by empowering them to create stress-free and sustainable lifestyles and feel confident and empowered in their skin, she spends her time lifting all the weights, reading, traveling, and hanging with friends and family.
I didn’t grow up being super active or athletic. I didn’t step foot into a gym until I was in my twenties. I initially joined the gym to lose weight, but ultimately, after years of yo yo dieting and obsessing about my weight and body, I ended up falling in love with the barbell, powerlifting specifically. I went on to compete in powerlifting, become a trainer myself, and coach hundreds of women in person and online. Although I no longer compete, powerlifting, strength training, and coaching is still an integral part of my life.
I started strength training by accident. I joined a gym and hired a trainer because I wanted to lose weight and be skinny. That was my only objective. My trainer introduced me to bodyweight strength training and DBs. Through a series of events, she began training at a small strength and conditioning gym. It was there that I first held a barbell in my hands and started powerlifting. It was love at first lift.
I spent the majority of my twenties focused on shrinking — my body, my voice, and my entire life in general. I obsessed about my weight and truly believed that my happiness lied on the other side of fat loss.
Strength training, powerlifting specifically, was one of the things that changed this narrative for me. It helped me realize that my body is not an object for consumption. I am not an ornament or decoration for the world, and I don’t have to conform to cultural standards of beauty.
Lifting helped me stop obsessing over the scale and learn to love, appreciate, and accept my body in all of its iterations. I stopped playing small and learned to #TakeUpSpace. The strength I gained and lessons I’ve learned from strength training and powerlifting transferred into every area of my life. It taught me so much about myself. It gave me the strength to start sharing my truth in the world and eventually even make career transitions. It truly transformed my life.
What strength training has done for me personally has made me passionate about making the health and fitness industry diverse, inclusive, and accessible. The benefits of fitness, sport, and strength training are far beyond just exercise. It’s not about changing the way your body looks. The benefits of movement, exercise, and sport allow us to feel energized, whole, empowered, and nourished in our bodies, in addition to reducing stress levels, better sleep, and increased physical strength. Everyone deserves access to this in environments that feel welcoming and comfortable.