Training Strength for Women: 3 Perspectives From Real Athletes


Artemis Scantalides was a professional ballet dancer for 23 years. Then she received her black belt in kung fu. These days, she works as co-owner of Iron Body Studios. To top it all off, in 2014 Artemis became the ninth woman to successfuly complete the Iron Maiden Challenge, an extreme test of strength involving a 24kg kettlebell press, tactical pull up, and pistol.



Training Strength for Women: 3 Perspectives From Real Athletes - Fitness, strength, strength training, women, women's fitness, iron maiden


Artemis has a goal of educating women about the benefits of strength training. She explained what attracted her to strength training in the first place:


My mission with strength training definitely all started when I realized how amazing it was to be strong...[D]ance is beautiful, classical ballet is beautiful, and it will always be a part of me. But there are other things that, as someone who studied classical ballet for so long and danced with schools like the Boston Ballet and these really big, competitive schools - there are some challenges you deal with, especially as a woman in terms of your body type and self esteem, and if you fit in or don't fit in. It can really scar you for life.


You have to figure out how to get your self-esteem back, get your confidence back, and find yourself again. And strength training helped me to do that.


Artemis also addressed the idea that keeps many women away from strength training - that lifting weights will make you bulky.


I try to educate women that in society, there is this misconception that women are just going to walk into the weight room and train for general fitness, two to three times a week, and then all of sudden you walk out the door and look like a bodybuilder. It's a lot harder than that!


I educate women that number one, it's genetics. How you're going to build muscle is completely built on your genetic build, your body type, and how you build that muscle. So that's number one.


Number two: we're women. We do not have the testosterone that men have. We do not have that genetic makeup to bulk up the way men do. For the majority of us who are training for general fitness, it's not gonna happen. It takes a tremendous amount of work, from nutrition to a specific weight lifting program to get there. So I educate women about what it really does require.


Listen to the Full Podcast With Artemis Here

Artemis also shared her answers to the bonus rounds questions in a previously unreleased podcast episode. Her least favorite exercise? Squats. "Squats are just really hard, and burpees because I do not enjoy burpees." (We agree on the burpees.) To hear more of Artemis's answers to our bonus round questions, listen to the clip below.


Click Play to Hear the Bonus Round With Artemis



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