Ladies Who Lift to take over SDFC weight rooms

This new club strives to make women feel more comfortable exercising in the weight room

Tempe’s Sun Devil Fitness Complex is welcoming a new fitness group on campus.

Ladies Who Lift was created to develop a fitness group geared toward making women feel comfortable going outside their typical cardio or group classes and into the weight room. Still in its early stages, the club is set to launch next semester.

Vice President Christa Caccese said many women get intimidated when looking in the weight room, preferring the group setting of a Zumba class or the cardio equipment that is easier to use.

Caccese, President Tommy Mavritsakis and Wellness Specialist Nathaniel Matos found through a survey at the SDFC that women are uncomfortable walking into a weight room. 

The results showed women are embarrassed to work out individually or feel uneducated about proper form and how to use the equipment. That was the spark for what would eventually become Ladies Who Lift.

Caccese, nutrition communication senior, disproves this assumption.

“Once I started putting on more muscle instead of doing cardio exercises, I noticed that I was getting toned and fit, and people were noticing it,” Caccese said.

Caccese became a bikini competitor for fitness competitions once she started getting into weightlifting, and she encourages women that they can still look toned and feel healthy when lifting weights.

Caccese said when she first started weight lifting, she felt intimidated and uninformed as many of her friends do now. She took it upon herself to build the confidence and knowledge to make herself more comfortable.

The purpose of Ladies Who Lift is to give every person who wants to try weightlifting this same confidence and knowledge that makes going to the weight room just as easy as going with a group of friends to a cardio class.

Mavritsakis, an exercise and wellness senior, started lifting about two years ago turning it into a hobby, tying his personal goals to weightlifting. He stressed the significance of staying motivated and experiencing both weightlifting and cardio aspects of exercising.

“For exercising, you need that whole overall fitness,” Mavritsakis said. “We wanted to educate the members about how important weight training is along with cardio.”

Matos, exercise and wellness junior, wants to use the club to educate members about new and better ways to exercise by making it healthier and keeping it mobile.

“It can really help you structurally and moving around, you get stronger bones from it, promote better quality living, make daily activities easier, (and reduce) the risk of injury,” Matos said.

Still in the early stages, Mavritsakis and Caccese want to start off next semester by surveying members of the SDFC to evaluate interest, and from there receiving feedback about what they want the club to look like.

“If (students) are looking for more of a structure and they want a personal trainer, we can provide one for them,” Caccese said. “If they want to have a group fitness class instructor come in, we will bring one in for them. We’re really just tailored to the students.”

Reach the reporter at or follow @emmasounart on Twitter.

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