M'sian Fitness Trainer Fires Back At Misogynistic Comments About Women Who Lift Weights

Nur Amira took to Twitter after several netizens told her that as a woman, she should not be lifting weights.

Cover image via Twitter @myrarosleenn

Nur Amira, also known as Mira, recently faced backlash after posting an Instagram video of herself lifting a gas tank

Earlier this month, the personal trainer uploaded a video showing her weightlifting routine using an empty gas tank. It was captioned with a step-by-step guide, including advice about lifting heavier objects.

The video, when reposted on mStar's Instagram account, had over 122,000 views.

However, netizens had mixed feelings toward the video

Several commenters praised Mira for her strength and determination, saying that she inspires them to exercise. 

On the other hand, several netizens pointed out that she was lowering her chances of getting pregnant by lifting the gas tank.

One Instagram user added that she should be using equipment catered for women, while another commenter warned that she was going to hurt her uterus.

A teacher publicly spoke out against Mira, saying that she should exercise in a way that is more appropriate for women

In an Instagram post that has since been deleted, the female teacher criticised Mira for lifting the gas tank, saying, "Women do not need to be lifting heavy things unless they want to have muscular bodies like men."

The teacher continued, "If you want to be healthy, do it in a womanly manner. Exercise, sweep, do gardening, jog till you sweat." 

In the post, the teacher cited that lifting heavy objects would reduce one's chances of getting pregnant, create marital issues between husband and wife, and cause a slipped disk in the backbone. 

Image via Likely

On 9 June, Mira tweeted images of a conversation she had with the teacher, adding that she was hurt that her weightlifting video and caption would be used to publicly spread hate like this

Mira continued by saying that the teacher's caption negatively portrayed women who lift weights and projected fear onto other women who may have minimal knowledge regarding the exercise.

In their conversation, the teacher told Mira, "Before you fine me, fine mStar first."

After Mira says that mStar had her consent to repost the video, the teacher tells Mira that she can report the weightlifting video to teach other women a lesson.

The teacher then adds that unless she wants to be threatened, Mira should not make this go viral. She continues, "I am married and have four children, so I know what it's like to have my uterus hurt after giving birth if it is not taken care of."

The thread has since been retweeted 7,000 times.

A quick search on the Internet reveals the answers to some of the misconceptions regarding women who lift weights

It is a common misconception that women should run instead of lifting weights if they want to prevent developing bulky muscles. According to fitness coach Melissa Edmonds, it is actually more difficult for women to build muscle as they have lower levels of the male, muscle-building hormone, testosterone.

A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who weight-trained burned calories more efficiently
The teacher brings up another popularly held belief in a follow-up post saying, "Sister, I love you, but if you don't want to listen that's not my problem. It is your body and your health… There's no use crying if you have to wear a 'uterus ring' to hold it up."

What the teacher was referring to in her post was uterine prolapse. According to Mayo Clinic, this occurs when the pelvic floor muscles can no longer support the uterus after the muscles and ligaments have been stretched or weakened. 

Although repeated heavy lifting can cause weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, other risk factors include increasing age, obesity, and prior pelvic surgery, among other factors. 

With the right weightlifting techniques, uterine prolapse can be avoided.

Trained as a Women's Fitness Specialist under the American National Academy of Sports Medicine, Mira attempts to bust several weightlifting myths in her videos

To quell the concerns brought up by the teacher and other commenters, Mira continued the Twitter thread with her list of do's and don'ts when it comes to weight training. 

Mira tells her viewers, "Weight training brings more good than harm. You should not be afraid to lift if you do it with the right technique, posture, and form." 

This woman was publicly shamed by a local gym after she enquired about their free weight loss programme:

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