Aarja Bedi: Reflections on Women and the Fitness Industry
So, what is the most baseless yet most popular myth that you have heard about fitness? We will name one- weightlifting and strength-training aren't for women, it makes them bulky.
While that’s obviously not true, the level to which this myth is believed is appalling. SocialBoat had a conversation with Aarja Bedi, a fitness trainer based out of Delhi. She talks about how she started her fitness journey, her experience in the fitness industry in Sydney and in India, and about myths surrounding women and fitness. Read on to know how Aarja has come so far, navigating through misinformation.
How It Began
Aarja’s fitness journey began when she moved to Sydney, Australia for her bachelor's. The gym there was very accessible and by joining one of the gym classes, she discovered how passionate she was about fitness.
“I could visualize myself as an instructor when I was taking classes. That’s how much I was enjoying it.”
In 2019, Aarja completed her Bachelor’s and came back to India. Here she started working with corporate companies which she didn’t enjoy a lot. Finally, at the beginning of 2021, she quit her job, got certified as a fitness trainer, and started her classes. Convincing her family to trust her decision was difficult but it was all worth it since now she was doing something she was really passionate about.
From Delhi to Sydney and Back
Reflecting back on why she developed an interest in fitness only when she moved away from India, she says that Sydney has many more facilities than Delhi. Also, it had many more options for different kinds of workouts, like beach workouts, boxing, different types of pilates, etc.
Fitness Myths Surrounding Women
In India, the options are not only limited but also usually different for men and women. Aarja who is most interested in strength training says that myths around women and weightlifting don’t seem to be going away. Many people still would be surprised to know how beneficial lifting weights can be for women’s bodies, and NO, strength training does not make women’s bodies bulky.
Aarja says that there still aren’t a lot of female instructors in the fitness industry in India, and usually when a woman goes to work out, she is asked to do cardio while the men take up strength training. Aaja says,
“Fitness trainers need to broaden their perspectives and their knowledge in order to understand that women enjoy and get benefits from strength training just like men do.”
Currently based out of Delhi, Aarja only trains women and out of 5 days, she makes them do strength training on four days and dedicates only one day to cardio. Since she has become a certified fitness trainer, one of her aims has been to bust the myths around women and strength training. She has been working towards it and wishes to continue doing so.
Aarja’s Instagram is a fun and resourceful space where she has been putting out valuable content to bust fitness myths and put out relevant information.
What Should 2022 Look Like
Her main goal for 2022 is redefining the power of home workouts by building a platform & community that gives you the best on-demand strength-focused workouts to follow. A platform that caters to all levels of fitness, and can be accessed anywhere, anytime!
For more such inspiring stories, visit SocialBoat.
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