Official shewolf Yarishna Ayala
WOLFpak Women: The WOLFpak Mentality to Strive, Thrive & Achieve
Being a woman in the fitness industry isn't a small challenge. That’s why here at WOLFpak we ensure that we sponsor male and female athletes equally, to ensure our brand represents our values of equality and the power of fitness. In this article we’re going to introduce you to our new sponsored athlete - Yarishna Ayala - a true sheWOLF that represents our brand to the core.
We’re also going to consider the role of women in fitness, what adversities they face that are unique to men, and why here at WOLFpak we’re committed to highlighting the female successes in the industry.
Women in fitness
In the fitness world, the lack of gender equity is one of the many challenges women face. Bodybuilding, among many other sports, are male-dominated. Men involved in bodybuilding significantly outweigh the amount of women, which can make it intimidating to start. In fact, the first female bodybuilding competition happened in 1980. By comparison, the male's premier title, Mr. Olympia had its inaugural year in 1963. Though the development of bodybuilding as a sport is generally attributed as far back as the late 1800's.
However, more women than ever are working out in gyms and entering bodybuilding competitions - we love to see it! But that doesn’t mean they are presented with a unique set of adversities.
Adversities faced by women in fitness
According to this article published by Gym Beam, a well-built woman is considered by some people to be less attractive - with some claiming they "look like a man."
For women who pursue bodybuilding as a career path, they may be afraid of altering the societally deemed ‘attractive’ features of their bodies. For example, as breast tissue is mainly made up of fat, losing a lot of body fat may cause a woman's breast size to decrease, adding to the 'manly' image of a bodybuilding woman. This is perhaps why rates of breast implants are higher amongst female bodybuilders compared to the general population.
This prospect can be intimidating to women just entering the fitness world or starting to workout, who are scared of getting too built too quickly or creating a masucline physique, and so opt for the elliptical and other cardio machines to try and ‘tone up’. Unfortunately, this common misconception is hugely inaccurate. We’ll debunk this, keep reading.
As a woman chasing her passion for fitness, she needs to constantly battle the beauty standards of society and the male hegemony. For instance, in sports where women and men compete equally, the sexual differences between the two genders are often highlighted. Women are perceived as lesser competitors, and mostly, in photographs, their body aesthetics are more in focus than their acts or performance in their sport.
The obstructions placed by gender differences in male-dominated fields make it harder for women to follow their dreams passionately. For this reason, women require a lot of strength, perseverance, and loyalty to continue pursuing the fitness journey. These are similar to the qualities of the WOLFpak community - being unforgiving and relentless in the pursuit of one's goals.
Why more women should lift weights
Lifting heavy burns more calories per 30 minutes than a number of other forms of exercise like bike riding, yoga or walking according to Harvard Health. A 155 pound person will burn 223 calories in 30 minutes on average, and you’ll continue to burn calories at a higher rate throughout the day as your muscles recover.
The more muscle mass you have, the faster your resting metabolism is, which means you’re burning more calories throughout the day even at rest. Every pound of muscle burns around six extra calories per day while at rest, and more if you’re exercising according to this study.
Plus lifting heavy also helps to regulate your hormones which can help you sculpt your physique. A study published in 2011 discussed how women with high estrogen levels typically store more subcutaneous fat around the stomach and hip areas so getting this regulated can help with evening out fat storage to help you look lean, toned and hourglass.
So rather than making you bulky, lifting heavy weights actually makes you burn more fat, whether you’re male or female. We hope that by debunking the myth of getting ‘bulky’ or ‘manly’ will motivate some women to keep pushing forward on their fitness journey.
Introducing: Yarishna Ayala
Here at WOLFpak we discovered the WOLFpak mentality in the new member of our team and family, Yarishna Ayala, who is now an Official SheWOLF. Essentially, she proved to the world that perseverance could lead you wherever you want regardless of any gender-based adversities that may have been faced.
Yarishna Ayala (full name Yarishna Nicole Ayala Otaro), the Puerto Rican Queen, is a well-renowned bikini model. She started training at a point in her life when she was worried about her accomplishments and felt that there was no future. In 2012 she participated in a reality TV show as a professional dancer along with her sister. She wasn’t yet aware of the direction she was headed in.
She felt the need to be more active, and that is when she entered the gym and hired a personal trainer for herself. After rigorous training, sweat, and tears, Ayala built her form and participated in many shows where she made incredible achievements.
Her most recent achievement is at the IFBB New York Pro Wellness Division in 2021. The Wellness Division is for females with athletic physique with more body mass in the glutes and thigh region. Achieving a Pro card is not a child's play; it is a golden ticket that shows that you have put in the work and effort to be where you are in the bodybuilding industry.
Yarishna Ayala also offers online coaching and training sessions. In addition, her website provides workout accessories, apparel, and posters for people who aspire to be fit and well-built.
This year, Yarishna Ayala is busy training for the 2021 Olympia Inaugural Wellness Division. As the popularity of the Wellness Division continues to grow among people, The 2021 Olympics is excited to give these athletes a chance to showcase their skill, perseverance, and grandeur.
All in all, our newest member Yarishna Ayala paves the way for women in the bodybuilding and sports industry and sends the world a loud message; that a woman walks in her own footsteps instead of following the direction shown.
Opinions differ about fitness when it comes to gender discrepancies; some believe that women and men should train the same way despite the different ways their bodies work due to hormones. At the same time, others believe that women should not train like men because of the biological differences in their bodies.
Ultimately, it depends on every individual and their body type. Only the athlete can tell what works for him or her through trial and error. The point of focus is that it will always be difficult for women to chase their dreams with a passion unless issues such as the wage gap between male and female athletes, recognition, and body shaming are tackled head-on.
However, the strong women who follow their dreams and pave the way for others are commendable, just like Yarishna Ayala. To find out more about her, visit WOLFpak. Our products are to help you move a step closer to your fitness dreams!