A Meet is Not a Workout

Iron Maidens was a glorious day of heavy metal and boundless energy. But the following day (or three), you might have felt like you were hit by a truck. How can that be? All you did were 9 lifts – seems like a lot less work than a long training session or a CrossFit class. But competing in a meet is more taxing than a workout. It is the culmination of hard training, and your emotional commitment is at its highest. Continue reading

GREAT prizes from women-owned businesses!

The Iron Maidens Open is all about strength, community, and support. But let’s be real, we’re also all about giving out GREAT PRIZES from generous sponsors to top lifters and fundraisers.

Here’s a line up of some (but not all) of our sponsors for Iron Maidens 2016, many of whom are women-owned and New York-based!

Cafe Grumpy 

Left Bank

Sara June Salon


SlantShack Jerky

Twig Terrariums

Big THANK YOU to all of these generous businesses for supporting us!



Planning Your Openers: Navigating Awesomeness Under Pressure

What It’s All About
Your opening attempt is key to a successful meet. This lift is about working out nerves, getting used to the judge’s calls, taking in the crowd, and, most importantly, getting a number on the board. The last thing you need to worry about is whether or not you have a chance of actually making the lift. Continue reading

Meet another Stay Strong applicant, Charlotte

Charlotte thought she was all set to graduate from Apex Beauty School at 135th and Lenox in 1979 with a cosmetology license.  She had completed her 1000 hours of study and taken all of her classes. She had paid for her tuition with Pell grants and a $2500 loan from the bank that Apex arranged for her. Then Apex shut down. And Charlotte didn’t get her license. “We couldn’t them, they just disappeared.” Charlotte had a child and a lot of responsibilities. She got in touch with the bank that held her loan and deferred it until she received her license. But she never did, Apex had gone out of business for good and they never issued licenses again, and didn’t refund any money. Continue reading

I Have to Weigh What? A Discussion of Weight Class

For those of you new to competing in a weight class sport, you may be feeling an added level of anxiety. Even seasoned competitors get anxious about “making weight.” It’s complicated enough to try to eat right to support your hard training – and now you have to worry about the scale? Feh.

In this post, I’ll give a background on the usefulness of weight classes, how Iron Maidens set its classes, advice on determining the best weight class for you, and how to negotiate cusps. Continue reading

Iron Maidens on Social Media!

Over the next 8 weeks, we want to keep connected through all the social medias: the Iron Maidens blog (right here!), our FB group: Iron Maidens Raw Open, and Twitter/IG @ironmaidensopen.

Follow us and don’t be shy about posting your training successes/challenges/questions/pics/vids.

Tag everything #IMstrong2016.

Meet our first Stay Strong applicant….

Throughout the months leading up to Iron Maidens, we will be sharing stories of some of the women who may be eligible to receive financial support through our Stay Strong Scholarship. We hope to shed light on the personal impact this Scholarship will make, and to inspire you in your fundraising efforts.

TS is a 19 year old woman from Antigua who is in her first semester of college at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. She takes 5 classes per semester so that she can get the most out of the money her mother pays out of pocket for TS’s full-time tuition. On top of that she plays soccer for the BMCC and South Bronx United teams, both for the love of soccer and in hopes that she will be scouted by a 4 year school that will offer her a scholarship. TS isn’t eligible for any other funding –  as an undocumented resident she cannot receive federal or state financial aid and the same rules apply to nearly every scholarship for community college students. She is applying for permanent residency status with the help of the legal team at South Bronx United.

In Antigua, TS was on the “20 under 20” team playing soccer to represent her country. She and her mother moved to New York in 2014 so that TS could get a good education and a job. In Antigua, TS’s mother worked as a security specialist  in Antigua. In New York she works as a babysitter, earning around $250 per week; they live with a friend. She puts aside as much money as possible each month for TS’s monthly tuition payment.

For the Fall semester TS had a $1000 scholarship from Grace Outreach to offset her $2548 tuition and fees (excluding book and transportation expenses). “There was some money already there so she just had to find the rest,” says TS. In the Spring there will be no additional money. TS is hoping to get her permanent status by next year. That will give her access to financial aid to pay for college, she’ll be able to get a job to help her mom, and they might even be able to get their own apartment. Until then she has no certainty if she’ll be able to pay for the 16 credits she’s signed up to take in the Spring.