Club Spotlight: Girl Gains Villanova


Girl Gains Villanova empowers women to work out and embrace body positivity.

Maddie Scheider, Staff Writer

This week’s club spotlight features a group of strong, empowered women known as Girl Gains Villanova. Established in 2023, this club seeks a bright future as it encourages women to feel confident and strong, in and out of the gym. Co-president, Isabella Balian, spoke to The Villanovan about her goals for the club and why she is so passionate about what it does. 

“Girl Gains is a nationwide female lifting organization that provides resources and community for women of all backgrounds and fitness levels,” Balian said. “The mission of girl gains is to promote female weightlifting while empowering women to feel strong and beautiful in a judgment free community. Overall, our main goal is to increase women’s presence in the weight room and encourage women to become their best selves mentally and physically.”

Balian also described her role as co-president to The Villanovan.

“As president, my co-president, Lilly Gabriello, and I are here to be communicators between the national chapter and Villanova’s chapter, as well as leading a campus community,” she said. “Our goal is to help girls at Villanova feel more comfortable walking into the gym and partaking in exercise that they feel most comfortable with. Walking into a male-dominated atmosphere can be really intimidating, especially at the gym, so part of our club is promoting female empowerment to help girls feel more comfortable.”

Apart from the inclusivity aspect of Girl Gains, Balian also shared some of the ways in which Girl Gains is different from other organizations on campus.

“Our buddy and group workouts have been some of the best parts so far in the club,” Balian said. “Monthly, we organize Girl Gains gym hours, where club members can work out with each other and get to know each other. Buddy workouts have also been awesome, giving the girls a chance to get paired with another member and coordinate a time to go to the gym together.”

The Villanovan asked Balian what the future of Girl Gains looks like. 

“We are really excited to start hosting more fitness events on and off campus for our community to participate in,” Balian said.

To spread the word on campus, it is important to know what Girl Gains’ core values are, especially for those interested in joining. 

“First, is body positivity,” Balian stated. “Workout because you love your body, not because you hate it. Balance and sustainability are key to living a healthy lifestyle and loving your body through every phase. Next is knowledge. Through experience, we aim to provide factual information to promote nutrition, mental health, proper lifting technique and more. Then, strength. Lifting takes physical and mental strength. The feeling that comes from reaching personal goals is so empowering and carries onto other aspects of life. And last, community. We aim to build an inclusive and judgment-free support system where everybody is welcome. We believe health should be accessible to everyone, which is why we invite women of all backgrounds to be a part of our family.”

Girl Gains aims to embrace these core values at the Villanova Chapter and are welcoming new members this semester onward. Follow its Instagram @girlgainsvillanova for more information.