Don’t Flatter Yourself; it’s Not All About You

I know stepping into the weightroom can be intimidating for females.  Heck, even for some guys it can be a scary place – a sweaty dungeon oozing with testosterone…doesn’t sound ideal for everyone.

Remember the gym is a place for you to get done what you need to get done.  Whether you’re in there for 30mins or 60 mins, it’s your time and you need to make the most of it.  Many women restrict themselves to the aerobics section because that’s what they are used to and is what they feel comfortable doing.  It’s essentially their ‘default setting’.  This may be because:

– they don’t have an interest in weights

-they don’t understand the benefits of weightlifting

they don’t feel comfortable being around weights/a bunch of sweaty men. 

I don’t expect to turn every female reading this into a weightlifting animal, nor do I think I fully understand what it’s like to be a woman in a male dominated area of the gym.  I don’t believe anyone can fully understand someone else’s situation until they actually put themselves in that very situation.

I do want to share a few things in hopes of tearing down a couple barriers in the gym though.

As the title states:  “it’s not all about you” (ladies).  I don’t mean to let you down, but this is true.  Although you may feel the whole world is looking at you when you pick up a couple dumbbells and lift them, this is rarely true.

Keep in mind that males love seeing females in the gym, especially in the weights area.  That’s where we get to strut our stuff and show off.  When you walk in there, males will automatically think about how they look, and how they are performing their exercises.  We want to look good too you know! Females rarely come around the weights, and when they do, males certainly want to be on point.

I don’t believe there should be any male or female areas to a gym, although it is becoming increasingly popular to outfit gyms with ‘female only’ areas.  Unfortunately this is partly due to self esteem, body image, and general confidence levels being destroyed by mainstream media.

There are also quite a few strictly female gyms in North America and Europe.  To steal a line from Nick Tumminello, there are no male or female exercises, just exercises.  So don’t ever think that you’re doing ‘manly exercises’ or are doing the wrong thing.  Unless you’re doing something like this:

.

It’s attractive to see a female walk into a gym and throw around a bit of weight.  We don’t (at least people I surround myself with) scrutinize women for lifting weights.  We don’t constantly look at what you’re doing, think you’re silly for lifting,  nor do we have negative thoughts towards you.  Many of the times you see males looking at you, it’s to see if you’re looking at them! It’s the classic ‘checking out’ game.  Don’t assume whenever a guy looks at you, it’s them thinking “what the hell is she doing in here?!”

I know it’s tough to not be self conscious, especially in such a male dominated area, but I’m asking you to just try. Do what you have to do and get on with your day.   A girl who comes in, hits the weights like it’s her J-O-B and moves on is a superhero in my mind.

 Be confident in what you do.  The gym (and weights) are there for everybody.  Don’t neglect your body because you feel strange in a certain area of the gym.  Remember all those talks you’ve had since middle/high school about stepping out of our comfort zone? Now’s your chance!

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2 Comments on “Don’t Flatter Yourself; it’s Not All About You”

  1. A Handbook for Fitness & Wellness Professionals September 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Not sure what I like better: the post, or the Wonder Woman picture/reference. I’m heading down to the weight room now….

  2. Jeremy Smith September 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    There was only one superhero who came to mind. It was just a matter of finding the best pic!

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