I am the woman in the freeweights section of the gym

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Replies

  • AglaeaC
    AglaeaC Posts: 2,009 Member
    Who cares what other people think, say, or do at the gym? Be polite, don't be a fool, and all will go well. If you are concerned with people looking at you (why?) then work out at home, remember, you chose to go to the gym which is a public place, people have eyes, humans look at each other instinctively. Have a problem with someone at the gym? Take it up with an employee instead of the internet.
    Well. If you (general you) behave like a jerk in any other situation, I do have a plan on how to tackle it whether I choose to say something back to you or choose silence. But when it comes to my body, I personally am still fighting insecurities I felt as a pre-teen and teenager, regardless of how accomplished or not I'm in other areas. It's called insecurities for a reason and most of the time they aren't very rational, so you can't say "Just think in another way!" because god knows I'd be a totally different person if I'd had the opportunity to mold my personality somehow. I have genes and they have a life of their own, so all I can do is work constructively on my shortcomings.

    "This is the internet" is precisely that; people trying to figure out on their own how to do better, how to change, how to become stronger both mentally and physically, how to find balance - without going to a therapist but discussing with peers who get it. If you don't like that, feel free to choose threads where everyone is "done" already, all composed and lacking any kind of shortcomings/insecurities. I'm not picking a fight, but just trying to present another way of viewing the situation.

    I completely understand why someone - a female - would encourage men not to stare at her *kitten* whilst she's squatting. This is a thread where ladies are airing gym time and free weights in particular. If it helps even a handful of us noobs to actually venture into that area, I'd say the mission has been accomplished, no? And some guys have stopped by too, most very supportive and encouraging, which I find cool. And since one lady just had a subjectively bad experience, she chose to talk about it openly, which might in turn result in some (thread) lurkers realising they better stop ogling (when in the gym). I don't see the reason to lecture her for doing so, when the benefits could reach beyond her own gym. Looking at someone, then moving on to next thing to look at, is very different from staring up and down as well as showing a thumb up after all. It doesn't even have to be more than extroversion vs. introversion; I as an introvert can feel extremely self-conscious at times in public and most of the time I hate being centre of attention. But maybe we should all think and feel the same way? Sounds pretty boring to me.
  • kristen2713
    kristen2713 Posts: 253 Member
    Just wanted to post a quick update. I have since been back in the free weights section and I have to say - the fear has completely gone! It's a head game really - once you go in and realise that literally, no one cares that you are there, no one is pointing or laughing, you can just get on with it and do your workout.
    I had a problem with the smith machine and shouted some guy over to ask for his help............he hadn't a clue how to work the machine! lol - so some people are just as limited with their knowledge in there as me. I wasn't embarrassed asking and I thanked the guy anyway.

    For those who are still too scared to go in...............just do it.............if you're scared....do it scared - you will not die and you will be glad you did it!

    Congrats on facing your fear!! That's awesome!! I still have to join a gym to make it into the room, but I loved reading that you faced it and lived :flowerforyou:
  • Springfield1970
    Springfield1970 Posts: 1,945 Member
    Just wanted to post a quick update. I have since been back in the free weights section and I have to say - the fear has completely gone! It's a head game really - once you go in and realise that literally, no one cares that you are there, no one is pointing or laughing, you can just get on with it and do your workout.
    I had a problem with the smith machine and shouted some guy over to ask for his help............he hadn't a clue how to work the machine! lol - so some people are just as limited with their knowledge in there as me. I wasn't embarrassed asking and I thanked the guy anyway.

    For those who are still too scared to go in...............just do it.............if you're scared....do it scared - you will not die and you will be glad you did it!

    Fantastic! You will make new friends too. I love going to my gym (except for the odd jerk), and can't wait to get off the running machine and get that z bar loaded. Just wait until you see the results on your body too! Great thread!
  • MoreBean13
    MoreBean13 Posts: 8,702 Member
    Just wanted to post a quick update. I have since been back in the free weights section and I have to say - the fear has completely gone! It's a head game really - once you go in and realise that literally, no one cares that you are there, no one is pointing or laughing, you can just get on with it and do your workout.
    I had a problem with the smith machine and shouted some guy over to ask for his help............he hadn't a clue how to work the machine! lol - so some people are just as limited with their knowledge in there as me. I wasn't embarrassed asking and I thanked the guy anyway.

    For those who are still too scared to go in...............just do it.............if you're scared....do it scared - you will not die and you will be glad you did it!

    CONGRATULATIONS! I am so happy you conquered your fears!
  • MoreBean13
    MoreBean13 Posts: 8,702 Member
    Great post.

    But I have to admit. I'm sick of the bewbie pumping "I'm a girl who lifts" "I'm a woman in the weight room" cheer leading

    I'm just so over it. I just get really annoyed- I'm not big on gender separation- we are all here to work. I tend to say- "there were only 3 of us last night at the gym"

    not- there was only 1 girl and 2 guys at the gym last night.

    it's just- I dunno- so forced. I got really annoyed- some guy at my new gym gave me a thumbs up at some point because apparently my workout impressed him.

    I wanted to take my head phones out and say- while I appreciate the comment- do you really give EVERYONE in here a thumbs up who does a great work out? Or just good looking girls who are lifting more than you? I go to lift. I'm a person. period. what I do is not special. Just go in- do the work and stop thinking you're **** don't stink. You're like everyone else there lifting.

    That being said- (and this was not a dig at the OP or anyone specific- just the general idea I guess) the original post IS excellent and is something that's been repeated over and over in countless threads.

    Have a plan
    Go in
    Do the thing
    Lather Rinse Repeat.

    I get you.

    I was fuming and toe curlingly embarrassed for the (new) guy that stood behind me while I was doing squats the other day, looking me up and down and gggggrrrrrrr the thumbs up in the mirror. All my gym buddies were looking at the floor. I felt like a child and oddly sexualised. The funny thing is, I was lifting similar weights to him. I think he was about 20. I'm 43.

    Guys please don't ever do this stuff! Don't look at our arses when we squat or dead lift it's so impolite and we are aware how much they stick out when we lift. Mine has it's own centre of gravity, small children rotate around it, don't give it any more attention.

    What would you have said? I think next time I'll do the same to him and stare at his groin and blow kisses at it.

    I would probably say something like "Oh, were you trying to get my attention? Did you need to tell me something? In the future if you need to tell me something, please try and get my attention between sets. It's really distracting when you're staring at me during a set and it's dangerous to be distracted with weight on my back"
  • Springfield1970
    Springfield1970 Posts: 1,945 Member
    Make sure you have a plan, that is all.

    Who cares what other people think, say, or do at the gym? Be polite, don't be a fool, and all will go well. If you are concerned with people looking at you (why?) then work out at home, remember, you chose to go to the gym which is a public place, people have eyes, humans look at each other instinctively. Have a problem with someone at the gym? Take it up with an employee instead of the internet.

    Haha! Don't get me wrong...I love people looking at me at the gym. I'm unusual and inspiring and enjoy the attention my hard work has gotten me. My gym experience is a pleasure from beginning to end. I've just never had anyone so blatantly stare at my *kitten*, pull crying faces, do a little dance, looking at his mates to join in and look too, and thumbs up me in the mirror WHILE I WAS SQUATTING MY BODYWEIGHT. Now that's not just a fool, it's a distracting and dangerous one. I also was surrounded my regular guys who were pretty mortified too.

    I'm just pointing out some of the adversities us ladies deal with yet still push through and kill it in the gym. On the internet, in an internet chat about....well ladies lifting heavy in the gym.

    OK?
  • Who said I didn't like people venting on the internet, I simply said if you have an issue with another member at the gym, talk to an employee because stating your concern on the internet will not fix the problem.

    A glance is different from continuously looking at someone, no doubt. Welcome to the gym, where an entire cross-section of the population goes to have fun, feel better. drop weight, etc. You are bound to run into idiots like this, ignore them or confront them, doing nothing will not produce a result. Also, if you think you are doing an exercise incorrectly and you feel like people in the gym are piercing through your skin with their eyes, ask an employee for help, you will feel better knowing you are doing something correctly, and you may just prevent an injury.

    I'm sorry if you took offence to my post, my post was not intended to offend anyone, it was intended to show different routes on handling situations. I've been going to the gym for 17 years, and have experienced a lot of situations, I thought I could help.
  • I get it, I wouldn't want a guy or girl gazing at me while I was doing squats either, definitely weird. I was not using your post as an example, I was just being general trying to point out alternative avenues in dealing with mirror fever :)
  • Springfield1970
    Springfield1970 Posts: 1,945 Member
    Who said I didn't like people venting on the internet, I simply said if you have an issue with another member at the gym, talk to an employee because stating your concern on the internet will not fix the problem.

    A glance is different from continuously looking at someone, no doubt. Welcome to the gym, where an entire cross-section of the population goes to have fun, feel better. drop weight, etc. You are bound to run into idiots like this, ignore them or confront them, doing nothing will not produce a result. Also, if you think you are doing an exercise incorrectly and you feel like people in the gym are piercing through your skin with their eyes, ask an employee for help, you will feel better knowing you are doing something correctly, and you may just prevent an injury.

    I'm sorry if you took offence to my post, my post was not intended to offend anyone, it was intended to show different routes on handling situations. I've been going to the gym for 17 years, and have experienced a lot of situations, I thought I could help.

    Apology accepted. The beauty of this thread is to be able to share things like that, far removed from reality and bond with others similar experiences.

    In real life, there's just no way I could go to an employee and complain about that. Now that's embarrassing and would do nothing to fix the problem, it would make it worse and I'd feel like a baby. I'd rather hope that men had the grace and humility to not be so patronising and belittling, which they are, except for the odd jerk.

    Your 'welcome to the gym' ...ooh thank you soooo much, I was wondering where I was...Kansas? Is falling on deaf ears. I've been lifting longer than you have, your advice about telling tales isn't going to work. I like your confronting advice though. Make a joke or high five or something. Problem is...I'm not laughing when I'm at the gym, I'm listening to Biggie and trying not to shout muthf*c* TOO loud so the old dears in the yoga class next door can't hear it.
  • Confronting works, if someone bumps into me and they don't say excuse me, I make a point of taking my headphones off and saying it for them :)

    Thanks for your reply.
  • I'm also the woman in the freeweight area (tho not the only strength trainer, there are a couple TRX/crossfit gals). I go in there but I'm generally terrified and don't make eye contact. Heheh...
  • str8bowbabe
    str8bowbabe Posts: 712 Member
    My bench and weights are in my bedroom. Sometimes there's men in there but I'm ALWAYS the only woman. :laugh:

    Seriously great tips.

    LMAO!!!
  • RivenV
    RivenV Posts: 1,667 Member
    watch?v=7VBDNOwjDtk
  • It is great and I totally agree with you, women are dominating men in the gym

    http://www.contoursexpress.com.sg/
  • ironchick84
    ironchick84 Posts: 27 Member
    Bumping
  • GMHurt
    GMHurt Posts: 1 Member
    Started a new gym today- straight into the weight room and warmed up with the guy befores max, go for it ladies!
  • ell_v131
    ell_v131 Posts: 349 Member
    Love this post! I learned to LOVE that I am the only woman in my gym who lifts, and as early as I go, it's just me and a few regular guys and girls on treadmills. I feel empowered to be there working hard.

    I travel a lot so work out in hotel gyms and last week I was lifting while 3 guys were marathoning on the ellipticals. It felt good to see the stereotyped ways reversed for once.

    All I can say is if you're not lifting yet, read a couple books, watch youtube videos and DO IT! It's awesome :)
  • Praying_Mantis
    Praying_Mantis Posts: 239 Member
    Thanks OP, great post!

    Our company has a trainer 2 x a week and I started there. I walked up to the trainer one afternoon & I was so anxious that I actually started tearing up when I told him I wanted to work out. I think he was a startled as I was that I had such a strong reaction to simply expressing my desire to get fit. (I mean REALLY? crying just talking about it??? <--- weird) I'm skinny fat so all anyone tells me is that I don't need to lose weight. Yeah, I know. I'm not trying to lose weight; I'm trying to get strong.

    So anyway, my work has a small gym where I go over lunch -- sessions with the trainer in a very small group setting (never more than 4 other people, kind of circuit-type training) or I go after work by myself & use the free weights if I miss lunchtime workout. I wasn't exactly intimidated, but I also had exactly no idea what to do and in what order, so taking the time to talk to the trainer and attending the lunchtime workouts definitely helped.

    Now my frustration is that the weights I'm able to lift are colored, so everyone can see exactly how weak I am. I hate it. I'd rather be using standard equipment just like everybody else. I tried using just the plates, but felt like a numbskull.

    The final hurdle for me continues to be in the locker room. Not growing up with sports or even using the gym in college, I find the locker room the most intimidating. Yes, yes, we all have the same parts. But I’m just not ready for that much exposure – neither of myself nor of the other women. Maybe because I’m at work?
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,596 Member
    The final hurdle for me continues to be in the locker room. Not growing up with sports or even using the gym in college, I find the locker room the most intimidating. Yes, yes, we all have the same parts. But I’m just not ready for that much exposure – neither of myself nor of the other women. Maybe because I’m at work?

    Face the lockers when you change. Or you can be the douche that changes in the bathroom stall or shower until you get past your discomfort. If the locker room doesn't have curtains on the showers, you may need to consider a different gym. 'Cos that's just ridiculous.
  • randomtai
    randomtai Posts: 9,014 Member
    The final hurdle for me continues to be in the locker room. Not growing up with sports or even using the gym in college, I find the locker room the most intimidating. Yes, yes, we all have the same parts. But I’m just not ready for that much exposure – neither of myself nor of the other women. Maybe because I’m at work?

    Face the lockers when you change. Or you can be the douche that changes in the bathroom stall or shower until you get past your discomfort. If the locker room doesn't have curtains on the showers, you may need to consider a different gym. 'Cos that's just ridiculous.

    Why is it douchy to change in the bathroom or shower? :huh: :huh: :huh: :huh: :huh: :huh: