Why do so many ladies not lift?

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Replies

  • TrailNurse
    TrailNurse Posts: 359 Member
    My gym is full of female lifters....like me. ;)
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,755 Member
    Just a question for ladies who are lifting: Do you generally go to the gym alone? What about a spotter? Or is the weight generally not so high as to need a spotter?

    I go alone and end sets with 5-10 reps, and thus do not need a spotter.

    (I'm not squatting due to bad knees.)
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,755 Member
    edited December 2015
    As a woman who recently decided she wants to lift, I have to say it isn't easy to get started.
    joinn68 wrote: »
    I have been to gyms and told the trainers I wanted to lift heavy but they always show me low weight high rep exercises. Even when I insist I get nowhere.

    The other thing is finding "programs" that work. It is all so complex. I can pop in any exercise video and lift my cute purple dumbbells fine. But anything (heavy) weight lifting seems to come as a "program" with exercise descriptions that require deciphering, and that can be daunting. My current gym also doesn't have barbells so all the recommendations about SL and 5x5s don't do much for me. (I just discovered darebee with clear descriptions, pictures and no barbells!)
    This is also my experience. There's only one gym in the area, and when I went there for a trial session and told the trainer my goals were to "build muscle" and "get stronger", after a 20min-warmup on the elliptical he first stuck me in "body sculpting" class (lots of walking, some lunges, crunches, jumping jacks). When I insisted that that was not what I wanted to do, I wanted to train with weights, he lead me into the "ladies area", where I was supposed to use 5 machines and do 5 sets of 25 reps each. After I pointed out that I would be more interested in free weights, he told me I needed to do 12 weeks of the "lady strength circle" as preparation, and if I still was unhappy with that training plan after that, we could look into changing it.
    [as I side note: I've seen the same trainer doing intro sessions with new members a few times since, and the women always end up in the cardio/class area, while he shows the men around the weights floor...]

    I gave up on getting advice from the trainer and went looking online for training plans and was faced with the same problem as joinn68: no barbells in my gym, nearly all programme recommendations like NROL, SL, 5x5 require barebells. After quite a bit of research and some money wasted on two books which weren't as useful to me as I had hoped, I finally managed to conjure up a dumbbell routine to get me started...

    For anyone who does not belong to your gym :) and is unsure where to start, my recommendation is to take a session or two with a trainer. I took a cheap four session group session at the Y and afterwards was comfortable going into any gym and doing my thing.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,755 Member
    edited December 2015
    I'm surprised at the number of people who see an equal, or close to equal distribution of genders. As a former yoga teacher, I have been to dozens of gyms in three different states and have always observed many, many more males to females in the free weight section. (Women do seem to be a bit more comfortable with the weight machines.)
  • RoseTheWarrior
    RoseTheWarrior Posts: 2,035 Member
    edited December 2015
    I'll just interject that sometimes the trainers are bad, and push women to the machines and the cardio equipment, as they tend to do at the gym I go to. I said "I want to lift weights" and they say "ok, here are the machines". "NO DUDE, I want to really lift weights!!!" "What? You mean the machines right? You should start with machines." DOH!!!!
  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
    edited December 2015
    My gym is mainly men and boy-men in the free weights section, apart from a small number of awesome women..probably under 5 do free weights in a gym that generally has about 40-50 people in there (it's big)

    What I love is that it seems to be the older women leading the way on compound lifting in the main ...those in their 40s and up and they look feckin' awesome. Bodies that many women half their age would aspire to have.

    TBH I rarely go in free weights section without my trainer...there's only 2 racks (and one is a smith machine) and 4 benches and I tend to prefer cable/ TRX/ kettlebells and dumbbells when I'm alone

  • Qskim
    Qskim Posts: 1,145 Member
    edited December 2015
    @JaneiR36 I had to laugh at myself last bench press..took my glasses off just in case I dropped the bar...hmm...think I'd have more than glasses to worry about.

    Those massive fails, I think are people overly faithful in their ability. Like those parkour vids.

    Any other injury I've had has been outside of deliberate exercise...periformis from shopping trolley (6 months to recover 100%), tailbone from roller skating (12 months), pregnancy (haha) and now this wrist crap which is going on 7 weeks now!

    I don't really have to interact much. I did burp rather loudly once cos I forgot I had company. (Headphones on). Oops. Lucky it was that end.
    grace173 wrote: »
    What is a ladies idea of lifting heavy? as a matter of interest

    For myself, I think of it as lifting smart, not just heavier which does happen cos progression. I have limitations, I work around them and there's satisfaction in that. My goals and context aren't quite the same as my neighbour who competes in lifting comps.

    I sort of cringe for those new to the idea when the term heavy is used and agree with @cwolfman13 and @Sabine_Stroehm because it's not always about how heavy or rather who's heaviest. Just depends on goals, ability etc. Everyone has to start somewhere.
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    As a woman who recently decided she wants to lift, I have to say it isn't easy to get started.
    joinn68 wrote: »
    I have been to gyms and told the trainers I wanted to lift heavy but they always show me low weight high rep exercises. Even when I insist I get nowhere.

    The other thing is finding "programs" that work. It is all so complex. I can pop in any exercise video and lift my cute purple dumbbells fine. But anything (heavy) weight lifting seems to come as a "program" with exercise descriptions that require deciphering, and that can be daunting. My current gym also doesn't have barbells so all the recommendations about SL and 5x5s don't do much for me. (I just discovered darebee with clear descriptions, pictures and no barbells!)
    This is also my experience. There's only one gym in the area, and when I went there for a trial session and told the trainer my goals were to "build muscle" and "get stronger", after a 20min-warmup on the elliptical he first stuck me in "body sculpting" class (lots of walking, some lunges, crunches, jumping jacks). When I insisted that that was not what I wanted to do, I wanted to train with weights, he lead me into the "ladies area", where I was supposed to use 5 machines and do 5 sets of 25 reps each. After I pointed out that I would be more interested in free weights, he told me I needed to do 12 weeks of the "lady strength circle" as preparation, and if I still was unhappy with that training plan after that, we could look into changing it.
    [as I side note: I've seen the same trainer doing intro sessions with new members a few times since, and the women always end up in the cardio/class area, while he shows the men around the weights floor...]

    I gave up on getting advice from the trainer and went looking online for training plans and was faced with the same problem as joinn68: no barbells in my gym, nearly all programme recommendations like NROL, SL, 5x5 require barebells. After quite a bit of research and some money wasted on two books which weren't as useful to me as I had hoped, I finally managed to conjure up a dumbbell routine to get me started...

    For anyone who does not belong to your gym :) and is unsure where to start, my recommendation is to take a session or two with a trainer. I took a cheap four session group session at the Y and afterwards was comfortable going into any gym and doing my thing.

    I agree, find a good PT to help with starting. Shop around. Ask a lot of questions - research helps with knowing what to ask. I had a PT for long time (help with injuries, joints). Finally went out on my own this year but every gym session I think of her and I'm grateful for what she taught me.
    I'll just interject that sometimes the trainers are bad, and push women to the machines and the cardio equipment, as they tend to do at the gym I go to. I said "I want to lift weights" and they say "ok, here are the machines". "NO DUDE, I want to really lift weights!!!" "What? You mean the machines right? You should start with machines." DOH!!!!

    I have seen this too at my gym (female gym too - great crèche a first priority for me). My PT had her own personal studio. If I needed a PT again, I'd go back to her. I sometimes wonder if I'd have stayed this interested with a different trainer.

    I do feel the women are initially coralled off to cardio or machines unless you're with a trainer. That comes back to yourself having confidence in what you're doing though and the gym then meeting market demand. I don't think the trainers are bad, just realistic perhaps. What I've seen of their training is mostly compound, it's pretty good. I'd have to say, alot of the cardio involves barbells, body resistance (yoga), suspension training so it's intense and I can see the attraction for that as well. As long as it's not me though, I like breathing and standing upright by the end haha (yes I need a tad more cardio).
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,725 Member
    joinn68 wrote: »
    aggelikik wrote: »
    moyer566 wrote: »
    Many women lift here

    I don't lift, I don't want to. I lift myself and have no interest in weights
    23571433661_52be5de1c0_n.jpg

    I am so jealous ! I have wanted to try this for so long, but I suffer from vertigo which I have been told is one of the very few reasons not to try aerial yoga :( I have a friend who teaches, and even she would not let me.

    Until I saw your comment and had a second look, I thought (and wondering why) the picture as upside down B)

    Had to check myself on this one, I screamed and laughed so hard!! :laugh:
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,725 Member
    RGv2 wrote: »
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    RGv2 wrote: »
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    Why the stereotype here?

    I'll be honest, i'm kind of getting tired of this generalization coupled with the fact that women *must* lift weights if they want to be "cool, fit, attractive" and so on. It's perpetuated on MyFitnessPal so much that it's borderline ridiculous.

    If some woman prefers to dance, to run, to swim, to play tennis, to do WHATEVER, why is she barred from the *cool kids club*? I'm just saying.

    Let's not even get into the fact not not everyone wants to look like a bodybuilder or a fitness model.

    Well said.

    I concur! I put a lot of effort into becoming a runner over the last year, because I'd rather be able to run than lift. I am slim now, but quite fluffy, so I've done some lifting. I saw some results and I keep it up a little, but the feeling I get from lifting is nothing to the adrenaline rush and pure joy I felt when I finally ran a 25 min 5k. It's horses for courses, isn't it? If a lady doesn't lift because she's scared or intimidated, that might be sad, but if a lady doesn't lift because she doesn't want to, then what's the big deal? Sure, sculpted abs might be awesome, but give me a lung-bursting run any day.

    Why not both, especially if it means improving your 5K time. Getting more serious in the weight room definitely assisted my running and helped me break 20 min (5K)/43 min (10K), and I didn't make any changes to my cardio regimen.

    Why does it always have to be one or the other with some people?

    I hope you can see the irony in this statement.

    Enlighten me.

    I'm not sure, but the woman did say she keeps up with her lifting a little. It was the first thing that jumped out at me when I read your initial response
  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,736 Member
    RGv2 wrote: »
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    Why the stereotype here?

    I'll be honest, i'm kind of getting tired of this generalization coupled with the fact that women *must* lift weights if they want to be "cool, fit, attractive" and so on. It's perpetuated on MyFitnessPal so much that it's borderline ridiculous.

    If some woman prefers to dance, to run, to swim, to play tennis, to do WHATEVER, why is she barred from the *cool kids club*? I'm just saying.

    Let's not even get into the fact not not everyone wants to look like a bodybuilder or a fitness model.

    Well said.

    I concur! I put a lot of effort into becoming a runner over the last year, because I'd rather be able to run than lift. I am slim now, but quite fluffy, so I've done some lifting. I saw some results and I keep it up a little, but the feeling I get from lifting is nothing to the adrenaline rush and pure joy I felt when I finally ran a 25 min 5k. It's horses for courses, isn't it? If a lady doesn't lift because she's scared or intimidated, that might be sad, but if a lady doesn't lift because she doesn't want to, then what's the big deal? Sure, sculpted abs might be awesome, but give me a lung-bursting run any day.

    Why not both, especially if it means improving your 5K time. Getting more serious in the weight room definitely assisted my running and helped me break 20 min (5K)/43 min (10K), and I didn't make any changes to my cardio regimen.

    Why does it always have to be one or the other with some people?

    I lift heavy and run too. Lots of distance runners lift to optimize their running times. That's why I made the comment on the photo of the Olympic runners.
  • RGv2
    RGv2 Posts: 5,789 Member
    edited December 2015
    JaneiR36 wrote: »
    RGv2 wrote: »
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    RGv2 wrote: »
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    Why the stereotype here?

    I'll be honest, i'm kind of getting tired of this generalization coupled with the fact that women *must* lift weights if they want to be "cool, fit, attractive" and so on. It's perpetuated on MyFitnessPal so much that it's borderline ridiculous.

    If some woman prefers to dance, to run, to swim, to play tennis, to do WHATEVER, why is she barred from the *cool kids club*? I'm just saying.

    Let's not even get into the fact not not everyone wants to look like a bodybuilder or a fitness model.

    Well said.

    I concur! I put a lot of effort into becoming a runner over the last year, because I'd rather be able to run than lift. I am slim now, but quite fluffy, so I've done some lifting. I saw some results and I keep it up a little, but the feeling I get from lifting is nothing to the adrenaline rush and pure joy I felt when I finally ran a 25 min 5k. It's horses for courses, isn't it? If a lady doesn't lift because she's scared or intimidated, that might be sad, but if a lady doesn't lift because she doesn't want to, then what's the big deal? Sure, sculpted abs might be awesome, but give me a lung-bursting run any day.

    Why not both, especially if it means improving your 5K time. Getting more serious in the weight room definitely assisted my running and helped me break 20 min (5K)/43 min (10K), and I didn't make any changes to my cardio regimen.

    Why does it always have to be one or the other with some people?

    I hope you can see the irony in this statement.

    Enlighten me.

    I'm not sure, but the woman did say she keeps up with her lifting a little. It was the first thing that jumped out at me when I read your initial response

    A little....that what you're hanging the irony hat on......alrighty then.
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,725 Member
    RGv2 wrote: »
    JaneiR36 wrote: »
    RGv2 wrote: »
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    RGv2 wrote: »
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    Why the stereotype here?

    I'll be honest, i'm kind of getting tired of this generalization coupled with the fact that women *must* lift weights if they want to be "cool, fit, attractive" and so on. It's perpetuated on MyFitnessPal so much that it's borderline ridiculous.

    If some woman prefers to dance, to run, to swim, to play tennis, to do WHATEVER, why is she barred from the *cool kids club*? I'm just saying.

    Let's not even get into the fact not not everyone wants to look like a bodybuilder or a fitness model.

    Well said.

    I concur! I put a lot of effort into becoming a runner over the last year, because I'd rather be able to run than lift. I am slim now, but quite fluffy, so I've done some lifting. I saw some results and I keep it up a little, but the feeling I get from lifting is nothing to the adrenaline rush and pure joy I felt when I finally ran a 25 min 5k. It's horses for courses, isn't it? If a lady doesn't lift because she's scared or intimidated, that might be sad, but if a lady doesn't lift because she doesn't want to, then what's the big deal? Sure, sculpted abs might be awesome, but give me a lung-bursting run any day.

    Why not both, especially if it means improving your 5K time. Getting more serious in the weight room definitely assisted my running and helped me break 20 min (5K)/43 min (10K), and I didn't make any changes to my cardio regimen.

    Why does it always have to be one or the other with some people?

    I hope you can see the irony in this statement.

    Enlighten me.

    I'm not sure, but the woman did say she keeps up with her lifting a little. It was the first thing that jumped out at me when I read your initial response

    A little....that what you're hanging the irony hat on......alrighty then.

    Literally prefaced my statement with "I'm not sure" [if that's where the irony is coming from]. You'd have to ask the lifter/runner what "a little" means in her context. Example, For a marathoner, "a little" lifting could still be a couple times a week
  • ilovesweeties
    ilovesweeties Posts: 84 Member
    JaneiR36 wrote: »
    RGv2 wrote: »
    JaneiR36 wrote: »
    RGv2 wrote: »
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    RGv2 wrote: »
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    Why the stereotype here?

    I'll be honest, i'm kind of getting tired of this generalization coupled with the fact that women *must* lift weights if they want to be "cool, fit, attractive" and so on. It's perpetuated on MyFitnessPal so much that it's borderline ridiculous.

    If some woman prefers to dance, to run, to swim, to play tennis, to do WHATEVER, why is she barred from the *cool kids club*? I'm just saying.

    Let's not even get into the fact not not everyone wants to look like a bodybuilder or a fitness model.

    Well said.

    I concur! I put a lot of effort into becoming a runner over the last year, because I'd rather be able to run than lift. I am slim now, but quite fluffy, so I've done some lifting. I saw some results and I keep it up a little, but the feeling I get from lifting is nothing to the adrenaline rush and pure joy I felt when I finally ran a 25 min 5k. It's horses for courses, isn't it? If a lady doesn't lift because she's scared or intimidated, that might be sad, but if a lady doesn't lift because she doesn't want to, then what's the big deal? Sure, sculpted abs might be awesome, but give me a lung-bursting run any day.

    Why not both, especially if it means improving your 5K time. Getting more serious in the weight room definitely assisted my running and helped me break 20 min (5K)/43 min (10K), and I didn't make any changes to my cardio regimen.

    Why does it always have to be one or the other with some people?

    I hope you can see the irony in this statement.

    Enlighten me.

    I'm not sure, but the woman did say she keeps up with her lifting a little. It was the first thing that jumped out at me when I read your initial response

    A little....that what you're hanging the irony hat on......alrighty then.

    Literally prefaced my statement with "I'm not sure" [if that's where the irony is coming from]. You'd have to ask the lifter/runner what "a little" means in her context. Example, For a marathoner, "a little" lifting could still be a couple times a week

    "A little" lifting, for me, means working out once a week with weights, progressive loading, and once or twice a week bodyweight work. I am also running two or three times a week. I only have access to free weights once a week. It's not exactly "all or nothing", but I am prepared only to fit 4-5 half hour exercise sessions into my week. Exercise is a priority, but I don't want to make it any more of a focus. However, I am prepared to accept slower (or no) progress because of that. I have chosen to focus more on running, because I feel like I get more out of it, physically and mentally. There's one other reason I initially started with running- I really wanted to be able to catch my kids in a game of tag and not be out of breath in the first 10 seconds. Perhaps that's just what I should have said first off!
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,178 Member
    edited December 2015
    kimiuzzell wrote: »
    Justin Bieber????? Ohhhkaaaay.....!!!

    I had to pick some dude with no muscles - he was the first one that came to mind LOL

    I am definitely not a fan, so I was not even sure how he looks and you made me google him. He does not appear like a good example of a no-muscle boy. I suspect the average teen stepping in a weight room would be more than thrilled to eventually look like him.
  • BinaryPulsar
    BinaryPulsar Posts: 8,927 Member
    I think this is often a worry of the significant others of women. I know my hubby thinks I'm going to get bigger muscles than him LOL. My response... "you better lift too so you can stay ahead of me."

    I lift the weights. And then my husband lifts me.
  • RoseTheWarrior
    RoseTheWarrior Posts: 2,035 Member
    aggelikik wrote: »
    kimiuzzell wrote: »
    Justin Bieber????? Ohhhkaaaay.....!!!

    I had to pick some dude with no muscles - he was the first one that came to mind LOL

    I am definitely not a fan, so I was not even sure how he looks and you made me google him. He does not appear like a good example of a no-muscle boy. I suspect the average teen stepping in a weight room would be more than thrilled to eventually look like him.

    He must have started working out since the last time I saw his pic. He was a skinny dude with stupid hair - that's what I remember : :p
  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,233 Member
    joinn68 wrote: »
    aggelikik wrote: »
    moyer566 wrote: »
    Many women lift here

    I don't lift, I don't want to. I lift myself and have no interest in weights
    23571433661_52be5de1c0_n.jpg

    I am so jealous ! I have wanted to try this for so long, but I suffer from vertigo which I have been told is one of the very few reasons not to try aerial yoga :( I have a friend who teaches, and even she would not let me.

    Until I saw your comment and had a second look, I thought (and wondering why) the picture as upside down B)

    I do love inversions
    14229650093_235ebeca70_n.jpgr
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,178 Member
    aggelikik wrote: »
    kimiuzzell wrote: »
    Justin Bieber????? Ohhhkaaaay.....!!!

    I had to pick some dude with no muscles - he was the first one that came to mind LOL

    I am definitely not a fan, so I was not even sure how he looks and you made me google him. He does not appear like a good example of a no-muscle boy. I suspect the average teen stepping in a weight room would be more than thrilled to eventually look like him.

    He must have started working out since the last time I saw his pic. He was a skinny dude with stupid hair - that's what I remember : :p

    Stupid hair still there :)
  • codsterlaing95
    codsterlaing95 Posts: 221 Member
    I think this is often a worry of the significant others of women. I know my hubby thinks I'm going to get bigger muscles than him LOL. My response... "you better lift too so you can stay ahead of me."

    I lift the weights. And then my husband lifts me.

    Haha!!!
  • codsterlaing95
    codsterlaing95 Posts: 221 Member
    moyer566 wrote: »
    joinn68 wrote: »
    aggelikik wrote: »
    moyer566 wrote: »
    Many women lift here

    I don't lift, I don't want to. I lift myself and have no interest in weights
    23571433661_52be5de1c0_n.jpg

    I am so jealous ! I have wanted to try this for so long, but I suffer from vertigo which I have been told is one of the very few reasons not to try aerial yoga :( I have a friend who teaches, and even she would not let me.

    Until I saw your comment and had a second look, I thought (and wondering why) the picture as upside down B)

    I do love inversions
    14229650093_235ebeca70_n.jpgr

    Not sure I'd do that myself.