A more regular occurrence than it was a few years ago, even more common than up to a year ago. Girls are gaining the confidence to step up their workouts and step into a weights room. Women are feeling empowered by lifting weights and, even more so, feeling like they can achieve the body they want by plucking up the courage to walk into a weights room and standing alongside the guys they used to be worried about and training how they want to.
But why do some girls still find it hard to find the confidence and nerve to step into the weights section of the gym?
It’s still intimidating
Whatever way you look at it, and however long you’ve been doing it for, wandering into a room full of testosterone, grunting and groups of blokes is daunting for even the most confident of women. Especially at peak times when it feels like there’s no room to breathe let alone any room to do any exercises with the weights you want.
But can I let you in on a little secret?
People at the gym are selfish. That’s right. We don’t care what you’re doing (unless you’re that awful PT on their phone whilst with a client, then we bitch). We are too self-absorbed and too into our own workouts to mind what you’re doing with yours.
What about if someone is looking your way? I often watch other people in between sets, sometimes it’s because I admire what they’re doing, or I think the exercise they’re doing is pretty cool and I might try it later. That’s pretty much it.
That guy looking at you as you walk into a weights room? Might be because he fancies you. May also be because he respects you for weight training. Probably isn’t because he’s thinking ‘what is she doing in here?’
It’s all about how you work it
I know for some, the nerves come from feeling like they don’t know what they’re doing. But we all start somewhere, and I know I’ve found being prepared more helpful that anything when it comes to owning it whilst in the gym.
Use Bodybuilding.com as your bible, their step-by-step guides to all the exercises for all the muscle groups you could ever want are brilliant. Watch Youtube workout videos and Instagram videos for inspiration as well, especially if they’re personal trainers. Write down your workouts or a rough idea of what you want to do before you go in to the gym, and that way, you’ll be less like a little lost puppy.
I totally get that it’s frightening. But girls, please realise that you belong in that weights room as much as the guy next to you. I used to be worried about what people might think, that fear of judgment and intimidation. But once you understand that it’s not a scary place, the weights room can really become something you completely own.
Now, I can walk into there at the busiest times.
I can walk up to groups of guys and ask how long they’ll be, or be confident enough to ask if I can jump in between sets with them.
What I’m not happy about is that I am often the only girl doing this, whilst the other women teeter on the edge. We need more women saying I can do this instead of watching other girls do it for them. Get brave, throw yourself into it, and you know what? It won’t be as bad as you think, and that’s a promise.