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I have a quick rant. I just transferred colleges and decided that with a new town I'd get back into really good shape. I lifted weights all through high school because of sports but stopped when I got into college and I figured it was time to start again. So naturally there aren't many girls that lift weights (my routine is about 80% free weights with a few machines in there) and to top it all off my college has this "women's workout area" complete with aerobic step things, mats, exercise balls, free weights from 3 lbs-25 lbs, and 2 machines (that stupid adductor/abductor machine and one for leg curls). My rant is because anytime I go to the regular fitness area that has all of the squat racks, heavier free weights, bench press, etc. the stereotypical meathead guys either look at me like why is she lifting that or stare creepily. I had been able to handle it until today when one of the student workers (male) insisted on telling me that I would get undesirable results from lifting heavy weights. And he is an exercise science student! Why is that still being taught in schools? Does anyone else experience weird looks and such from guys when they are trying to work out? It makes me uncomfortable too because I'm just getting into my program again so I feel like they are judging me unnecessarily when they certainly won't be in a few months if I stick with this.
Bloody hell - what are they teaching students in school these days? If that's something he's learned in class, his professor should flunk out of college and be sent back to do remedial high school biology until he relearns how skeletal muscle actually works.
Rant away - you'll find a lot of people in your corner here. Also, consider sending a formal written complaint to the gym about the lack of competence in their staff.
I think things would be better if I had someone to work out with as well. Plus, then I could lift heavier than I'm willing to do on my own with things that would require a spot. What I end up doing is going to their minuscule "women's" workout area and do all the stuff I can do there (like pushups/ab work/and anything with free weights that doesn't require more than 25 pounds or so) and then move downstairs again. Another concern is that as I get stronger, I'm going to need the heavier free weights that they have down there so I'm hoping when fall semester starts either a) I'll meet someone who would like to workout with me or b) there will actually be a few more girls who do something other than get on the treadmill for an hour and then go upstairs for 20 minutes of machine work and lunges with the little ten pound bar across their shoulders.
Lift away. Back down for nobody and somebody ought to put that buffoon in his place.
Maybe some of those stares and disapproving looks are imagined. I doubt all the guys think like that one fool. You are in an uncomfortable place so you are going to imagine all the guys are thinking "why is she lifting like that". But in reality some might be thinking "good, a brave woman has ventured in here", or "is she going to use that squat rack? Because I need it.", or "is the 40 pound dumbbell on the floor over there? I wish that person would move out of my line of sight so I could see if that's it."
First I'd also write a letter to the college and tell them they have a jerk in their weight room who is offensive to females. Next I would tell that jerk how the hell does he know what your goals are- maybe you WANT to be a she hulk and need to lift heavy weights. Of course we know this isn't possible unless you do droids, but obviously he thinks women need to do the barbie weights - ugh!!!
When I joined my gym I got the "looks" too- at that time I was 49! I just did my work, lots of squats, deadlifts and things for legs while the "pizza boys" curled in the racks. After a few months some of the guys started asking me questions about leg workouts and some would move down a few benches away from me when I was doing presses cause I was lifting heavier than them.
Just try to go put blinders up to their stares and just show them how it is suppose to be done.
I think you should look him in the eye and say, "Who are you to tell me what I desire?"
Then bat your eyes.
Then load up your bar.
Don't do droids. They never call you, even though they promised to.
Seriously. I just love it when people try to tell what I "should" do. Or how I "should" look. I usually don't say a word. I don't need anyone else to approve of my body and/or my workout other than myself.
Keep going and doing your thing. Eventually, you will get over caring what other people think so much.
Such as...? No, really, now I'm curious about this. Unless, of course, he considers being lean, strong and fit to be undesirable.
Anyway, since it's still fairly common for girls to think they'll turn into she-Hulk if they lift heavy weights, I'm not surprised that you're getting "the looks". Just do your best to ignore them and lift away. The looks will eventually stop.
You know the saying, “living well is the best revenge”?
In your case, lifting heavy and getting stronger is the best revenge.
In at least one of the guys defense, his stares weren't disapproving. He was checking out my a** while I was doing squats. He literally stood there for like 15 seconds as I was looking at him in the mirror. Once I put the bar back on the rack he finally saw me looking at him and blushed bright red when I was like, "well this is awkward.." and he stuttered an apology and went on with his workout.
I do agree that I tend to think the worst. I'm sure some of them were more surprised than critical.
lunamud-I totally agree, regardless of what anyone's decisions are (healthy/unhealthy, what I like or what I don't, etc.) I chalk it up to letting them live the lives they want to live. Its their business and I would never walk up to someone and tell them they shouldn't do what they want. Now if I had been using improper form or something along those lines it would have been different but that wasn't the case.
lasposacadavere-his unnecessary worry for me was that I would put on too much muscle and look "masculine". I just told him he was mistake because I am physically incapable of putting on enough muscle to appear "masculine" and he just shook his head and walked away.
Original Post by kirstiel4227:
In at least one of the guys defense, his stares weren't disapproving. He was checking out my a** while I was doing squats. He literally stood there for like 15 seconds as I was looking at him in the mirror.
Why can't you ask one of the meatheads for a spot? Look, I sympathize with you, and I applaud your stepping out of your comfort zone. But you have a wonderful opportunity to reduce the amount of othering that we all have to deal with. Next time you go over there and somebody looks at you, make eye contact and say hello. Do your routine, and when you get to the point where you need a spot, ask for one. We're not scary people. We're people, just like you, and we're happy to spot. And if you talk to them, they'll probably be more inclined to look at you as an individual, and not a mysterious aloof Woman.
I doubt the stares are imagined but I am sure they are not all disapproving some guys are probably smart and think wow finally a girl who knows how to work out.
It can be extremely uncomfortable for women to workout in a co-ed situation especially when you get guys saying that you shouldn't lift. I really hope you gave him a piece of your mind...if it was me I would say something to the management.
Just keep at it and when your body starts to transform you will be proving then wrong although it is a struggle to get past the creeps though which is why I now workout at home or go to a women's only gym to lift...it's sad but true.
Sigh. The one reason I went to the mixed gym and never went back. Full of testosterone, very intimidating.