So since I've been put out from running with the shin splints, the good thing is that I have still been able to get to the gym and continue with the weight training that Oli has set out for me. I had no PT session last week as Oli was away on a training course in Denmark, but I managed 3 sessions in the gym and a swim. I feel quite good about the stuff that I do in the gym, I am reasonably strong so I enjoy weight training, the only problem that I have found is finding the right time of day to go and train. As much of the stuff that I do is in the weights room, which is quite small so gets really busy, usually with men. Personally I find this quite an intimidating environment.
This has got me thinking about gyms in general and wondering how other people feel about the time of day that they train and if the gym being busy makes a difference to how they feel about the gym.
So firstly, as a woman I feel you have to be quite brave to go into this male environment, as soon as you walk up the stairs to the weights room you can get the glares, you can see them thinking, what are they doing in here, this man’s room! Speaking to a few female friends, it isn't just me that feels like this, especially when they are hanging around in groups or congregating around a machine that we may want to use. The general feeling from my friends has been to go to the mats area or free weights/kettle bells area to do their workout, and then queue/wait around for machines, but all for the same reason, because they feel a little intimidated.
Thinking about this a bit more and after discussing with a male friend of mine, I don't think it is just us girls that can feel intimidated in the gym. The gym that I attend runs a lot of classes, as do most gyms I imagine, I have joined in on a few and I have to say they have been really enjoyable. A lot of this might have something to do with the fact that it is mostly ladies in these classes, so I feel much more comfortable, and also that I "belong". But, how do men feel about joining in these classes? I think we tend to think that they won't be bothered, but it seems not. Apparently, men feel exactly the same walking into say, a spin class as we do walking into the weights room, they see us as we see them, and lets face it, thinking about it, walking into a room of 20 odd women to join them in exercise must be pretty damn scary!
So, I thought I would share my not very nice and I'm sure very isolated experience at the gym last week. Friday night I decided to head to the gym about 8pm, I thought that it would be reasonably quiet so I could get my workout done and go as soon as possible, but was surprised to see that it was quite busy, mainly in the weights room where there seemed to be pairs of men hanging around and generally getting in the way. I decided to grab some free weights and go around to the mats and carry on with some of the stuff that Oli had set me to do, mixing up some walking lunges, press ups, squats and shoulder press. After I had finished with the free weights I put them away (something that everyone else in the gym seems to be allergic to, annoying) then moved on to leg press and lat pull down, I set up both machines as I needed them and started with legs. As I was walking over to the lat pull down one of the rude men in the gym nudge his mate, actually pointed at me and said "I bet you'd love a girl that looked like that" which was met by not just a snigger, but a full on belly laugh.
Now, I know men seem to think that us girls are a bit stupid, but are we now seen as being deaf and blind too? He knew damn well that I would have been able to see him and hear him as I was literally stood 10 feet away from him, so I can only assume he was just being downright nasty. Had I been sat on my sofa stuffing my face with a pizza and drinking full fat coke, then I would have taken that and said, you know what, you might have a point there, but I'm sure the fact that I was in the gym, and by this time dripping with sweat, was a clue that I don't plan on looking like this for long?! Now this could have gone one of three ways, I could have got upset and left, I could have confronted them and caused a scene, which probably could have then ended with me getting upset and leaving, or, I could have put the weight up and banged out another set. I chose the latter, and when getting up I turned and looked at them as their jaws hit the floor at what I, a girl, a foreigner in their gym, had managed to lift.
Satisfying doesn't even come close!
I imagine many of the guys feel like this when they are smashing it through a spin or combat class whilst some of the girls are dying on their arse!
Oh and quickly, a 5lb loss on week 1 of Operation lose 5 stone!