I faced my fears of testosterone-drenched weights rooms
And it's like a huge weight has been lifted.
Do you ever go to the gym and think, how does that guy roll over in bed at night? I do, and I also wonder why they won’t just clear out of the weights area so I can get in there without their steroids touching me.
That breed of person is way too intimidating for me; the type of guys who don’t rest between sets because they need to but because the weights need a break. The way they move looks so uncomfortable and I wonder what’s going to happen when their heads eventually sink into their giant chests.
Even though I’m a strong girl and a massive advocate for weights training, I’m actually terrified to be on their turf – it’s all so serious and spiky haired and jockstrap. They see a “newbie” wandering around and they just watch you like they’re wondering how many times they could bench press you.
Stop looking at me, swan. You’re giving me social anxiety.
I get so scared that they are going to want to talk to me. Or worse, help me. I hate social interaction at the best of times. But while lifting weights? I don’t have a very pretty weights face. And I grunt. And sometimes I’m pretty sure it’s the same noise I make during sex.
So obviously grunting amongst that much testosterone is well outside my comfort zone. I had to get in there.
I approached one of the trainers at Kiss Gyms – let’s call him Shea because that’s his name – and I asked him about the best way to get tickets to the gun show.
He looked me up and down and said, “do you even lift, bro?”
And I flexed my arms at him and said, “sorry, I didn’t hear you over my biceps.”
And he said, “come with me…if you want to lift.”
And that’s exactly how it happened.
Meet Shea and what you will find under his shirt.
Shea guided me to the big kids’ play area and we pretty much got told off straight away for trying to take someone else’s muscle-making rack – you know, just confirming why I never go there by myself.
How are you supposed to know which ones are in use when there is all this “resting between sets” going on?
Once I got into what I was doing it wasn’t so bad. You kind of just get caught up in doing your own thing that you totally block out the massive guys around you yelling out “This is SPARTA!”
Strong like animal.. I squat 65kg
And then deadlift 80kg
Weights areas in gyms have always been seen as intimidating, testosterone-drenched spaces. And look, that’s because they are. But that doesn’t mean scaredy cats like me should miss out on the many benefits of this type of training. I already feel about ten times tougher than I did before my session and I’m pretty sure people step out of the way for me now.
There is research to suggest that weights training could lengthen your life span – it reduces the risk of stuff like type-2 diabetes and all that junk.
And it makes women look HOT. And it DOES NOT make them look bulky and masculine – I mean unless that’s the look they are going for – but that’s really hard work and involves eating a lot of food and wearing fake tan and entering competitions, so forget that.
Weight training for women makes you look and feel toned. And it makes your body feel really nice to touch. It gets my heart rate going in a totally different way to cardio. You get an amazing full-body workout and it’s kind of like your body gets a shock, and then you can feel your metabolism working for days afterwards. Pass me the
pizza protein! And finally, it’s the absolute best thing for your core, resulting in a much flatter stomach.
Trust me, if you don’t already do it – and I’m talking to guys and girls – get someone like Shea to introduce you to the world of weights – you won’t regret it. Screw the beefcakes.
When I left the weights section that night I turned back and looked at it with my best Arnold Schwarzenegger face. ‘I’ll be back’ I said, and I skipped off to drink my weight in wine in a VERY feminine way.