By: Brandi Rosser ’15, Kinesiology Major, Campus Recreation Services Personal Trainer
Manly grunts, loud unsettling noises, and the nervous thump, thump of my heart is all I heard when I walked into the ERC weight rooms for the first time. Looking around and noticing that I was the only girl in a sea of half-dressed, sweaty men, was not a good feeling.
My first impression was less than appealing, but I’ve worked at the ERC for a year now and I frequent the gym often. I’ve come to realize that women can and should feel empowered to use the weight rooms.
Here are my tips to feel more comfortable if you’re a woman in the weight room.
Relax and walk in with confidence.
If you act confident, you will start to feel confident.
Remember that everyone starts off as a beginner. No one just wakes up and knows how to lift weights. So don’t feel awkward or out of place because you’re a junior in college and you’ve never stepped foot in the weight rooms (or the gym for that matter). You gotta start somewhere, right?
Heck, I would bet that a good portion of people using the weight rooms are beginners, but because they walk with a purpose and a determined look on their faces, you would never guess it.
Do your research.
Ok, so you walk in there like you own the place and you’re ready to work. But wait…you just remembered you still don’t really know what you are doing.
This is why you need a plan of action. Come in with an idea of what you want to accomplish. This way you won’t waste time looking around having your brain wander into bad territory- What am I doing here? I can’t lift! Where do I go? What do I do? PANIC TIME!!
No. Shut that down quick! Stay focused on your workout plan. Before you go to the weight room, define your goal – what muscle groups do you want to focus on today? Arms, back, core or leg muscles?
Find some exercises online from a reputable resource like www.acefitness.com or talk to a friend who is familiar with the weight room. Figuring it out beforehand will help you feel more at ease.
Bring a friend.
Finding a friend to workout will help you feel less intimidated and you have someone to hold you accountable to your goals. It can be easier to figure out a new machine with a friends there to help you and a more comfortable experience overall.
Lifting weights should be a consistent part of any well-rounded workout and offers many benefits. Aim for a strength training routine 2-3 times a week.
If you’re not sure where to turn, consider signing up for a free weight/fitness orientation or Functional Training 101. You might also consider working with a personal trainer to help guide you in your workout plan.
Once it becomes habit, those nerves will be gone and you’ll be a more confident and healthier you!