Only “bros” and “personal trainees” can use that equipment!

Ok, I get it – I don’t look “the part” in the gym.  It’s a work in progress!  As an overweight female, I have to stake my territory in the weight room, but once I do that, I usually get enough respect that I can complete my workouts with nothing more than a quick smile or gesture to another member.  My gym is pretty fantastic overall – we have kettlebells, an Olympic lifting platform, two squat racks, a prowler, rowers, TRX trainers, etc. – not so bad for a commercial gym!  Generally speaking, staff and members are friendly and there is a sense of community while working out.  Admittedly, I get a pretty hot/cold response when I’m lifting – but mostly because women aren’t supposed to lift heavy weights, and I go against the grain.  🙂

Lately, though, I have had some irritating encounters with fellow gym-goers.  A couple months ago, we got a shiny, new Power Rack – YAY!  Fortunately for me, it was Squat Day.  I was very excited – like Christmas morning – but there was no one else who shared my excitement (literally, there was ONE elderly lady in the area, and I think it scared her)!  I did my dynamic warm-up, and stepped into the rack.  I noticed that there was some weight on the bar, so I unloaded it (still, no one else in sight), and completed a couple reps with the bar.  Suddenly, a “bro” showed up in my field of vision and told me that he was using the rack.  Grateful that I wasn’t in the middle of a heavy set, I racked the weight and asked him to repeat himself.  He told me that he needed the rack and proceeded to flex his biceps and make his pecs dance (ok, I might have made that part up, but you ALL know exactly the type of guy I’m talking about!).  I explained that I was squatting, but he interrupted me to ask me to move to the other rack because he really NEEDED the rack for his workout.  Like an idiot, I agreed to move. The way I saw it, I had used the old rack for awhile and could easily use it again, since this guy must be gearing up for some heavy squats or rack pulls.  I continued my workout and glanced over at the rack to see the guy doing biceps curls in the Power Rack! He wasn’t even using much weight – seriously, I could have matched him pound-for-pound on that exercise.  He saw my horrified expression and said, “Sorry, I really wanted to try the new equipment.  Plus, I figured you didn’t REALLY need it.”  WHAT? I was not pleased.  I think I earned some respect from him by the end of my heavy squat workout, but I’ve never seen him again, so it was all for nothing!

And it Continues…

Since I’m not on a heavy lifting cycle right now, I’m using a circuit-style approach to my workouts (Todd Durkin’s Impact Body Plan).  Today’s first circuit was:  KB Sumo Squats, KB Push-ups, TRX Rows, TRX biceps curls.  I grabbed the only pair of 24kg kettlebells and started my first round.  As I finished up my TRX rows, I noticed that one of my kettlebells was GONE.  I turned my back for ONE minute, and it disappeared!  My gym has another single 24kg kettlebell, but it is a different size, so I was basically screwed.  I have no idea what weight I used for my second set, since the kettlebells in the higher weights aren’t all marked.  I’m pretty sure it was more than 24kg, which is good for progressive overload, but I was still annoyed.  I eventually found my missing kettlebell – it was sitting next to a group of people having a personal training session.  No one was really using it, since it was heavier than they expected.  Ugh.


Of course, none of these things are the end of the world, but I would like to think that I have as much right to use equipment as anyone else.  Before I step up to a rack or grab a set of weights, I ALWAYS check to make sure they are not in use – why don’t other people do that?  Where’s the etiquette?  Also, at what point is it appropriate to chase someone down and ask them to give me back my kettlebell??

One response to this post.

  1. […] HARD to be a female in a weight room.  I’ve posted previously about some of my experiences here, but overall I don’t have too many issues.  I normally work out on weekday mornings.  The […]


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