Sunday, 23 January 2011

The misunderstandings and myths of "The man section"...

Like most other gyms, my gym has, what's popularly known by the female community as "the man section" or, as most people would call it, "the free weights section".

This "man section" is surrounded by a number of myths, misunderstandings and general fear which keeps a lot of the female members away. I'm going to dispel some of these myths. Here goes...

"Everyone in there seems to know what they're doing!"...
MYTH... You'd be surprised at how few of the people in this area actually train well or train with an educated idea of what their aiming for or if their workout will help them achieve it. Most people are the same as you and still finding out what works for them.

"Everyone will look at me!"..
MYTH... No one really cares who else is in there. On the first couple of visits you'll assume that it's obvious you're new to the area and everyone is watching you. But as soon as you get into the groove you'll notice how little you look around and actually notice others in the free weights area.

"I'll get big and bulky!"...
MYTH... For a number of reasons this is untrue.
1) Have you noticed that these "bulky" guys who you want to avoid looking like train a LOT! If you're going to use free weights on a few occasions throughout the week and train in a less body building fashion, you're never going to get "bulky".
2) More importantly, as a woman you have a much lower level of testosterone, this means that you're unable to build muscle in such bulk as you see occurring in the men using free weights.
3) Unless you decide to lift weights 4 or 5 times per week, change your diet and dabble in supplements its very difficult for a woman to "bulk up". Plus it's not going to happen in one session! You won't wake up and all your clothes are too small. So if you don't like the way your body is changing, alter your workouts or seek assistance and find out what you're doing wrong!

"It all looks a bit hard core!"...
MYTH... Take a closer look. See the big groups lifting big weights? See how much ACTUAL training they get done compared to how much talking and socialising takes place. Then, when the big weights come out, keep an eye on their technique or form and range of movement. Are they lifting well or are their pals lending a hand so they can all feel good about themselves?

"I don't need to lift heavy weights, I just want to tone!"...
MYTH.. Heavy weights will NOT stop this "toning". Toning is a way of saying you want to see the muscles more clearly. The reason the muscles are less visible is not usually because they are less "toned" but instead because they have body fat on top of them. Lifting heavy weights is great way to burn fat for men and women and that's a fact! Don't fear it, go with it and lift heavy!

"I find all the men intimidating!"...
True... sorry, can't help you with that! Just get over it and get on with it.

There should be no "men's section" or for that matter "women's section" at a gym; everyone needs to try and lift free weights from time to time. Resistance machines have their place, but for large areas, and often problem areas for women such as legs, hips and the bum, adductor and abductor machines (you know "the inny, outty thigh ones") simply won't cut it.

Resistance machines have their place and still serve a purpose, even for experienced and regular gym goers. But no programme, no matter the age, gender or ability of the gym user, should be complete without some form of free weight exercise.

Women - get on down to the free weights area and make the "man section" a thing of the past!

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1 comment:

  1. Hellooo!! this is really good to know, now I am going to feel more confident ;) thanks Michael!!!
    By the way, I really enjoyed Zumbaaa! It was cool! :)

    Maria Alejandra