Recently, a few of my female patients have expressed their concerns with going to the weight room. I wanted to write a blog this week on overcoming these thoughts and preconceived notions that the weight room is not a place for women. I also wanted to create a safe place to share my experience and encourage others to do the same. You are not alone with these thoughts! I would like to use my knowledge and experience to share some helpful tips on how women can overcome the habit of avoiding the weight room.
Common things I’ve heard:
- "The weight room is not a place for girls/women."
- "I don't know how to use the weights."
- "I don't want to get hurt with lifting heavy."
- "I feel like people are judging me."
- "I don't want to look like a body builder"
- "I don't want to be the only woman to be in the weight room"
Don't get me wrong, the weight room can be intimidating! However, there are more benefits to weight training than just muscle building, including:
- Improve overall muscle function
- Minimize injury
- Enhance your daily life
- Improve bone density
- Burn more calories
- Improve mental well-being
- Improve self-confidence.
In fact, the American Heart Association suggests weight training at least twice per week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If we can face our preconceived notions head on and crush that inner voice telling us we don’t belong, our overall long-term health will be positively impacted. Now you are probably asking, “how do I overcome these thoughts?”
Here is my best advice:
- Start with comfortable weights and increase 5-10 lbs. a week.
- If you're nervous with the crowds at the gym, work out with weights at home first.
- You can use a backpack and fill it with weights or weighted items.
- Practice proper form in a comfortable environment without feeling judged.
- Workout with a partner!
- Helps to have a second pair of eyes to watch your form and keep you motivated.
- Keep a log of your exercises.
- Continue to challenge yourself with personal goals and records.
- Lift with your head phones in.
- More focused on the exercise and less distracted by the environment and people around you.
- Remember, everyone is focused on their own workout, not yours!
When in doubt, Competitive Edge is here to motivate you in reaching your goals. We can help you work through these challenges, enhance your fitness level, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. During the process, we will teach you proper form and technique, so you can be more confident at your next gym session. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out at 408-784-7167.
What has your experience been? Comment Below!
This blog was written and researched by a previous Competitive EDGE Physical Therapy employee.