There’s this guy at my local gym. He struts around the equipment like a peacock and makes a big deal whenever he’s just lifted a huge weight. It’s like he wants the entire gym to know he’s benching. His loud grunts and “walk it off” stance are intended not to be missed. His frequent leers at any woman who walks by and what she supposedly has to offer are grotesque and rude. He’s not the only one.
My hour at the gym becomes a strategic plan about what equipment to use where I won’t be putting my rear end on display for men to ogle, or how many times I check in with my husband and flirt with him instead of the men who are trying to get my attention.
Because most guys don’t get the perspective of a woman at the gym who’s oftentimes working out alongside them, I thought I would share some words of advice that might help you make the gym a more pleasant experience for all — especially the ladies you’re trying so hard to impress.
Don’t Stare — Compliment
Guys, your appreciation for the female anatomy while at the gym needs to be with your words, not your eyes. If you notice a girl at the gym, compliment her form or encourage her perseverance. Please stop staring at our chests or butts. I commended a woman at the gym who recently was doing a lower back workout with her rear end in the air. However, she had placed a towel on her backside, a not-so-subtle middle finger to anyone who would try to check her out. She was pointedly making a statement: “I know what you’re staring at and I’m not going to give it to you.”
Don’t Show Off — Just Do It
I understand you’re lifting heavy weights and that it’s a huge accomplishment. But your peacock walk and caveman roars are not doing it for anyone. We’re all working out, making a sacrifice, and trying our best. It’s why we’re at the gym. But there are other guys there too — oftentimes they’re just as big, have been doing it for longer, but come in stealthy as a fox. They’re quiet, perseverant, and get their job done. They’re lifting more than you but the way they handle themselves is so different you probably don’t even notice them. Silence goes a long way. So rather than parade around the gym like a buffoon, why don’t you take your cues from them, and just get the job done?
Don’t Compete — Encourage
No one is looking for competition at the gym. We are our own competition. Whatever we lifted prior, we want to match or reach above. We don’t need you to create an atmosphere of competition. Instead of showing off your own accomplishments, why don’t you try encouraging others? If someone is fighting a battle against the weights, encourage them. If someone is lifting more than you, encourage them. That was hard work and you know it!
It’s hard enough to get to the gym without you making the atmosphere or environment uncomfortable for others. No one wants to deal with the junk you’re spewing around the equipment. Make it a fun and enjoyable experience with laughs, smiles, and words of encouragement instead.
I guarantee you, the women around you will appreciate it.