Female gym goers face a lot of struggles. Whether it’s a jog on a treadmill, an intense half an hour of zumba followed by a pilates class to stretch out muscles you didn’t even know were there, or weightlifting, working out is a worthwhile hobby. The physical and health-related benefits – for example, toning up, increased energy levels and higher bone density – is just one aspect of the rewards you’ll eventually notice.
Switching from ʻʻa tube of Ben&Jerry’s – yes, I deserve it, I had a rough day,okay?’’ toʻʻsorry,guys, no drinks tonight – I’m off to the gym’’ has been shown to improve one’s mental well-being as well. To name just a few, penciling in gym time can reduce stress, boost brain power and, weirdly enough, awaken your inner writer, artist or songwriter – so, the next time there’s an essay due for your Creative Writing class, hit the gym!
But like with everything good in life, a rockin’ bod and a clear state of mind don’t come easy – and it’s not only to do with lack of motivation. Here are 10 struggles all female gym goers understand.
1. ʻʻShould you be eating that much?’’
In a world where a small bowl of tasteless salad is the only acceptable option for a lady, anything even marginally bigger and more filling is outrageous.ʻʻKate, that could feed two, if not three’’ andʻʻKate, but you just ate…?’’ are the two lines anyone who’s even gone out with me has said when observing the amount of food I order. This is definitely something female gym goers understand.
2. Walking in the weights’ section
For some reason,most men assume that a girl is simply physically not able to lift more than 2kg. Oh, the smug smirk on my face when I grab 12kg dumbbells for the upcoming bicep curls’ set and notice the ʻʻ????!?!’’ in men’s eyes.
3. ʻʻOops, that was loud…’’
Those 12kg dumbbells – lifting them isn’t that easy. But no pain, no gain, right? And leaving the men in awe as you push yourself – because yes, girls can lift too – is just as satisfying and ego-boosting as finally noticing the hard work pay off.
However, towards the end of the set, the weight seems to have become heavier, muscles are no longer full of power. And suddenly, as you try to finish the set, a loud – and a very sexual -ʻʻahh’’ comes out whilst in a room full of testosterone-boosting men.
ʻʻShould I drop the weights and finish the set or keep moaning?’’
4. ʻʻOh no,no,no,no….not now!’’
We’ve all been there – 3 minutes in your workout when suddenly….the monthly flow begins. You feel the chunks flooding. Heartbeats become faster. A clump in your throat. Your eyes widen with fear. White leggings were not a good idea.
ʻʻOh my God, can anyone see this? How can I get out of here?’’
5. ʻʻ£70?? For these?’’
When in the search for a good pair of gym leggings, one aspect is more crucial than anything. Transparency.
Bending, breaking your neck whilst looking at your backside in the mirror, taking photos or even asking strangers in the store – there are countess techniques of testing squat-proofness. But all female gym-goers know that a reliable pair of leggings most of the time will carry a price tag your bank balance was not prepared for.ʻʻDo I save my dignity or pretend I don’t notice the stares at me?’’
6. In fact, there is no perfect pair of gym leggings
Whatever the price, the brand, the material, if things get a little steamy down there (well done, girl, you’ve had a good workout – keep it up), the whole world will know it. Your crotch perspires and people could probably track you down by the sweat marks you’ve left on the machines.
7. Adios to feminine palms
Toned arms, a rounder peach, a more defined back, stronger legs – unfortunately, they all come at a price. Gym gloves or no gym gloves, there is no escape of calloused palms. And that French manicure appointment you got booked for tomorrow? Just cancel it…
8. ʻʻHow do models pull it off???’’
Anyone who doesn’t rock a neat buzz cut or a very short bob, will be able to relate to the pure frustration of strands of hair getting in the way. And, unfortunately, whatever the solution – bobby pins, high ponytail, top knot, French braids, low ponytail, messy bun -, nothing seems to be working, everything’s falling apart and your head ends up resembling an egg.
9. Barbie in the building!
To wipe off the bright red lipstick you’ve been wearing all day and look like the Joker (or as if you’ve been passionately making out two seconds before), or be the all glammed up doll in the gym?
10. ʻʻCan he not go away,please? :)ʼʼ
Unless you’ve become a member of an all-ladies gym or have a session at 3am when everyone’s sleeping, a male-female contact is unavoidable. For the most part, it’s okay – a friendly smile as you pass each other by or a quick chat about how you both hate the new layout.
But some men act as if they have never seen legs and glutes on a girl before and will stand right behind you to get a better shot of you squatting. Some will even go as far as offering you their ʻʻvaluable help’’. ʻʻYeah, umm, I think my posture is pretty great, thank you very much :).’’ All female gym goers get this.
Being a female is tough and difficult to deal with as it is and becoming a gym bunny just adds more struggles to the already lengthy list. But don’t get discouraged – it’s all worth it at the end of the day and nothing should stop us! Keep it, girls!