Today, I have bone to pick with some folks out there, I’m talking to you dudes who don’t like to let anyone not in your clan in to the weight room. This has got to change, now. I have had the pleasure of coaching some of the most badass, hardworking female athletes and they still get uncomfortable because guy’s can’t control themselves or at least act in a welcoming manner.
I had two distance (online programming) athletes tell me about uncomfortable situations at the gym.
1) Had just the awkwardness of many boys being Bros, we know what it means and giving off the vibe that nobody but their kind is allowed to lift on the deadlift platforms.
2) Another had the very uncomfortable event of being the only female in the gym that wanted to use the trap bar and the guys seemingly pressuring her to hurry up with it by constantly staring at her.
When dude’s wonder why there are women only gyms or women only areas of gym, THIS is why.
I have had some athletes be able to defy this and tell the boys to shove it. With that they created themselves a space of comfort so they could do their lifts with no issue, but not every one of them finds success like this.
I think I do a pretty damn good job making sure that female's that want to pick up heavy shit with me feel like 250 Cypress street is a safe space. Naturally, I'm annoyed that it's so easily undone once they leave my gym and use other facilities. To counter this, let's lay down some easy rules that can make a female feel more welcomed in the gym, the heavy weights area especially;
-Ask if they need the bar or platform. Might be all it takes for them to get after it.
-Wait your damn turn if someone you want to use is in use, you wouldn’t want someone vulturing around you for a piece of equipment, imagine this being 10x more uncomfortable for a woman.
-Don’t stare, this should not require reminder or explanation.
-Lastly, keep your conversations appropriate for public. Little boys tend to talk about little things too often in the public sphere and when a female can here a conversation like this, even if it’s somewhat tame, it gets uncomfortable very quickly.
In the end, SHARE because the more people picking up heavy shit, especially at younger ages, the better off the world is, promise.
Thanks for reading friends have a great day!
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS