So the weight room at LA Fitness has become a “new home” for me this summer, and one thing I can’t help but notice when I go in there is the 10:1 ratio. What’s that? It’s the guy to girl ratio in that area of the gym. Now, I can’t say I’ve always been comfortable being one of the few girls in there…
SHORT STORY–>Earlier this year I decided to go to the awesome weight room in the SRSC at Indiana University because I wanted to use the pull up bar bands (if they had any, I didn’t check) since my gym in Briscoe didn’t have any. Once I finally found the room, (the place is three stories, I looked a bit lost and out of my element) I took a lap and ran back to my gym….never in my life had I felt SO intimidated in a fitness environment! There were athletes, huge guys, ZERO girls and most of the equipment was occupied; I looked like a lost puppy in there and wanted to go back to my comfort zone and I have yet to go back there.
Fast Forward to the Present: I enter the weight room without a second thought, do my thing and embrace the strength I have worked extremely hard for this summer. However, I will admit, LA Fitness was easier to get adjusted to because there are a variety of fitness levels and ages there, but still it lacks the female population. At most, there are about 4-5 girls in there during the “hot” gym time period after work. I think there is a huge misconception about weight training that causes women to avoid the weight room and stick to the cardio
equipment. Weight Training does not make women get “bulky,” it will actually do the opposite. Weight training allows muscle to grow and create lean mass that will burn more calories/fat in the body through out the day for men and women. The only way women get “bulky” when lifting or in general is if they eat an excess of calories and food. Men TRY/WANT to gain muscle mass when they lift, so they will consume a lot more food throughout the day for a purpose of gaining.
Also, note— muscle weighs more than fat— let me elaborate, a pound is a pound; however a pound of muscle will take up less space in the body because it is more dense and compact rather than a pound of fat. This is why people should not use scales to check progress because it does not factor in one’s Body Mass Index, the percentage of fat and lean muscle tissue in the body. I’ve stopped using the scale all the time and just compare progress pictures or see how my clothes fit because the scale messes with my head.
Why else should you consider weight training to change the ratio?
- As women build muscle in the body, the hourglass shape forms better on the body frame
- Clothes will fit better with lean muscle mass
- Strength Training reduces stress and has been seen to improve memory function
- Strength training combats loss of bone mass and improves heart health
- Strength Training improves sleep quality
- Strength Training improves endurance
- Strength Training will cause the body to store less body fat, especially in the mid-section
- CONFIDENCE! Being strong has such a different effect mentally than just being skinny.
Being strong makes me feel happy, confident and proud of myself. Lifting has made a huge difference in my body composition and the way I see food -as fuel-and working out to reach new goals in the weight room (heavier weights, more reps). Trying something new isn’t easy, but I challenge the women reading this article to step in the weight room at their local gym and embrace their strength.
Also! This fall- I plan to go back to the weight room in the SRSC with my chin up and not let the intimidation of the guys affect me.–>I will note how it goes in a later post 🙂