“Girls don’t belong in the free weight room, they need to stick to machines.” Dude. No. Don’t even get me started. I’m really not even sure where that mantra came from. Who came up with the lie that the free weight room belongs only to dudes?Because it’s not true. Women in the free weight room is happening so it’s time to get used to it. Yep, that gal up there is one of my own. She lifts iron with the best of ’em.
I’ve had several girls come back to me when they’ve either downloaded one of my 30 day gym plans or when they’ve had a custom plan made by me and say, “Coach, you have me in the free weights room”. And I say, “Yes, I do!” to which they typically reply “That’s where all of the meat heads are.” And I reply again saying “Yes, and they can move over and share some space. They don’t own the place and you’re a strong woman. You can do this.”
Once my girls have gone through the process of getting used to the free weight room, they love it! Why? Because of the freedom of free weights and being able to do complex moves with the dumbbells and the barbells in there. Bottom line? You get results quicker. Complex and compound movements get you results faster; it’s a proven fact.
Being smart about your free weights and staying within your realm of weight ability is key to obtaining results in the weight room as well as obviously staying safe.
So! How do you stake your claim in the weight room? It’s easier than you think.
Pick your time
I get it, sometimes no matter how self-confident we are, we want to scope out the territory and get comfortable with the new space before we get involved while there’s a bunch of people there. Totally understand.
When I first started my Instagram account, I hated taking selfies and was terrified of what people would think of me taking selfies or posting pics of myself. I’ve since gotten over that and post selfies and pics of myself at the gym, writing blog posts, as well as those pics of a day in the life of an entrepreneur woman.
So, this is an easy fix, right? Early mornings and evenings tend to be busy at the gym. Here’s my suggestion, pick a day that you know you could go to the gym on your lunch break. Pick a day that you wouldn’t normally be going to the gym, because this is going to be a scoping out of the free weight room. You’re learning where things are and putting your game plan together for when you are ready to do a full workout.
Pick a spot in the room where you plan to go when you come back and decide the workout you’re going to do for when you come back. Now, the next time you come in, if that spot is gone, don’t stress out and leave, simply find a different spot and go claim it.
Even if it “doesn’t look like there’s room”, I promise you, there’s room, just go claim your spot and do your thing. You paid your gym dues, you have just as much right to be there as the others in there.
Don’t let a small thing like your planned spot being taken mess you up in regards to your planned workout; still do the workout you were planning to do, just do it in a different place!
Also, I know that when things mess up our plans we get a little bit stressed out. So, if the barbell or dumbbells you were wanting to use for one of the movements are in use, just move onto something else and come back to that. Because guess what? There are plenty of things in life to stress about and the order of a movement sequence is not one to get wrapped around the axle about!
Gather your Courage and Get back to Your Routine!
Now that you have had your ‘scope it all out’ day, it’s time to get back in your regular routine and walk up in there like you own the place. You don’t have to cause a disturbance and bring massive amounts of attention to yourself. Just walk in there and do your thing.
I encourage free weights for my girls because with free weights you teach your muscles and body to have more control and it helps you be in charge of your body and the movements. It can take some practice, but it’s really worth it.
Because I encourage the free weights and assign them in my downloadable gym plans and in the custom plans, that means that it can put girls out of their comfort zone a bit! Which, it’s all part of the process. Nothing good comes from staying in your comfort zone.
It’s like going down the big twisty slide as a kid. At first you were super scared, right? But after you went down the twisty slide and realized how great it was, you loved it!
Same thing goes for the free weights room, think outside the machine box. While machines can help you learn the fundamental of a move, it’s free weights – both dumbbell and barbell- that can really take things to the next level.
Remember, when you go into the weight room that you have just as much right to be in that room as those meat heads, so go in there, bust a move just like they do and head on your way.
Tip- Put your ear buds in and walk in with your head high. If you walk in and your shoulders are a little bit hunched and you’re looking around, you look unsure of yourself. That said, pull your shoulders back, turn up your music, get in there and get after it. Remember who you’re doing this for and it sure as heck aren’t those guys that haven’t eaten a gram of fat since 2011.
How do you feel?
Think you can stake your claim in the free weight room? I know you can. How do I know? Because in the realm of difficulty, this is not something that is overly difficult.
Believe me when I say I am the queen of awkward when it comes to new situations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said something and I get this look like “Oh my gosh, who is this girl, she’s weird.” Can we say awkward turtle? Yep, that’s me.
In fact, the other day I was at the box and we were doing a team WOD, and my trusty Team WOD partner had stepped away and I said something to another girl and she looked at me like I had four heads. I responded with, yeah. Don’t mind me, I say things.
What’s my point? My point is to be yourself, walk in that free weights room like you own the place and just work out. That’s it! I promise it really is that simple.
New things can be hard and weird. Think about your job. When you first started, it was awkward and weird. You weren’t sure of yourself and you felt dumb. Right? Well now look at you! You could do your job in your sleep and not only that, you’re really good at it.
The same concept applies here to this new situation. Start out easy, get to know your surroundings, then dive in head first.
Women in the free weight room? Heck yes. That means you. Now go own it!
*Be Sure To Pin For Later!