It’s no mystery on here what my workout of choice usually is. Yes, I have a strange affinity for stadium runs and hill sprints, but weight lifting is always number one in my heart. That being said, as a female weight lifter, I have heard my fair share of comments and have gotten the side eye a few times while at the gym, all seemingly because I’m not doing what the other girls are doing. Although, I am happy to report that there have been a few more girls in the weight room lately, which makes me so happy I have to stop myself from high fiving them in between sets.
Anyway, any woman who has spent time in the weight room has most likely gotten a few comments from others, weather they be snarky, curious, or downright ignorant, here are the top four things you should never say to a woman wielding a barbell.
1. Aren’t you afraid you’ll look like a man? This is like the grand master of all the horrible things you could say to a female weight lifter. Am I afraid I’ll look like a man? No, not unless I mysteriously start pumping testosterone through my veins and sprout a few chin hairs spontaneously — neither of which have ever been documented as a result of a female picking up a barbell. I’m pretty sure that developing nice rounded glutes and shoulders won’t make me appear more “manly”, but if I start turning into the incredible hulk, I’ll let you know. And thanks for the warning.
So no, I am not afraid of looking like a man. I guess the real question is, are you afraid of looking like less of a man when we’re squatting the same weight? Ok then, let’s move on.
2. Do you need help with that? I’m sorry, what? Do I need help clearing the barbell of the weights that I just squatted for 5×5? No, I’m fine thanks. Let me ask you one thing: how do you think I got it up there in the first place?? Although I know that women are really just helpless little creatures who are always looking to be saved, I am actually here to do my workout, and that includes loading/unloading the bar. Would you ask your bro if he needed help unloading the bar after he finishes his bench press sets? Probably not. And let’s just think about this logically — if I needed help lifting a 45 lb plate, I probably wouldn’t be loading it onto a barbell to squat it now, would I?
3. What are you training for, anyway? One thing I don’t understand is why women always must be training for something if they’re working hard in the weight room. No, I’m not training to be Boston’s Strongest Woman (although that would be totally awesome), I’m just training for life. I’m training to hit PRs because that makes me proud. I’m training so that if I ever get mugged again, I can kick some ass (or at least run a little faster). I’m training so that I can carry heavy things up to my apartment without asking for help. And I’m training to look good, just like you. You never see guys walking up to each other in the weight room saying “Dude. You’re working hard today! What are you training for?” It’s just understood that everyone is their for their own reasons, some of them similar, some of them not. So please don’t condescend to me by assuming that there must be some event, otherwise I’d be out on an elliptical reading a magazine. You’re training. I’m training. Period.
4. But you’re a girl — doesn’t benching hurt, you know, your boobs? Yes, I have been asked this before. Let that sink in. Someone actually said that to me. Is this a common question that guys have? If so, let me clear this up for you. Yes, I have a chest that’s bigger than yours (but only by a little bit, because unfortunately I’m not sporting a whole lot in that department), but I also know how to bench press properly. The bar does not come crashing down across my chest — and if it does for you, than you’re doing something wrong. I could probably give you a few pointers, but I mean, I’m just a girl so what do I know? And if we’re being totally honest here, when I have a sports bra on, most guys pecs are probably bigger than what I’m showing. So does it hurt you to bench? No? Okay, we understand each other then. Now, do you need help unloading your barbell?
Readers: If you are a lady lifter, what are some of the weirdest or most annoying comments you’ve received while lifting?