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Ladies, claim your space!

January 19, 2010

Common knowledge has it that women in general don’t like weight training near men because they’re intimidated. I hope this isn’t you. Because I’ll let you in on a little secret: MANY men just don’t know how to exercise properly.

In fact, ask most personal trainers who uses better form in the gym–men or women–and they’ll tell you it’s WOMEN!

Fact is, most guys go in there, pick up weight that’s too heavy for them, pitch back and forth to gather enough momentum to move the weight, then set the weight down and strut away, proud as peacocks.

But women–who are normally first to ask for directions, as we already know–admit from the get-go that they don’t know how to work out properly and make an attempt to find out HOW to do things. How to do a curl, a press, an extension, a squat.

To avoid hurting themselves AND looking silly, women buy magazines, read books, get a trainer, or watch others. This last one’s a bit dicey, since too often others are doing their own funky (read: unsafe) version of an exercise.

So don’t fret about looking like you don’t know what you’re doing.

  • Make an effort to learn how to do the exercises.
  • Book a trainer–or ask one for help. 
  • Read the exercise descriptions in muscle magazines. They’re written by people (like me) who know proper exercise form. 
  • Bring to the gym pictures (I used to draw stick figures performing the exercises in a small notepad) and pages out of muscle magazines.
  • Read the instructions on machines. They often include tips that can help, such as where the machine handles should be when you’re seated. Or where your shoulders should be.

Just don’t try to learn too much at once. Learn a few exercises, get good at them, then learn a few more.

And think twice when guys “correct” your form. Sometimes they mean well.  But sometimes they have no clue.

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