In my gym, as in most gyms, there are three main areas; the cardio room, the machine (nautilus type equipment) area, and the free weight section. There are women in all three areas but in drastically unbalanced proportions. The most noticeable thing is that the women in each area are distinctly different.
First there is the high-energy, exciting “cardio room”. This area has by far, more women in it than the other two parts of the gym combined. Also, this room always seems to have the fattest women. Women usually flock to the cardio room, because that is where they are going to do the aerobic exercises to help them burn fat, right? Why then, are the women in the cardio room always the fattest? Shouldn’t they be the thinnest, with all that “cardio” they do?
Next is the “machine area.” This is the place where you find those nautilus machines, such as the leg press, leg extension, chest press, arm curl, etc. There are usually slightly less women in this area than in the cardio room, and the women tend to be in slightly better shape. These women usually aren’t overweight, but they also don’t seem to be living up to their full fitness potential. These are the women who want to “tone.” They hop on a machine, put the pin in the 15 pound slot, and do 25 leg extensions…to “tone” their muscles. However, much like the women who are doing cardio to burn fat and are still fat…most of these women never really seem to be toned.
So, by now you are probably asking, where are all the fit girls?? They are in the third section of the gym, the “free weight section.” This area of the gym has the bench presses, squat racks, dumbbells, and barbells. Oh yeah, and the sweaty, grunting guys.
This area of the gym also has the LEAST number of women out of the three areas, maybe 3 or 4 only. Yet, these are the truly fit women. The ones who are not fat, and look toned. They have round, hard butts, defined shoulders, slender waists, and tight, toned legs. These are the women most others want to look like, right? So, if these are the women you want to look like, then why are you not over in the free weight area as well!
These are the reasons I hear from women as to why they won’t venture into the free weight zone:
1. Free weights will make me bulky, machines are for toning. No NO NO NO NO – Never! I have been lifting weights seriously for over 12 years, and I am not bulky AT ALL. I am slim, trim, toned and FIT! The only way women look bulky is by having too much fat.
2. The sweaty men will be mad that I am in their way. Not true. I spend most of my gym time in the free weight area, and the men actually go around me. No man has ever given me so much as a dirty look for being there. In fact, the only time the guys talk to me, is usually to tell me they are impressed with how much I lift “for a girl.”
3. Those exercises look hard. Well, yes! That is why they work. Nobody ever got better at anything by taking the easy way out. You can do it!
4. I don’t know how to use them. The one valid excuse. You do not want to jump into free weights if you don’t know what you are doing. Ask a trainer to get you acquainted, or go online. There are experts out there that can give you detailed exercise descriptions. Just make sure it is someone who actually has a certification. Or email me. I can give you info on any type of free weight exercise.
The point I am trying to make here is that the “fit girls,” or the “toned girls,” or even the “hot girls” are in the free weight area of the gym for a reason. In order to get toned, you HAVE to put on muscle, and lots of it. Free weights, if handled correctly, are the most effective for adding muscle. Working out with free weights can also be very empowering. You will be amazed at how strong you really are!