Friday, January 27, 2012

Perceptions & Actualities

I've been in the Lansing area for about four years, and in that time I've trained a number of facilites. As a guy that lifts heavy and loves bodybuilding, I know my days at most gyms are numbered. But during my experiences at these facilities, one thing I've noticed, is the standoffishness of many off-duty competitors and their wannabes. With the men, ironically, you see it less. But with women, as is usually the case (from a man's perspective), the degree of indifference seems to peak at alarming rates.

I know it can't be easy being a women in the gym - I know because I myself have written about. To be stared at, hit on, to be talked about, to (often times) be disrespected, who wants that? But what about the times that [respectful]gym-goers are friendly? What about the times people are just trying to be nice and they offer a greeting, hold open a door, or just smile? What then?

I for one usually get annoyed when my heart's in the right place and I'm just trying to be nice -- and I get either ignored or brushed off. It sucks! However, there's always a story behind the story, and what better way to get a grip on this issue than to go to the champions themselves. Is the indifference intentional? Is it malicious? Are the folks in the question simply in the zone or on a schedule? Let's see what the ladies have to say! And as always -- thanks for reading ("Like Us" on Facebook / "Follow Us" on Twitter)!!

"I am typically in the zone during my sets and am very focused on me and making each rep countnor each second count in my cardio. In between sets or moving around I generally tend to smile politely, wave, and carry on. I think that people take confidence, focus, and intensity out of context sometimes and are assumed to be "snooty". Yes, I listen to my music loud and therefore can not hear someone but you can read a lot from body language and eye contact. I also work as a personal trainer so I want to also be approachable and professional however I have received tons of compliments from men and women that I inspire them when they see me train hard.

So at the end of the day it's all about having the right attitude and finding the balance of staying focused on your task at hand and being humane and considerate to others around you.

From a married woman's perspective having your earphones on and walking around with a mission in the gym typically keeps the guys from hitting on you. This helps me in avoiding any uncomfortable contact with dudes trying to pick up chicks at the gym.

I am a busy person, just like many people who workout so getting in and hitting my workout in an effient time is very important. I don't care for long conversations with anyone while I am trying to workout. It's really no offense or mr trying to be snooty, it's the only way to get my work done!"

Abby Clark
NPC Bikini Champion

"I was once one of those girls that stuck strickly to the cardio equipment until I found out how weights can change and sculpt my physique. If a woman (or man) approaches me, I usually take the time to chat with them if they have a question or want to say a quick"hello". However, if they want to get into a long conversation, I tell them I am up for continuing the conversation after my lift, especially if they want to join me for cardio! lol If I have my headphones on and am in "the zone," I will acknowledge them and shoot a smile but get back to work :) I find it easier to help a woman with questions and have a quick conversation than I do with guys in the gym. Guys either will talk and talk and talk or they will look at me and probably think "Theres a girl in the weight room?" Haha I am usually one of the only females hitting the weights with the boys."

Jamey Peters
NPC Figure Champion

"For the most part I will make time to talk to people..but most of the people who are in my gym to seriously train aren't talking to anyone either. I don't usually get bothered until I'm getting ready for a show (and in most cases, everyone is cranky when they're dieting!lol)"

Karly Woodle
IFBB Figure Pro

"I get stopped in the gym all the time and I love it. Motivating people is part of why I got into competing in the first place, and as a personal trainer helping people in the gym is what I do for a living!"

Carolina Granados
NPC Bikini Star

"For the most part I try to keep to myself. The gym that I train at , Armbrust Pro gym , there are a lot of other competitors that train there so they are all in the same boat of training and dieting. There's a great level of respect there so u don't get bothered much. If someone comes up I just try to make my Answers quick so I don't get my training off track!"

Marilena EchoHawk
IFBB Physique Pro

"I love to have short conversations with people in the gym but if it turns into a long conversation i try to drop hints that I need to get back to my training. There are a couple people I know will talk my ear off so I usually give them a smile but try to avoid any talking until I'm finished with my workout. I've had a couple people tell me I come off as "stuck up" in the gym probably because I'm all about getting down to business. Outside of the gym I'm a completely different person."

Miriam Looney
NPC Teen Champion

"Because I am a trainer, and always in the gym, lots of people know me and make coversation with me all day long. I always smile and chat as much as I can while staying focused on my workout or my client's. It's important for me to have a positive energy always surrounding me, so giving people a smile and a "how are you?" can really brighten a person's day! The gym is a positive experience, so being snooty to people is not my style, unless they've been rude to me 1st!

Close to a show, yes people do come up much more often with a "You look great! What have you been doing?!" And they'll try to chat and pick my brain about diet, but they are respectful knowing I have work to do!"

Laura Ridings
NPC Bikini Star

"For the most part, I keep to myself. I am in the gym to train and reach my goals, not socialize...I tend to have the "leave me alone" aka "bitch face" look and body language. A simple "hello, how are ya" is one thing...a long winded social session is quite another.

If someone approaches me and compliments me or asks me a question, I am more than willing to offer any help that I can, but I am usually on a tight schedule so I try to keep it short and sweet. When another woman goes out of her way to comment on my physique or ask about weight training, I will always take the time to talk to her or show her something cause I would like to save everyone from the wasted years of being a cardio bunny and never seeing the progress I wanted. If I can help more women step in the weight room, build self esteem and confidence than I am all for it!"

Nicole Gray
IFPA Figure Pro

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