“Hello my strong strong friends!”
In the recent years of the trend ‘fit is the new skinny’, the rise of females in the weights room has increased drastically. I, for one, am no exception to this. Considering that I had always been a remotely inactive person growing up, my sudden shift from being as lazy as a student with Smash Mash powder to a protein-fuelled gym rat has been quite a surprise to some people.
I have been a wild powerlifting gym fanatic for the past year and a half. Prior to powerlifting? I’d probably stepped in the gym less than five times… I was a couch potato! I would have been heaving after five minutes worth of cardio!
So here’s the thing:
I take pride in the fact that I can deadlift, squat and bench at an intermediate level.
(Note: I compare ‘intermediate’ according to http://strengthlevel.com/ calculations)
My strength has gotten me recognition within my gym community. However (on the odd occasion), I do encounter unnecessary comments from condescending and brash males at the gym who predetermine me to be a damsel in distress.
Today has been my worst gym session to date.
Now, being the type of gym enthusiast who constantly strives to better herself; I chose to focus on altering my starting position in hopes of improvement. I admit that my form for bench press is of amateur standard, and the reason for my recent plateau is due to the lack of engagement with my entire body.
So here goes my journey from a flat back to arched benching! I was pleased with my progress, and I’d made it to 40kg for 3 reps before half failing! Considering the lack of recovery time I’d given myself between each set and the sudden change in form, I had exceeded my expectations of meeting 30kg by a ridiculous amount!
When I’d failed to rack the barbell onto the higher hook, I’d admitted defeat and submitted to the lower hooks. The next few moments of unnecessary interactions with two ignorant fools fuelled my anger and had propelled me to quickly finish my cool down sets in order to leave the unpleasant atmosphere caused.
The first guy made the effort to grasp my attention, which had forced me to remove my headphones to hear him make an unnecessary comment in a condescending tone.
“It got too heavy for a girl like you, didn’t it?!”
This was followed by a ghastly looking grin, and a conspicuous flex of barely-there arm muscles.
Let’s get things straight:
- I’m trying a new form and I’m more than happy with my progress
- The guys opposite me are benching exactly the same weight while struggling to handle the weight without a spot/help
- …. This is coming from a quarter-squat shrimp using a barbell pad because he can’t handle a little bit of grating on his back?????????? (Note: he was ‘squatting’ at a novice standard for someone his height and weight)
I retorted by stating that I was testing out a new form, and that I was impressed with how much I could handle in this short period considering the fact that my PR was 47.5kg.
Nonetheless, it didn’t stop another guy cutting me off and announcing to the world how much of a ‘gentleman’ he was.
“If you need any help, you can just shout ‘Help me!’, and we’ll come for you!”
This ‘advice’ was sealed by a disgusting wink and another set of barely-there arm muscle flexing.
I was appalled by his conceited mannerisms, followed by a disrespectful wink. Do you honestly think you’re being charming by looking down on my strength and assuming I’m a dainty little thing in need of assistance?
Here’s the thing:
I am strong. I don’t need pigs like you to ‘help’ me.
If I was really in need of help? I’d rather choke to my death from the bar than to ask a scum like you for assistance.
I was fuming. I boldly stated that I didn’t need any help while internally smashing the two fools with the barbell. What infuriates me is the fact that despite benching the same amount of weight (with no help) as the group opposite me, the idiots felt the need to concern themselves with me instead of the other guys who seemed to be struggling far more than I had been.
Because I’m a girl?
Because you want to seem charming and strong in front of this girl?
Yes… because that’s evidently working on your behalf, isn’t it?
The bottom line is, no one likes being looked down on. I hate being considered ‘weak’ when I know that the amount that I can lift, bench and squat is far superior to what they can do in percentage relation.
Don’t look down on me.
I furiously stormed out after finishing my cool down sets of close and wide grip benching, and continued to purge my anger towards a member of staff who knows me relatively well. Nonetheless, if it wasn’t for the fools, I wouldn’t have had the strong inclination to write this blog post!
For all the female strength trainers who have experienced something similar to this just remember to tell yourself:
I am strong.
For anyone who is interested in my gym 1RM PR:
Has anyone else encountered something like this?
Let me know of your own experience and how you had handled it!
Lastly, stay strong and keep lifting!