Woman to Woman: Gym Etiquette
Raise your hand if you’ve every been personally victimized by your fellow fit chick? Cold shoulder? Pretentious attitude? Side eyes? That uncomfortable feeling around each other? Yes, I know; I’ve felt the feeling too. This attitude towards fellow women in the gym is a plague that women are spreading like crazy, and I personally hate it. There is no force more powerful than when women genuinely support other women. So why don’t we do it more? Women need to have each others back, especially in the gym scene.
Listen, It’s already hard enough to navigate through the gym sometimes, we don’t need to be a hindrance to one another. Lately as a trainer, I’ve come across this tension when other women are in the gym with me, and I do my best to squash it as soon as possible. Something as simple as saying hello and smiling when she looks at you can do the trick. As I thought about it though I realized I wish that she and I were both on the same page. What if she genuinely wanted to support me as much as I genuinely wanted to support her? It could be amazing! Here are some ways you can spread the love and make going to the gym even better than it already is.
1: Don’t Be A Harsh Critic Whether you are secretly feeling jealous, you think the exercises she’s doing are ridiculous or you are completely annoyed that she chose to wear that outfit, do your best to let it go. Remember, she is a perfectly worthy human just as you are. Her value is not determined by anything she does in the gym and neither is yours. We shouldn’t be quick to cast a judgment on someone and decide we don’t like them for no real reason.
Maybe what you’re jealous of, she’s really insecure about. Maybe the exercise she’s doing seems silly to you but she’s doing her best with what she knows. And maybe that outfit she has on gives her confidence to brave the gym scene just like the one you have on. No matter what the reason is, extinguishing any negative feelings you have towards her will help you to view her as a friend you already love, which she could potentially be.
2: Be Aware of Each Others Space Hopefully the main reason people go to the gym is so that they can get a great workout. Some women go to the gym to have complete and total “me time” and that is great. Some women go to the gym and are very open to socializing, that’s great too. Either way, if everyone was respectful of each others workout space things would go much more smoothly and hard feelings wouldn’t develop.
Support fellow women in the gym by respecting her space but also being open to sharing your space with her. If she has a hard attitude towards you, I’d be willing to bet, you just softened her up by making her time at the gym a little more comfortable. If you notice she needs something you’re using, be kind enough to let her know how many sets you have left or if she wants to share with you. It’s okay to be the first one to open up the line of communication between the two of you.
3: Give GENUINE Compliments I’ve had moments in the gym where I’ve felt like another woman was “sizing me up”. I’ve also had the same woman take out one of her headphones and tell me she really likes my leggings. I completely misjudged her thoughts about me! My experience went from feeling annoyed that she would look me up and down like that, to appreciative that she was a strong enough person to give me a compliment. You can easily help empower each other by giving small affirmations like that and change someones day! Don’t be afraid to break down the walls of awkward tension or insinuated jealousy. Being strong isn’t only physical, but mental and emotional. Start handing out compliments when you see fit and watch it change not only those around you, but your heart towards other women.
4: Introduce Yourself This is pretty self explanatory. If there is a moment where you see that introducing yourself is appropriate, you should do it! Worst case scenario, she isn’t friendly and quickly moves on.
Best case scenario, you make a gym buddy! Remember you don’t have to have a full on conversation for it to be successful in breaking tension and creating a peaceful workout space for both of you.
Conclusion Ultimately I want to see more women supporting other women. My hope is that becoming a healthier and more fit person physically, would encourage us to have those changes carry over into all areas of our lives. It shows your true strength when you can support other women in their goals while also chasing yours. It’s always impressive to me when I come across great athletes who are truly humble and kind to others. It says so much more about the person you are in how you conduct yourself than how much weight you can lift. You will crush jealously right where it starts if you remember that you don’t lose anything by being kind human being. Lets all take a hefty serving of humble pie because nobody likes a jerk, even if she does have great abs.