Cosmopolitan Body, the UK health and fitness spin-off of Cosmopolitan has found that women find the gym more intimidating than men. The Daily Mail have helpfully chimed in with the term gymtimidated. And to be honest, any woman who's entered into the feet smelling, grunt filled pit otherwise known as a weight room at the gym and gamely swung a few 2.5 kg dumbbells amid an inordinate number of men who have lost their necks and ability to swing their arms due to sheer muscle mass, well, you get it.
Though, according to the 546 men and women surveyed (yes, that's not very many, but you know, probably an accurate guide to those who actually use their gym membership rather than merely have one and feel guilty about not going) women are not just intimidated by men but other women too. And when you consider the acreage of fluoro Lorna Jane and Lululemon at your average suburban gym that's entirely understandable.
According to the Daily Mail,
"Self-conscious women are concerned about what both sexes think, with 14 per cent saying they are intimidated by the thought of men are judging them, while another 10 per cent feared other women."
It gets worse, men don't have nearly as many qualms as women do about asking their fellow fitness seeking folk to hurry up on the treadmill, or wipe it down after.
Instead, 84 per cent of women would rather walk or away or use the equipment hogger as an excuse to finish up their own workout (clever!)
The gymtimidation also extends to the change room where women are more likely to do their best Mr Bean routine-get-changed -under-a towel-don't-let-anyone-see-me-nude, than men.
So how can we battle gymtimidation? You could sign up to a more female friendly space.Or maybe, as fitness blogger Paula Goodyer suggests, find a less intimidating outdoor gym,
Or perhaps you could forget your half-hearted gym routine entirely and find an exercise that you enjoy more. Chances are you'll stick to it. Especially if it's something fun.
But if you love the gym and the results you're getting, overcoming your gymtimidation might simply just require that you remember old adage- nobody is really looking at you because they're too busy looking at themselves. Especially apt at the gym, one imagines.
Source: The Daily Mail