How To Deal with Dudes at the Gym

Today I was texting with a friend of mine who shares my love of strength training. She was working out at a very large, very popular gym in New York City, when she texted me…

“I am literally the only woman lifting at my gym right now…”

She and I then started chatting back and forth about WHY.

WHY do women focus more on group classes?

WHY are women still a bit nervous about hitting the gym floor and lifting weights?

And WHAT can we do to help more women learn how incredible strength training is?

I believe there are many reasons why gyms across the country are more populated by men. Firstly, men have been at the fitness game longer than women. Remember, there was a time when the realm of strength, fitness and body conditioning was reserved only for me. For hundreds of years (Maybe thousands? My world history is not great 🙂 men fought battles or engaged in sports.

And women were in the kitchen, with the babies, and holding down the home front.

It’s culturally ingrained for men to be the ones who frequent a fitness environment. I’ve got a chilling fact for you…

It was a recent as 1972 that federal law formally stated through the Education Amendments Act that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Welcome Title IX…only 47 years ago.

I realize that 47 years may seem like a long time. But in the grand scheme of human beings being on earth (2 million years), that’s actually very recent history.

(Ok, so maybe I do know a few things about world history)

I really believe that one big reason why women are still nervous about hitting the gym floor with the dudes is because it’s just NOT part of our contemporary operating system. It’s still just a NEW concept.

I believe there are two main reasons why women shy away from strength training:

  1. They are unsure of what to do, or how to execute a strength program.
  2. They feel intimidated at the gym, largely because of all the men in the free weight section.

I’ve got some very specific views on navigating the gym and all of its “culture.” I hope you’ll click below on the video and check out my thoughts.

In truth, it all boils down to this:

You deserve to enjoy the gym and take advantage of every section and piece of equipment. Research proves that your health depends on the benefits that come from regular and consistent strength training. You need to be hitting the weights; it reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, age-related weight gain, diabetes, injuries and mood disorders.

You deserve to experience your body at its best. Your spirit will soar when you feel strong, resilient and capable. Your sense of inner strength and confidence will reach new highs after you have spent some time in the gym.

You deserve to have the tools necessary to create the powerful and lean body that is your God-given right.

These things are too important to be limited by a few dudes in the gym.

I’m certain that once you understand the psychology and reality of Bro Territory, you will feel totally comfortable hitting the weights. Bro Territory is not what you think; and I know that you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy it once you understand it a bit better.

Join me in this conversation. Click the video below and join me every Wednesday for LIVE with Holly. I’ll be talking all about this topic and answering your questions tomorrow at 4:00 PM EST on Facebook.

I’d love to hear from you. After watching the video below, share your thoughts in the Comments section below.


Stay strong, friend. 

8 replies
  1. Rachel M.
    Rachel M. says:

    Most guys in our gym have been friendly, even when I’m not working out with my husband. What I hate are the guys that do drop sets and grab like 4-5 sets of dumbbells when the gym is crowded. Not good gym-tiquette!

  2. Dana
    Dana says:

    I am glad I am not the only one that occasionally will wear head phones and not listen to anything!

    From my experience working out at a small gym I haven’t really ran into either of these types of guys. I still get semi intimidated when I am in the free weight section, but I worry about myself rather than what is going on around me. I typically wish some of the guys were more “friendly” as I occasionally feel like I am doing something wrong and I would hope someone would say something if I was.

    • Admin
      Admin says:

      Hi Dana!

      Girl, I am so with you!!! I will also put on a cap to avoid making eye contact with anyone. Some men can just look so mean while they are working out! I would suggest taking a video of yourself performing your exercises. That would be a great way to check your technique. Also, remember to check your form in the mirror.

  3. Linda
    Linda says:

    I guess I have been blessed because my gym has women using weights, the men help if you ask and I had one man offering suggestions. Southern hospitality. Looking forward to your teaching tomorrow.

  4. Chris
    Chris says:

    I went to use a bench no one around adjusted bench guy runs over yelling I’m using that bench so there were 3 benches available so I just moved over put my headphones back on and smirked because he could not adjust the bench back down and another guy had to help him


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