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Jka14

The testosterone in the weight room is strong...

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Hi all! 

I'm finding my rhythm in my first ever challenge quite nicely. I've got a gym routine I'm happy with, and I've found my place in the free weight room (woot!) 

 

However,  today I was working my way through my routine minding my own business when in  the mirror I see a guy stop in his tracks, watch me squat,  then carry on. *shudder*

 

Now you could argue he was checking my form, but I didn't ask him to, not did he give me any feedback. 

 

Has anyone else experienced this? Am I overreacting? I already feel quite vulnerable in tight gym clothes surrounded by buff peeps. 

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Only that person knows why they were looking at you. I don't think you were overreacting. You didn't like the way someone looked at you. No matter the motivation of the looker, if you didn't like it, you didn't like it. Your feelings on the matter are perfectly valid. 

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What he said ^^^^^^

 

But there's not much you can do about it in a public gym, unless the same individual repeats the creeper routine. For what it's worth, I work out in track pants and a t-shirt, if the tight clothes are making you feel self conscious.

 

Maybe he was waiting to see if you were done your set so he could use the rack? It's also possible that he was watching to see if you needed a spotter; but again, you didn't ask for it so he didn't need to be watching you.

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^^^What they said. 

 

Its just a fact of life that the guys will check you out when you’re doing squats. They pretty much all do it, though some are pretty discrete about it.  Personally, I find it helps to wear loose clothing so that I’m not giving anybody an eyeful in the first place.  Which has an added benefits of not feeling self conscious about my body AND being comfy. So... win, win, win?

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Creepers in the gym are, unfortunately, a fact of life.  Most people seem to be there to work out and mind their own business, though.  If it's a one-time thing, there's not much you can do about it.  If it becomes a pattern, then you can talk to the gym staff and let them know what's going on and they will (hopefully) take care of it.

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On 1/26/2019 at 1:00 AM, Defining said:

For what it's worth, I work out in track pants and a t-shirt, if the tight clothes are making you feel self conscious.

 

I think I worded it wrong.  More often than not I love the clothes I'm in,  I feel self conscious about not being the "buff" one in the room, what with just starting out and being overweight. 

 

I'm happy being invisible, I suppose he just made me feel very visible all of a sudden. 

 

It just makes me sad that creepers are a fact of female life. It shouldn't be that way and it's a shame that it's a success when they don't talk to you.@ladyofthebog I totally get what you mean though, I mean I don't want to engage with them!  Bleurgh! 

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it is sad that success is not direct engagement. i was just talking to a girlfriend about getting on and how different it is when someone is actually interested in you. i think sometimes there is a particular kind of dude that hits on girls because he thinks it is expected of him. he sees an attractive lady and thinks that his masculinity (re: identity) is based on interacting with beautiful women in a certain way. it really has less to do with you and more to do with his own identity. then, there is the kind of guy who actually is genuinely interested in you and looking for genuine connection. this is almost always charming and affirming. flirting is good for the soul! i think it generally gets sad when people are buying into preordained expectations of themselves rather than their authentic selves. i'm guilty of this myself often and have to question myself often! anyways, food for thought and i am sure this is problematic for more than a few people reading this :p

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Don't let creeps stop your gainz! :) I have a friend who whenever someone would stare at us when we went out (i.e. checking us out) she'd look at them and say "You got a problem bud? Why you staring? Need to get your eyes checked?" And it always made me laugh. (She's a Police Officer) 

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Sadly, creepers are a fact of life in most big gyms. Very few gyms that I've ever trained at have been creeper-free and I've had some icky experiences. Still, you shouldn't let those lame guys stop you. If he regularly makes you feel uncomfortable, talk to the staff. Or, if you see him watching you, you can turn and ask him if you can help him with anything. I'm confrontation-avoidant so I rarely do that, but it shifts the attention to them and makes them realize you've singled their attention out and are watching their inappropriate behavior. Sometimes it is enough to get them to go away. 

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On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 3:57 AM, roles7 said:

Don't let creeps stop your gainz! :) I have a friend who whenever someone would stare at us when we went out (i.e. checking us out) she'd look at them and say "You got a problem bud? Why you staring? Need to get your eyes checked?" And it always made me laugh. (She's a Police Officer) 

 

Cockroaches flee when the light shines on them.

Even a WTF look or a raised eyebrow could be enough light...

Good luck figuring your personal style out :)

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Not defending creeper dude, but I've witnessed enough women objectifying men in a gym environment to know that it can go both ways - albeit in different frequencies across the gender divide. Unfortunately, much of this comes down to cultural expectations and how we teach people to view one another; a much bigger conversation, to be had another time maybe. :)

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On 2/1/2019 at 2:26 PM, JessFit said:

Sadly, creepers are a fact of life in most big gyms wherever you go.

 

Fixed that for you. :P

 

Also this:

 

On 2/2/2019 at 4:03 PM, Defining said:

Not defending creeper dude, but I've witnessed enough women objectifying men in a gym environment to know that it can go both ways - albeit in different frequencies across the gender divide.

 

The women I have seen doing it are also making every effort to be discreet about it, either from societal expectations or out of a desire to avoid inviting attention from a large male stranger.

 

I also feel compelled to point out something that no one else has yet: If someone is uncomfortable being the only female in a room filled with guys, the weight room at a gym is actually a really good place to start if you want to raise your comfort levels and get used to being surrounded by guys. The very clear etiquette on the weight room floor is that no one should ever bother someone they don't know, because there's no excuse for interrupting a person's workout. This  means the only valid reasons someone might have for for actually interacting with you are going to default lead to impersonal and brief encounters along the lines of, "Are you using that weight/bench/rack/whatever?"

 

Lastly, based on experience and what I have heard from others, creepy people who are breaking the rules of engagement and creeping out female gym goers tend to be dealt with very quickly if the gym owner/manager finds out. Because they don't want to be known as the gym that is "not safe for women, because #MeToo"... In return, we women are obligated to make sure that we don't report a guy for being creepy/scary unless he actually is.

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1 hour ago, scalyfreak said:

If someone is uncomfortable being the only female in a room filled with guys, the weight room at a gym is actually a really good place to start if you want to raise your comfort levels and get used to being surrounded by guys. 

:applause: +1, excellent point

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I'm loving the replies.  Thanks for engaging in the conversation. 

 

I think it threw me that my confidence just wasn't there. I'm a nurse, when I'm in my uniform I'm empowered, I'm confident. I defend my own and others honour/personal space/dignity etc. I deal with creeps on a daily basis. 

 

I suppose like I said before that I felt vulnerable doing something I'm not used to and was very much wanting to be invisible. 

 

This conversation could go so much deeper into the dynamics of men/women, masculinity,  social expectations and feminism.  But for now it's just given me that little boost to call out perving when I see it...

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On 2/2/2019 at 3:03 PM, Defining said:

Not defending creeper dude, but I've witnessed enough women objectifying men in a gym environment to know that it can go both ways - albeit in different frequencies across the gender divide. Unfortunately, much of this comes down to cultural expectations and how we teach people to view one another; a much bigger conversation, to be had another time maybe. :)

 

40 minutes ago, Jka14 said:

This conversation could go so much deeper into the dynamics of men/women, masculinity,  social expectations and feminism.  But for now it's just given me that little boost to call out perving when I see it...

 

I am a woman, and I look at people in the gym (in between sets, while I'm waiting) and don't think there's anything wrong with it, or that merely looking is the same as objectifying. Then again, I wouldn't expect that others would find me threatening. Also I don't ogle, drool, make prolonged weird eye contact, or otherwise invade others' space. I don't mind people looking at me discretely, but I really don't like overt, weird staring. I get the impression some (mostly) men enjoy the feeling of power they get from making (mostly) women uncomfortable, reminding them that they have the power to publicly judge and objectify them. 


That said, everyone in my current gym is totally respectful and nice. I hope you will soon start feeling as mighty in your gym gear as in your uniform.

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14 hours ago, Harriet said:

I am a woman, and I look at people in the gym (in between sets, while I'm waiting) and don't think there's anything wrong with it, or that merely looking is the same as objectifying. Then again, I wouldn't expect that others would find me threatening. Also I don't ogle, drool, make prolonged weird eye contact, or otherwise invade others' space.

 

These are all important things to avoid doing to strangers. Bravo! :D 

 

And you're right. Looking and admiring are not the same as objectifying, at all. Last week, a man at my gym was doing handstands, with his hands gripping two large kettle bells. While in the unsupported handstand on the kettle bells, he lowered his legs until they were parallel to the ground, and then fully straightened up again. Several times. Slowly. People stared, sure (while trying to be discrete about it), but there was nothing objectifying about any of it. I left the area before I developed an abs-related inferiority complex :P  

 

As for feeling mighty at the gym, there's a lot to be said for feeling good about your appearance when you walk onto the gym floor. I wear baggy sweatpants, t-shirt, and chuck taylors, sure, but I color coordinate, I touch up my makeup, and I fix my hair. I actually refuse to go to the gym unless I like what I see in the mirror, and I will happily defend that mindset to anyone who questions it. I lift better when I'm feeling good about myself, and if I need to "dress up" as a part of my mental workout prep, why-ever not? 

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12 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

 

I am a woman, and I look at people in the gym (in between sets, while I'm waiting) and don't think there's anything wrong with it, or that merely looking is the same as objectifying.

 

This is a really good point, one that I wasn’t able to find the words to express myself (because my brain is fried).  

 

7 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

As for feeling mighty at the gym, there's a lot to be said for feeling good about your appearance when you walk onto the gym floor. I wear baggy sweatpants, t-shirt, and chuck taylors, sure, but I color coordinate, I touch up my makeup, and I fix my hair. I actually refuse to go to the gym unless I like what I see in the mirror, and I will happily defend that mindset to anyone who questions it. I lift better when I'm feeling good about myself, and if I need to "dress up" as a part of my mental workout prep, why-ever not? 

 

I’ve seen a lot of negative comments on here over the years towards “those women who wear make-up to the gym” and remember one member (called I-Jo?) who would always stand up and say “I wear make-up to the gym, and why the f#ck not, I kick ass in the gym” (I’m paraphrasing here but you get the gist).  It’s all about putting on your armour, your game face, and feeling like you can take on the world.  Each person’s armour is unique to them and equally valid.  :encouragement:

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2 hours ago, Guzzi said:

I’ve seen a lot of negative comments on here over the years towards “those women who wear make-up to the gym” and remember one member (called I-Jo?) who would always stand up and say “I wear make-up to the gym, and why the f#ck not, I kick ass in the gym” (I’m paraphrasing here but you get the gist).  It’s all about putting on your armour, your game face, and feeling like you can take on the world.  Each person’s armour is unique to them and equally valid.  :encouragement:

 

Exactly!

 

We are warriors. Obviously, we dress for the occasion before we go into battle. ;) 

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On 2/6/2019 at 5:35 PM, Jka14 said:

I'm loving the replies.  Thanks for engaging in the conversation. 

 

I think it threw me that my confidence just wasn't there. I'm a nurse, when I'm in my uniform I'm empowered, I'm confident. I defend my own and others honour/personal space/dignity etc. I deal with creeps on a daily basis. 

Ditto to what other people said about finding your own gym armor. :)

 

On 2/6/2019 at 5:35 PM, Jka14 said:

I suppose like I said before that I felt vulnerable doing something I'm not used to and was very much wanting to be invisible. 

Oh yes, yes, yes. What wouldn't we give to be able to be invisible while trying out new and hard things? I think there is a big gender aspect to this -- especially if you are the only woman in the space. We feel like we have the extra burden of being an ambassador of all womenkind. And the ambassador of all womankind should not be seen STRUGGLING or FAILING or CONFUSED or just... not confident about every move. Of course, this is not grounded in reality of how people see us in the gym, but it is a hard feeling to shake sometimes. And it's part of why I really love it when there are multiple women in the weight room.

 

Getting used 1) what you are doing and 2) where you are doing it are the two things that really lead to comfort! And once you are comfortable in this space, that comfort becomes yours. So, even when you go to another gym, while you might not know where everything is or any of the people there, your familiarity and ease in a gym space will travel with you. :D 

 

GOOD CHATS, you guys.

 

Also, I know it's already been said, but I watch a lot of people when they lift. Sometimes I am objectifying them, but mostly I'm just watching to see how their set goes. 

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1 hour ago, raptron said:

Getting used 1) what you are doing and 2) where you are doing it are the two things that really lead to comfort! And once you are comfortable in this space, that comfort becomes yours. So, even when you go to another gym, while you might not know where everything is or any of the people there, your familiarity and ease in a gym space will travel with you. :D 

 

Even outside the gym, in totally different scenarios. I think gaining strength has made me more confident at everything that was previously scary: classes, restaurants, shops, telephone calls. I'm currently conducting an investigation into the effect of upper back strength on self-assurance. 

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39 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I'm currently conducting an investigation into the effect of upper back strength on self-assurance. 

Well, better posture improves confidence, so.... ;)

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3 hours ago, raptron said:

We feel like we have the extra burden of being an ambassador of all womenkind. And the ambassador of all womankind should not be seen STRUGGLING or FAILING or CONFUSED or just... not confident about every move. Of course, this is not grounded in reality of how people see us in the gym, but it is a hard feeling to shake sometimes.

Oh my days. You've really hit the nail on the head! You've got a brilliant way with words :love_heart:

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