Yesterday, I walked into the weight room at my local gym. It’s a small, intimate space with a rack of weights along a mirrored wall opposite the squat rack, and a cosy corner stuffed with three various bench-focused exercise tools. A health and safety nightmare, some might say.
Except for a few regulars, who recognised me, every man – and they were all men – did a speedy double-take before continuing with their routines. I used to fell weird about this but now I feel weird if it doesn’t happen. It’s nice to have a status quo. Lady lifter here, LOOK AT ME! My fellow lifters ranged from lanky buff to poppable-with-a-pin buff and the atmosphere was actually quite nice. Music was shit though.
Currently, I’m coming off a lazy few months so going back to the gym was daunting. I walked to the bench feeling guilty and weak. There is a pressure in that room to be beastly. I wished to be beastly but I was soft and squishy. And the MEN WERE WATCHING.
So, there are many solutions for when you haven’t lifted in a while. But I can only think of two:
1) lighter weights and the standard 3 sets of 10 reps
2) same weights as before but a lower 3 sets of 5 reps
The important question to ask yourself is how high is your level of ego? For example, mine is cripplingly high when doing weights. Taking this into consideration, I decided to go with option 2.
Then, as I am trying not to faint – seriously, it was hell – one of my fellow lifters said,
“Wow, you never know how powerful you are. You look soft but you are strong.”
Now, I should mention that I live in China and this guy spoke pretty good English but something must have been lost in translation.
I’m sure he meant to say I look sexy.
It was a good day.
Do you even lift?
Or join my mailing list. I post irregularly because employment. I promise I don’t have time to spam you.
Or read some recent posts that I am quite proud of:
- My senior cat’s daily routine (includes monster poos and dog beds)5 minutes of descriptive prose of my new cat’s first week with me.
- the Olympics is when I revel in my ignorance of all sports.800 words of confused Olympic joy.
- Do you ignore your tea until it gets cold?3 min quickie about when your tea goes cold. Heavy journalistic stuff. Proceed with caution.
- I took a week off work, but it didn’t change my life.5 min read about expecting too much from yourself because #alwaysbehustlin’
- My Sunday evening: doomscrolling, taking offense and yogaQuickie 2 min read about that dread you feel every Sunday evening.