Meaty Men, The Gym and Me

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?

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