Have I ever told you how much I love lifting?

yes well…I know I *may* have mentioned it once or twice…but I feel the need to tell you all again!

Way back in march when the half marathon I did put me off running (almost) forever and I finished the enforced running training that entailed. I promised myself that I was going to dedicate more if my exercise time to picking up heavy things and putting them down again repeatedly in a controlled manner.

In face the only thing that got me through parts of that half marathon was that promise… I told myself I never had to run again and it was going to be all lifting all the time!

Well…I have finally got around to making good on that promise.

I have told you about the scary gyms I have been trying out, and the one I am using at the moment is actually so scary that after 8 weeks of use I am still not 100% sure that I would go in without a trainer. (I’ll talk about that a little more later)


So I finally found a place that has a lot of heavy thing just waiting to be picked up. I also found a person to tell me what to pick up and when.

All good so far…

I have been doing high rep hypertrophy training which is awesome for both fat burning and building muscle. My sessions have mainly been based around one or two body parts with a couple of foundation sessions and I have been doing 4 sets of 12 reps of every exercise I do.

ok…I know that 12 reps is not really high reps as such, but it really feels like it, especially when you are doing 4 sets! It has made me realise how much time i spend in the strength rep range (5-8 reps) and that I really should vary my training a little!

The up shot of all of this is, I am starting to not hate 12 reps! I think that means my muscular endurance is improving (yeay!) and I appreciate the fact that it is working, I am starting to notice differences in body shape doing this in conjunction with mostly clean healthy heating…

the real problem now, is making myself do it on my own. I can’t keep on having 2 trainers it is silliness and I love what I do with Matt too much to stop that…

So…here comes the bit I said I would talk about later…this is later…

I need to decide if I am a brave enough bear to go into this new gym all on my own.

yes...it is a bit like that!

yes…it is a bit like that!

Ridiculous as it sounds after all this time and all the new things I have tried, I am still unsure about walking into a gym and doing a work out.

A work out that I know I can plan, I have a qualification that says I know what I am doing and everything, and yet I am still scared.

I am annoyed that I am scared by it but there is just something about the gym that sometimes makes me feel uncomfortable. Not always, sometimes Β I get offered coffee and chatted too by one of the other people there, but generally speaking the vast majority of people there have not made eye contact with me. Or if they have there has been a blank facial expression in response to my smile… I can’t help it…I smile when I make eye contact with people because it is friendly…I even do it on the street!

OK…I am not expecting a huge warm welcome and I appreciate that people just want to get on with their workout but I don’t think a facial expression is too much to ask…

That is not the real problem, the real problem is the unconscious intimidation. I havenot got amazing upper body strength yet. I am working on it but it is not as good as my lower body strength (40kg 1rm bench press). The last time I was in there, with a trainer, there was a group of men all big (well it is a bodybuilder gym) and probably in their 40 or 50s and they looked at the bench set up with my weights (about 30kg) and started taking the mickey out of each other saying that was their new weight to use. The implication being that it was far too light a weight to bother with.

Ok so giving them the benefit of the doubt, this wasn’t actually aimed at me, and it most likely was too light a weight for them to get much benefit from. However it made me feel quite stupid. I appreciate that this wasn’t their intention, but it wasn’t a friendly welcoming atmosphere.

So the question is am I ever going to get brave enough to go in on my own? If I don’t walk in on my own am I just allowing gender stereotyping and sexism to continue? Shouldn’t I challenge it by working out despite them?

I’ll keep you posted…


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About Sam Catchpole

Exercisaholic, Photographer, Artist, Writer, Engineer, Morris Dancer, General Obsessive...

8 responses to “Have I ever told you how much I love lifting?”

  1. NancyTex says :

    I totally understand this – and I would be equally (or more) intimidated by going to a “man gym”. heck, I get intimidated going to the “man section” of a regular gym. I know you’re brave enough though.

    • Ice_Badger says :

      I am annoyed at myself for being intimidated, but sometimes it is terrifying!
      Saturday was the worst, I would probably have walked out if I was on my own!
      The thing is, I am (almost) sure they are not actually doing it consciously, and the fact that my head is manufacturing a lot of it make me even more annoyed!
      I am not sure my unique dress sense and approach to stuff does me any favours there…it is very much a conformist type of pave :-/
      oh well here’s to breaking stereotypes!

  2. BerLinda says :

    You should go to Latvia first – get used to the lack of facial expression first, then go back πŸ˜‰ You can do it πŸ™‚

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