This post from The Food Medic on Instagram got me thinking. Why are workouts so gender specific? For women its all about getting rid of those bingo wings and working on your butt (insert peach emoji) while for men its all about pumping those muscles and lifting the heaviest weights. Ever seen a guy working on his butt at the gym? Nope!
Workouts for women are so focused on aesthetics and improving certain aspects of our body while men don’t get this kind of pressure. I’m not saying that men aren’t pressured either but so many workouts for women these days are focused on the looks rather than empowering women to be strong and confident.
We are starting to see more and more women in the weights section of the gym which is fantastic. Two years ago I would never have dreamed of going anywhere near weights and would have stuck to the cardio machines. Now I can confidently walk over to the free weights and not feel intimidated by the men. As a woman we have just as much right as men to be in that area of the gym and there’s nothing more empowering than seeing a women confidently walk up to a platform and smash out some olympic lifting. It’s a rare sight but one I love to see.
I think social media, especially Instagram, is also fuelling this aesthetic focus for women. My feed is full of women posing in their leggings in the gym mirror, angling the shot just perfectly to emphasis their bum or show off their abs. I’m not saying that these women haven’t worked hard to achieve this but I find it sad that for women a result of their hand work is that selfie. I spent years focusing on aesthetics and it didn’t make me feel any better about myself. One weekend of bad food can undo a lot of work. That’s why I started weight training. Knowing that you can lift more than double your body weight is far more empowering to me than that perfect gym selfie.
Around two months ago I started Crossfit to give myself a new challenge and see what I was capable of doing. At Crossfit there are no gender specific workouts. There are no WODs to work your butt and blitz those bingo wings. Women and men train together. There are no mirrors. There are no machines. There are just barbells, lifting platforms and rigs. No one cares how you look after a session when you’ve sweated through all your clothes, with bruises across your arms, chalk down your legs and hands that look more suited to a brick layer (see below!)
Oh and you know what? All those hours in the gym smashing those PB’s will make you more confident in yourself than any ‘butt buster’ workout or hours spent trying to get the perfect selfie.
*Mic drop* 💁🏽♀️