Looks Can Be Deceiving; A Message To Gym Bros

Posted: August 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ok, so that title is kind of joke… kind of not.

So looking at workouts of other people online I have found a few interesting things. And thinking about them, I realized something- I have on a number of occasions found myself looking through the workouts of some guys who have that whole “I spend all my free time in the gym” look, and found myself thinking how relatively low the weights they are lifting seem to me. I mean, if you are dude online posting pictures of your abs or “guns”, and talking about spending so much at the gym, and your working weight is less than mine, the same as mine, or even higher, but not by much, than mine, I’m side-eyeing that a little. Because my working weights aren’t that heavy since I’ve only been back to lifting after a long break for a few months, and I don’t have tons of time for lifting so I rarely hit my goal of 3 sessions a week.

Though I notice a huge overlap too with guys who fall in this category, who also are posting constantly online mocking what other people are doing at the gym- so maybe you need to spend less of your gym time making fun of other people, and more of your time lifting.

On the other side of it I’m finding a number of women who are super tiny lifting around the same weight at me, and other women who are larger and look like average women who lift a lot more than me.

I notice this difference because when I started seeing the first trend I thought, “dang, I lift heavier than I thought!”, then I started paying more attention to women who fall in the second category and thought, “dang, what I lift aint nothin!” And of course thinking about that difference, got me thinking about how ridiculous the assumptions people- including myself- make about people based on appearances.


So just a friendly psa, how someone looks does not tell you about their fitness abilities. Gym bros (not the expect any are actually reading this blog, lol), keep this in mind the next time you see a woman in the weight room and either think she doesn’t belong, or start thinking maybe she needs your help with those heavy weights. (I’ve heard that from a lot of women who lift at gyms is guys assuming they need help loading or unloading weight plates.)

  1. lozette says:

    “On the other side of it I’m finding a number of women who are super tiny lifting around the same weight at me”

    This is really common, especially at competitions. Generally smaller women seem to lift more pound-for-pound, and I found it really dispiriting at first. Especially when I went from being the only woman lifting in my divisional comps, to lifting regionally with 20-40 other women. But I try to remind myself that the smaller women I see lifting at competitions are often personal trainers or other fitness professionals, so of course they’re going to lift more than me. And I have no desire to train & eat like a fitness pro 😉

    • ebay313 says:

      I try to let it be more motivating to tell myself that squatting my body weight or more could happen one day (right now it’s still well below). Though if it does feel dispiriting at times it helps when my actual lbs are higher even if their relative weight compared to body weight is higher, lol. It’s easier not to be bothered if I see a benefit to both sides.

  2. G says:

    I’m lucky that the bros at my gym rarely give me a hard time (except for that one who came up to me, outside the gym, and called me Hercules? wtf?) The cool thing about lifting is that at the end of the day, the only person we’re competing against is ourselves (which those judgey bros need to remember as well). If you lift more than you did a month ago, that’s a win.

    • ebay313 says:

      That is true. I do like seeing what other people do though, it can be motivating and/or not make me feel quite so weak. (I had someone compliment the weight I did on OHP once which I was really shocked at because I thought my OHP weight was pretty pathetically weak. So that was nice. And also kind of set off in my head that maybe my weights aren’t as low as I think they are. It’s nice to remember that I’m maybe not the only one whose can’t OHP huge numbers, lol.)

  3. Gingerzingi says:

    LOL, good post. There are so many factors affecting how much weight a person lifts on any given day, including technique. There was some captioned photo going around at one time, with something like “your one-rep max is what that little Chinese girl uses for warmup” (probably referencing Olympic lifter Li Xueying). That seemed to me a good use of stereotypes – to enlighten, to point out preconceptions. There is more involved in lifting than body size, muscle mass, or strength. But if I was lifting heavier than the bros, I would definitely gloat about it 🙂

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