Top 5 Things Women do That Hinder Their Progress in the Gym

Posted September 10, 2010 in Fitness Tips 12 Comments »
Clint From Crude Fitness

Today’s guest post is by Clint Nielsen. He has 10 years of experience with fitness and nutrition. Clint runs a no-nonsense health and fitness blog over at Crude Fitness which is all about helping others achieve their fitness goals without the gimmicks currently being promoted in the fitness industry. Check it out.

Every time I set foot in the gym, I see people that haven’t the slightest clue as to why they are there, nor what they should be doing.

I often see them struggling with weights that are way too heavy or i find gym-goers that are training with the intensity of a sloth on Valium.

I’m not trying to be sexist here by any means, as these traits often apply to both genders.

Without further hesitation, here are the Top 5 things women do that hinder their progress in the gym:

#5 Using walking as your only exercise

Many a girl can be found pounding the treadmill into oblivion. Why is it that you see plenty of over weight people doing this, but with zero results to show for it?

Hours and hours of pointless walking just won’t cut the cheese, let alone the mustard.

Tip: You need intensity in your workouts to make any serious progress. Sure, walking is good for your ‘well being’ (I hate that term), but it won’t provide any serious physique-changing benefits, let alone give you that desirable ‘tone’ you’re probably looking for. Trying lifting weights… that’s right. You heard me.

#4 Avoiding weight lifting

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard Miss Right say to me ‘I don’t want to lift weights as I don’t want to get too big and muscly’.

Wrong sister! This is the WORST decision you will make.

First of all, do you know how hard it is for a woman to put on muscle mass? It’s even harder than giving birth. OK, so it isn’t, but it’s a lot harder for girls than guys to ‘bulk up’.

Heck, it’s even hard for guys to bulk up if they do it incorrectly.

Secondly, do you see that toned woman over there by the squat rack? Well she’s been training for years, lifting heavy weights and still looks like a woman. You won’t become a massive man-lady overnight.

#3 Only interested in high reps

In addition to the above, little Miss Right tells me “I only want to do hi-rep exercises to tone my muscles”.

Wrong again.

High reps in the 20-50 range do little more than fatigue you, and make you a candidate as an extra in Richard Simmons workout videos.

Tip: Try working in the 8-12 range and see if that doesn’t tone you better than anything in the hi-rep range will. Don’t worry, you’ve got more chance of become as huge body builder as I do writing about the positives of growing hair on your palms.

#2 Using the gym to socialize

Talking to friends and having a natter is high on the list of ‘progress pitfalls’.

Too often (and not just the ladies mind you) gym goers can be found working out their mouths rather than their bodies. Let’s save the chit-chat for another place. Besides, you’re hogging the the leg-opener machine I was just about to bust out a set of 50 on…

#1 Working out on ridiculous machines

The leg-opener, the butt-clincher, the tummy-wriggler. You know the ones I’m talking about right?
They open your legs, then close them, then open them, then close them ad nauseam.

All these stupendous machines are setup to make you look like a ditz rather helping you burn fat. Avoid them at all cost. If you can sit there reading a magazine whilst you’re in the weights room, the exercise isn’t giving you the intensity that you require to improve your physique.

Editor’s comment: The gym is a place to train hard and to leave knowing that you’ve put in 100% effort. What are some other pitfalls you see wasting precious gym time? Comment below.

Swole note: Ladies, don’t think that getting a personal trainer is necessarily the solution to your problems either. Read another of Clint’s great posts about the Top 7 mistakes of a bad personal trainer so you can identify whether or not your PT is an ineffectual sham.

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12 Responses to “Top 5 Things Women do That Hinder Their Progress in the Gym”

  1. I see women do these things every. single. day. And they never seem to learn. I wonder why? I lift heavy and avoid cardio unless I am prepping fro a competition.

  2. […] harping on (as you’ve probably read this before), what you’re shovelling into your pie-hole is what’s going to change your physique, […]

  3. Great post! I think that women have so many misconceptions about how to be fit and it’s great to see this ideas pointed out and corrected.

  4. […] an article contemplating the top five things that women do wrong in the gym.  To a certain extent these are the things that many women do in the gym which differ to the […]

  5. Ok, this is pretty confronting, I’m guilty on pretty much all of them, except number 5! You really changed my opinion on the ‘only high reps’ stigma here. You read so often that high reps are the only way to get you toned, but it’s one big conspiracy I tell you!

  6. I agree with this for sure! First of all though, for the most part, I step in the gym all the time (during the day) and the girl to guy ratio is about 10 to 1. No exaggeration. Im always thinking… do only guys like to lift? And when i do see a lot of women in the gym (later at night) they are all crammed in the classes and half of them are in the back half not even breaking a sweat.. and when their class is over they ALL leave to go home. I dont know.. i just wish more women took it more seriously.. good article

  7. Hey Guys,

    You might have hit on a touchy subject here, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

    For every 1 woman I see at the gym doing all the right things, I see 50 doing all the wrong.

    Even my own wife…who I TRY to coach…won’t listen to my advice and instead does set after set on the leg opening and closing device to “make her hips smaller.” When I explain this may actually have the opposite effect and make them look bigger because she could be adding muscle to the area, she just doesn’t believe it.

    Hooray to the one or two women I see doing hard-core interval training with weights. They could probably kick my a#$.

    For all the rest…sorry to say this, but you’re wasting a TON of time.

    Hope to see more articles from Clint on your site. The dude ROCKS!

  8. First of, great article! Lovely to read that it is as obvious a problem as I already thought it was. Finally someone to come out and say it.

    It is frustrating to see women (in my case only women as I go to a ladies-only gym) just staring and gawking at me while I’m busting my ass and they just leisurely lift their head off of the floor once in a while pretending to do crunches.

    Another thing which really ticks me off is women during group lessons. It is as if all audio material is turned off in their heads and all they do is a form of poor mimicking. They do NOT listen to what the teacher tells them to do. And then it of course doesn’t come as a surprise that you leave the lesson sweating like a pig and they just sport a slight blush on their cheeks…

    Women in a gym are so terribly demotivating for me -_-.
    (end of rant).

  9. Good article. I know I have seen a lot of that at my gym which is small compared to the bigger name companies. (Gold’s Gym, Powerhouse, etc.) The funniest thing about it is that it’s mainly the guys there that talk and chit chat instead of work out. The girls walk on the treadmill and read their magazines for the most part. ( They also hold onto the side rails too which makes me want to just explain how pointless it is to them )

    The thing that irks me the most is the couples that come in everyone once and a while to watch each other do exercises on the natutilus machines with minimal effort or slow pace the treadmills. Then you see them outside drinking their sodas talking about how great a workout they just had without having a single drop of sweat on them.

    I give a hear hear! to those who do push it on every workout and only talk when giving advice on proper form.

    • Yes indeed Bryan — The amount of gym-goers that would rather be seen in the gym than actually using it for its intended purporse is astounding.
      If you’re not going to put effort in, then why are you there in the first place?
      I’d rather be eating a pizza or solving rubics cubes.

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