Unfortunately, the gym can sometimes feel like a scary place for a woman. Especially if you’ve been sticking to the treadmill for a long time, feeling too intimidated by the weight-lifting section. It's easy to say “just go in and get on with it”, but it’s helpful to have some practical tips in your back pocket.
This week is Power Week at Myprotein, a week all about female empowerment and celebrating strong women. To kick off the week, we asked three of our female ambassadors to share what makes them feel empowered, who inspires them, and what advice they’d give to their younger selves. Here’s what Elle Edwards, Hanh Dinh and Lesley Fernandez had to say about feeling empowered in the gym.
"Wear The Damn Shorts"
What you wear can have a phenomenal impact on how you feel. And for a lot of women, the gym is no exception to that. Here’s what kind of clothing makes our ambassadors feel most comfortable...
“When the summer months hit and it’s finally time to get the shorts out, it’s always daunting at first but honestly life is too short. Wear the damn shorts. And if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s their problem.”
“At the gym, I wear what is conducive to my work out, and most of the time that means I’m in a sports bra and shorts. My focus when going to the gym is to get a good workout in, whether I'm strength training, cross training, or running on the treadmill. I try to maintain that perspective rather than allow any insecurities or negative thoughts dictate what I’m most comfortable in.”
“Leggings and a sports bra are my go to. I love wearing shorts but sometimes I feel like other people make me feel less comfortable in them.”
If you don’t feel like taking Elle’s advice on shorts today, that’s totally fine. Like Lesley says, sometimes you just need a good pair of leggings and a trusty sports bra to make you feel like you can conquer your workout (or the world).
"I Gather Strength From The Strong Group Of Women Who Raised Me"
Drawing strength from other women, whether they be in your life or complete strangers to you, is a great way of building up your own confidence.
So, who inspires our ambassadors? Here’s who they look up to as great female role models...
“My mama! She taught me to always unapologetically be myself. Fight for what I want and never look back. Without my mum I can’t imagine where I’d be and I am so grateful for her. I also take great inspo from business women and female athletes daily.”
“I have connected with many female runners through social media, but two women who come to mind who I really admire are the ones who use their platform to elevate AAPI and BIPOC voices within the running community and who use running as a way to advocate for social change.”
“My sister and my mom I gather a lot of strength from the strong group of women who raised me.”
"Just Focus On You"
With the years of experience that our ambassadors have in the gym, we were keen to find out what their advice would be to their younger selves. So, we asked them just that, here’s what they had to say...
“Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and just get on with it. I would often avoid the weights section completely because it was busy and I didn’t have the confidence to find a free squat rack etc. Imagine all the gains I could’ve made if I just got on with it! Remember that everyone is there to better themselves and should be focusing on themselves - so just focus on you!”
“'Strength training will make you a stronger and more efficient runner!' As an injury-prone runner, I’ve had to learn the hard way that injuries are our body’s way of telling us that something isn’t right, and we have to listen to it. Working out different muscle groups has helped me to reduce injuries and ultimately run stronger, faster, and further!”
“Do your own research! So many people will just make content that is clickbait worthy. Make smart choices for your body type and fitness styles that make fitness fun for you!”
Take Home Message
Being a woman in an often male-dominated environment can be intimidating, there’s no denying that. Using the women around you to draw inspiration and strength, wearing and doing the sports that make you feel powerful, and focusing on you and no-one else will all help you build your confidence.
We hope our ambassadors have offered you some inspiration to get out and move your body in whatever way you love.
Learn more about Power Week here.