T Nation

Self Defeating Attitude


My girlfreind has been coming to the gym with me after hours recently. She was going ok, just spending some time on the cardio and doing some machine weights, but not working very hard. She is very self conscious and would stop doing an exercise if I watched her and that (pain in the ass when your trying to show her how to do it).

Anyway I thought I would show her how to deadlift today because I thought it might give her a bit of a boost to move a bit of weight.
I set the bar up on racks with no weight just to teach her the movement and after demonstrating I got her to have a go. It was so weird, she just did not want to give it a go. Its hard to explain but she wouldn't even get into the proper position to start the lift. She just started saying that she couldn't do it and that she was just shit at this stuff (I was not critical at all).

I just found it crazy that she didn't think she could do it, even before she had really tried. I admit that after that I got a little frustrated and we had an argument. She didn't do anything after that and was pretty upset.

I feel bad, cause she was upset, maybe I shouldn't have got her doing deadlifts yet untill her confidence was better.
On the otherhand I am actually turned off that she wouldn't give it a go and had such a bad attitude about it, I just think it is a really weak mentality.

The only up side is that after that I pulled a 4 plate a side deadlift PR that I had missed twice in the last month.


Shouldnt get mad at her, as long as shes doing nothing wrong that could give her negative effects, I see no real reason to pressure her to deadlift.

Nice PR on the dead tho.


She doesn't want to be there and is only there to make you happy, imho. She needs to learn how to be there for herself, and for a lot of women, that takes visible progress. Is she on a program of some sort - or more importantly, does she want to be on a program?


Stick it in her pooper?

Im sorry I had to.


Your right, she doesn't really like exercising at the gym but she wants to loose weight and tone up (usual chick stuff).
Sadly I think the main reason that she wants to exercise is for negative reasons, because she doesn't like the way she looks (she is gorgeous BTW) rather than beacause she enjoys it.

I would love to start her on a program but she seems to have a real block as far as me helping her. I'm not sure if its just that she is selfconscious and is worried that about looking silly or what.

I think now that it would be best if she had a female trainer and did it when I wasn't there. But the whole reason we have been training outside hours is that she doesnt want to train when other people are in the gym.


I know your right dude, I wasn't even mad at her, I was just frustrated and angry at whatever put the idea in her head that she was hopless (which is what she thinks) when she is not.

I wasn't trying to pressure her, just encourage her, but yeah I guess I shouldn't have gone on with it after she said she couldn't do it.
Thanks mate


I dated a girl that was the same way. My girl didn?t really want to work, hard. It?s funny how lazy some people are! Your girl is trying to make you happy. Ask her if she would like to try on her own with a PT. No go, then just be honest and tell her it?s unattractive when she tries the way she does. Some others might say ?no? to that statement, but honesty is a good thing IMHO.


Just be grateful that she is willing to go to the gym with you. There are many people who would never step into a gym. She is willing to share gym time with you and that is worth something.

Try introducing all the major lifts with light dumbbells. You have her on the line don't let her get away.


Great example of why external motivation doesn't work in the long run.

Have you talked with her about her very own goals and how she wants to reach these goals. If she doesn't have the feeling that she is doing this for herself in the first place then chances are high that she will never do it.




your girlfriends nuttier than squirrel shit son.


This is probably the best idea. Personally I can never be taught anything by someone I'm in a relationship with. It just never works. I'm also like your girlfriend and can't stand to workout in front of other people--though I'm not sure what I'm worried about. My solution is to teach myself and do it at home. But unless your girlfriend is motivated enough to do this herself it won't really work.


Take it slow and be patient is probably the best idea.


I agree with this last statement. I had a trainer a long time ago and she taught me beginner moves so it was less intimadating. I probably would have freaked if she sent me right to the rack, and I WANTED to be at the gym. If she isn't into it, just be glad she comes. She might change her mind later.


Let her do her own thing. If she isn't there under her own steam, she isn't going to do it.

Honestly, every man that's ever had a romantic interest in me, that tried to show me anything in the gym just got on my tits. For some reason, they come off as very patronising as if the possession of a 'y' chromosome, makes them the bearer of all pertinent gym related information.

I doubt that is how it is meant to come across but that is often how it does come across. Perhaps that is how you appear to her even if you don't think like that. Just something to think about.


Thanks for the replys, espeacially from the girls. I think I really overreacted in hind sight.
I might try using the dumbells in a while if she wants to give it another go.


I think you might be spot on about that. I don't mean to be patronising but maybe that is the way it comes accross.


I guess I just havent had to deal with this before. I have taught lots of women different exercises in the rack.
I'm confident my gf is easily able to do it but it is just a lack of confidence or willingness to learn from me I think.
But as I said I overreacted and If she is still keen to keep going with it I'll just have to take it slow.


Thanks alot, it is very encouraging to know that someone like yourself also had the same troubles starting out. I think she would be motivated to continue on her own if she was confident that it will achieve her goals.


She doesn't really like talking about that stuff with me, and I don't want to seem like I am pushing the issue.