T Nation

Too Few Lady Participants

In reading a post by Patricia, she mentioned the lack of involvement by other women on this board. I’m one of those lurkers…I check in here almost every day (for a couple of years). I don’t think it’s just this board that suffers from a lack of female participation.

I’m a woman over 40, who has been training for 17 years. I train seriously, consistently, naturally, heavy and hard. I have trained with several different trainers over the years, and still occasionally hook up with some that I enjoy training with. I’ve had both female and male training partners over the years.

When I started training it was to take off weight after the birth of my second child. Didn’t have much money for gym membership, and a friend of mine got us in under her brother’s membership at a Gold’s Gym…we were the only ladies in there, and believe me we weren’t very welcomed. No fancy machines, just benches and weights, so her brother showed us how to do the hard stuff, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve changed my training style and focus on several occasions. I’ve trained for competition (I stink…can’t pose worth a shit, and I hate being in front of people), I’ve trained for strength, which is still important to me. But, as I’ve gotten older, how I feel and performance has become the primary forus of training (aside from the fact that I’m a genuine gym rat and cannot imagine not training). I’m proud of the fact that my performance in things that I like to do like climb, hike, mountain bike, row, and even golf is better now than it was 25 years ago; and light years beyond my peers.

I shall get to the point of this post. Weight trainers are a relatively small community of people, and the different forums have been a wonderful resource for exchanging ideas and comaraderie. The Ladies Forums are basically not what I’m interested in…so repetitive (i.e. I want to get toned, but not big!!! GAG!!!) But, I’ve found it frustrating to post on serious bodybuilding/weight traininer forums, if you are female. For the most part the boards are male, and men, as a general rule, just flat won’t take much advice from women. I have no argument with the idea that women should train like men…but there are times when a man can benefit from training like a women. On too many occasions to count, I’ve offered sound advice to a male trainee seeking advice, to be ignored until another male “sanctions” it. After a time, I just stopped bothering.

For a woman to put on and keep serious natural muscle, she is probably working harder and more consistenly than most of the men at the gym. In fact, I often work out with guys. The one’s who know me, want to share my workout when I’m without a partner. Why? Because they know that if they do my workout with me, they will most likely craw out of the gym.

I’m not whining or ranting; just trying to clarify why more women don’t post…in my case, I just don’t have thick enough skin.

The point of that post was the camaraderie of other women competitors, strength athletes, etc.

This board and the other two that I participate in are actually, very open to training advice given by women to men. I have yet to experience a “women don’t know how to train and shouldn’t give training advice to men” from any of these boards. And if it were to happen? I could give a damn.

I’m just a little lost on your statement that men could benefit if they were to “train like a women.” If there is no difference on how a woman should train from a man (and I firmly believe this), than how could it be vicer versa?

Rebecca,
Great post! Jeez…I wish I had more women like you where I train. Granted, I train in a small town gym, but ALL the women who do train there only use the cybex machines or just do cardio. It was be a sight for sore eyes to actually see a woman train and train HARD!! Good for you. Its highly unfortunate that “men” dont take your advice to heart and use the advice you give them. I guess it is a dent in their ego to take advice pertaining to training from a woman. To hell with em I say! Thats just bullshit to be honest. I for one, would be more than happy and willing to take advice from someone with as much expertise as you. And I am sure I am not the only one who will admit to that. Thanks for posting, and I certainly hope that you participate more often. Tony G

Rebecca, while I’m sure you have good reasons for the reluctance to post more often due to past experiences, I don’t think you would experience the same negative feedback on this forum. Patricia is one example of a woman who gets taken seriously around here. She’s, without a doubt, one of the most respected people on this forum. What it comes down to is, if people know you walk the walk and not just talk the talk, your contributions will be respected no matter what your gender.

Patricia, Tampa-Terry, Eva, Stella… I could go on and on. What was your point again :slight_smile:

I’m here–mostly lurking, but I check out the forum a few times a week and sometimes even post. I’ve had men ask me for advice in the gym, and at times I’ve also offered unsolicited advice, which has been welcomed. Maybe because I’m a powerlifter and lift heavy for my size (112 lbs) and age (56), I’ve gained respect and esteem in my gym. I’ve been training for 29 years, the last 2 1/2 in PL. I haven’t noticed any disrespect toward women trainers on this forum. If you offer sound advice, whether male or female, you get respect around here.

For example, I don’t think theres anybody here on the board that is better at giving advice (sound advice) when it comes to posing than Patricia, and I’m quite sure shes a female. Around here, if you know what you’re talking about, you’ll get the respect you deserve. If you spout verbal diarrhea, then you’re not gonna get any respect. Plain and simple.

Where’s Tampa-Terry at! Another consist poster and wealth of information especially in Nutrition.

In Health,

Silas C.

While I’m sure that the point(s) you made about being a woman in a gym are right on, I have to take exception to your idea that you’d need thick skin to post here. If you’ve been around for as long as you say you have (lurking), then you must know that there have been female posters since almost Day 1 of the Forum. In addition to the women mentioned above, Ironbabe, Girlfriend, Michelle and GM all posted very frequently in days past, and if memory serves (and believe me, it does :wink: ), none of them ever got dissed for being a woman.

Quite the contrary, a woman posting a silly newbie question around here will generally get treated more gently than a guy posting the same question.

So I have to (gently) call bullshit on that point. If you’ve been training for 17 years, then you undoubtedly have something of value to contribute to the Forum. And - frankly - you should start doing so.

Dont forget bigprljamfan is one of the lady elite too!!..;o) Along with Patricia, Tampa-Terry, Stella, Karma, etc etc

she-ra, I guarantee that if I saw a 56 year old lady moving heavy weights, I’d gladly take any advice she could offer. Any intelligent lifter would. All those years of experience… wow.

Hey, I’m a girl…and I’m almost always on somewhere :slight_smile:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen any response to my posts or Stella’s or Patricia’s or bgprljmfan (did I spell it right?? lol) or any of the other women on here that I would even remotely consider negative. On the contrary, I think the guys AND girls on these boards are some of the more articulate and helpful that I’ve seen. Good example was a post I put up a while ago about Depo-Provera…had plenty of guys weigh in on that one, and with helpful points too.
Or our T-cell…so there were more guys than girls (darn :wink: ). Stella and I had a fabulous time. There are at any one time probably more men into working out seriously than women- that’s just the state of things. Regardless, I’ve never felt undervalued or anything of the ilk on this board or in the company of any of the T-People I’ve met.
Rebecca :slight_smile:
otherwise known as elveneyes

I need to find a lady who is active in this game. It would help out SOOOOOO much in my life. Its hard to do this when most of the people around you dont understand why. If you have to ask, then you wouldnt understand. Thats the way i feel.

Yesterday, I had composed and posted a reply, but it’s apparently in cyber purgatory.

I will cede to the ladies’ experience, and assume then, if I’m flamed, it’s because I’m an idiot and not because I’m a female.

Patricia, in reference to my remark concerning ladies’ vs. mens’ traning, I was basically referring to the general gym membership, and not necessary the elite athlete. I’m usually looking for a middle ground between the women who want to “get in shape” by doing hours of aerobics, and the men who want to do the same with three days a week of presses and curls. When I walk through the gym my reaction is to want tell the women to put some weight on that bar, and tell the men to take some off.

Rebecca:

So, it’s more of a “frame of mind” that you were referring to. I have also noticed that not only women, but many men in the gym need to set aside the lunges, curls, tricep kickbacks, etc. and go for more deads, squats and benches. And I do see the cardio equipment being monopolized by either men or women. So, gettin’ off the bike or treadmill and gettin into the weight room is a must for either.

Which is why I do cringe when I hear or read a woman saying that, “she trains like a man”. With the majority of men I see in many gyms, I don’t consider this to be any kind of compliment.

Training smart goes for either gender. As does training with intensity and purpose.

Hey! I’m a chick too and I read T-Mag. In response to Goldberg - too bad you’re in GA cuz I was thinking the same thing about men who don’t “get it”… but I’m in CA.

Thanks to whoever started this thread for the gals!

Patricia, you may laugh, but I find lunges to be a pretty good supplementary exercise. I load up the bar and wince away. Yes, I see tons of guys doing these and they do them wrong- with 5 pound weight in each hand and they go about an inch down. I fit them in after squats.

CGB - I bet you use the “butt blaster” and ab/adductor machines too, huh? JUST kidding! :slight_smile: I like lunges too, but like you said… go hard or go home.

I like lunges so much that I offer my expertise to the 18-25 female demographic at my gym. By grasping their ass with my hands, I ensure knee integrity and a full ROM. They are skeptical. Some have even accused me of having an agenda. Nonsense, I say.