Mansplaining at the gym

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You know that thing where a man who knows less than a woman tries to explain said thing to the woman? That’s call mansplaining and it happens way more than it should. It’s frustrating in the workplace, on the train, wherever. It’s also frustrating to experience mansplaining at the gym.

After deciding yesterday to check out the local YMCA, I opted in for a tour. The trainer who took me on the tour showed me immediately to the cardio equipment and “yoga area” (guys, it was a stretching area with mats), then very quickly said, “and we have weights here, including the cables and stuff.”

And then, the mansplaining

As he turned away to lead me to the next area, I looked around, searching hopefully for the equipment I would need. Finally, I spied it.

“Oh, I’m so glad you have a squat rack!” I told him.

“Oh yeah, we also have a smith machine in case that’s more familiar to you…”

Mansplaining at the gym
Ahem, no.

His further mansplaining, of how to do a squat on a smith machine, was only deterred by my combination glare and eye roll. Of course I couldn’t possibly know how to do a squat in a squat rack. Of course the smith machine must be a better option for any woman.

Am I being sensitive? Maybe, but that’s because stuff like this is sadly not uncommon.

I got a membership, mostly because of the pool and it’s like $60 less than my last membership, but on the way out I couldn’t help but notice they’re hiring personal trainers and front desk associates. Now while I don’t anticipate applying for either of these positions, it was tempting to say the least.

Word of advice, friends. No matter what profession you’re in, always give people the benefit of the doubt. Don’t dumb things down, especially basic things. Whether it’s your writing, fitness, money, whatever, you can always go back and explain it in a different way if someone doesn’t understand, but everyone deserves to be treated like they have a basic understanding of things. Chances are, they do.

Don’t be the person who is guilty of mansplaining at the gym, or anywhere if you can avoid it. And let me tell you, you can avoid it. 

Keep fighting,
Becki

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10 Comments


  1. // Reply

    LOVE a good mansplain- used to happen all the type at my last hospo job when guys would come in and tell me how their coffee was meant to be made…..pretty sure I may have some idea after 11 years of doing this dude….

    This situation definitely calls for a squat off where you will obviously kick his butt 😉


    1. // Reply

      Haha, a squat off sounds amazing!


  2. // Reply

    It must be extremely frustrating to be mansplained too. I’m a man, so when people do it to me, it’s just called being a condescending ass, which I obviously hate…It’s funny that males tend to think they know more about weightlifting than women. Take a quick look at all the gym fails on YouTube, and guess what: They’re 90% men!

    I personally advocate for building a good gym (if possible, I know it’s not always) and working out at home. Then you’re the expert all the time, and no mansplaining can occur!

    Keep glaring, keep rolling those eyes!


    1. // Reply

      Oh man, what I wouldn’t give to have enough money to build my dream gym at home! Full squat rack, Olympic bar with plates, a trap bar, plyo boxes of various sizes, turf and a sled, monkey bars and/or a pull up bar.


  3. // Reply

    Mansplaining is new term about Man who want to prove himself better than woman. Mansplaining at the gym is more intresting as Man think Zyms and squats machines espacially made for man.


  4. // Reply

    Well … sometimes I let them “esplain” and pretend I have no clue what they are referring to. Maybe insulting or even degrading to women but the quiet ones with results always can make it work! Love your take on gym rat pump it up mentality of some … I am sure not all! We love to never dumb it down just great communication!x
    Michelle Strong recently posted…Gut and Mental Health Connection | The Gut Guru GuideMy Profile


  5. // Reply

    Hey what a great article, it was very interesting to read. I hate when guys assume that women don’t know much in the gym. At my gym there are women that are a lot more knowlegdable on fitness and the gym equipment than men! Good article thanks for sharing!


    1. // Reply

      Haha, exactly! Thanks for reading.


  6. // Reply

    What a nice and motivating article. I think that the notion that women don’t know what they are doing at the gym is quite offensive. It’s great to see that more women are trying to make their bodies stronger.

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