This might be you... or it might not. Not everyone feels like this. You might be more self confident and might feel happy enough to sidle up to the nearest
meat head muscular gym type and ask advice on how the machines work and get a few pointers on technique. I have done this myself and have usually found that people are friendly and helpful.
Another path to confidence on the weights floor is to have a program written for you by the gym staff. You can talk to them about your goals and they will design a program just for you! They will even take you through each exercise and make sure you are doing it correctly to minimise the chance of injury. It's amazing how quickly you can become confident once you know a lat pulldown from a tricep extension!
So why don't we see more women on the weights floor?? Is it simply because it has traditionally been a men's game?? Are women intimidated by the men, or by others who seem to know what they're doing? Or is it because women are fearful that they may "bulk up" and become too masculine? Julia from Julia's Fitness Blog has written a great post on why this is a flawed theory and why strong is the new skinny.. check it out!
I asked my friend B a few questions about weights. B is in her early 20s, she is quite self confident and trains with weights intermittently.
A: Do you lift weights?:
B: I lift little weights in the gym...about 3 kilos I think. I think I started doing it because i wanted to be stronger. To help me with my horse riding.
A: Are you comfortable in the gym??
B: Yes, because I go to the uni gym where my partner works and it's a pretty non threatening environment. It's full of students from all different backgrounds and people at all different levels of fitness. I don't feel perved on and there are plenty of women. I also know lots of people.
A: What would make you feel uncomfortable in a gym??
B: If I felt self conscious of what I was doing. If I thought people were watching me and judging my ability or technique. I'd hate to think people were staring and thinking "look at that girl... she's doing it all wrong!"
A: If a trainer suggested lifting heavier weights, would you feel comfortable to have a go?
B: If it made sense as to why they were suggesting it I would give it a try. I would need to have info on why it would be the best exercise for me and my goals.
So, do you lift weights?? If so, why? Do you love them or loathe them? Or are you indifferent? Do you have any goals relating to your strength or muscle tone? Are you someone who has been worried that you'll grow a stonking great pair of Arnie biceps??
What are your concerns? Fears? What do you LOVE about weights??
I'd be thrilled to hear from you in the comments!!