Going to the gym can be intimidating. You’ve got men (and often women!) with biceps the size of your head, making loud noises as they lift dumbbells and barbells twice their weight. It's crowded, overwhelmed with people who are overwhelmed with the time and commitment it takes to get in shape.
Even when you’ve mustered up the courage to get to the gym, you’ve got to be OK with sweating next to dozens of people you’ve never met and ignore the fact that they may be sweating all over you.
For some, the gym is sacred ground. It’s a place where they find their peace, delve into their soul and tap into their truth and inner strength. I salute you, I honor you — but the gym just isn't for me.
In my years as a fitness and gymnastics coach, I've found that the most successful workouts for me and the women in my life are the ones that surround me with like-minded women. There’s no denying that working out with a group of fitness-loving, healthy eating and soul-inspiring women is not only motivating, but completely fulfilling.
There are a number of reasons I leave my workouts feeling physically strong and emotionally nourished, and they're all unique to working out with other women.
1. There's no judgement or competition.
We often have similar insecurities and physical needs, so when we gather together and sweat it out, we can inspire our sisters to smash their goals and chase their insecurities away. It’s a never-ending cycle: We're inspired to inspire and so on until we’ve hit our goals and are moving on to bigger and better ones, with our ladies by our side!
2. Workout sessions can double as therapy.
We never have to worry about the things we can’t control, because the likelihood that we’re going through the same thing is high. For instance, I have children and sometimes my bladder just doesn’t agree with jumping jacks!
We’re able to relax, share our embarrassing stories, commiserate when Aunt Flo comes a knocking, giggle together when our boobs hit the floor before we’ve hit that 90 degrees on our push-ups and never worry about how our butt looks in yoga pants.
3. You can relax and focus on your personal goals.
Not only is motivation increased when women work out together and the atmosphere relaxed, but we're able to build workouts designed specifically for us. Men and women have some very obvious (and not so obvious) physiological differences, making exercise a very different experience for each. Not all workouts are created equal and while some can benefit both sexes, others don’t compliment the inherent physical attributes of women.
When you work out with guys, it can be frustrating trying to keep up with them. In a group of women, you're not racing to see who's faster, stronger or feeling stressed because you’re just a bit slower than the guys in your group. You can relax, ditch the competition and focus on building strength and stamina.
If your goals are evading you and the gym is just not your place, find your local women’s fitness program, or even just a group of friends ready to commit to get fit and get moving! Having that solid group of inspiring sisters to push you beyond your comfort zone might just be the kick start you need to live your BEST life. Getting fit and healthy shouldn’t be a burden, it should be a gift!
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