Gender Stereotypes In The Gym

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then Mar’s gyms must be full of weight benches and dumbbells and Venus’s gyms must be full of ellipticals, treadmills, and abdominal machines. 

Some fascinating stuff stems from contrasting male and female attitudes, and differing views on fitness and working out is no exception.  If you’re a gym-goer, you have undoubtedly noticed how women tend to flock to any form of cardio and ab or butt-toning exercises. Men generally stick to the “grunting and groaning” variety of exercising, more properly known as resistance training. 

Not convinced? Next time you go to the HPER just take a mental tally of the boy-to-girl ratio in the cardio room vs. the weight room and you’ll see what I mean. Personally, about two thirds of my workout time is spent in the male dominated areas of the gym, but I sure didn’t start working out this way. I was just as cliché as they come, but now I’ve found that a little open-mindedness to the weight room will go a long way. 

Take it from me girls; having a well rounded lifting routine will do wonders for your figure! Women are often afraid of “bulking up” due to weight training, but unless you’ve really trying to get big it’s just never going to happen. Try adding a weights program to your fitness routine that hits all the body’s major muscle groups three times per week. 

Guys, you may think certain forms of aerobic and strength-training exercises are “girly” but many stereotypical women’s workouts are beneficial for burning calories, extremely effective at strengthening often-forgotten muscle groups, and losing excess body fat. Bottom line? Mix up your routine with a little ‘girly’ and a little grunting. The truth for both men and women alike is this: combining consistent aerobic exercise with strength training is the most effective routine for full-body fitness. 


  1. Many public gyms now expel lifters for grunting. http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/homepage-feature/item/27722-alarming-story-lands-area-weightlifter-on-daily-show (SNL did a skit about it too)

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  3. It took me a long time to be convinced that weight training would really help reach my goal (curvy body for my husband). You're right, my girlfriends and I avoided lifting weights because we didn't want to become 'huge'. The fact that you see most of the women on the treadmills gives you a social proof that what they're doing MUST be right. The people lifting weights all have large muscles so we can only assume that lifting weights will make you BIG. Totally not true and I wish I read your post earlier.

    Now I only go to the gym for weight training. Specifically the weight training machines and a little bit of dumbbell and barbell related exercises. I usually run on my treadmill (horizon fitness treadmill btw) after I come home and it feels great.