Every time I see some frustrated straight guy trying to show his girlfriend how to deadlift I’m more grateful than ever that I’m gay.
And while we may not be interested in heading to the gym with our girlfriends, it’s fairly common for a gay guy to hit the gym with his girl friends. I don’t know about you, but my straight male friends are few and far between, and far too macho to actually work out with. So unless you’re blessed with your very own Jillian Michaels, your gym buddies will often be of the hetero-female persuasion.
Girl fitness goals vs gay fitness goals
Not one to cast stereotypes, but a lot of the time your girl friends will not have the same training goals as you. While they may not want to pack on the pounds and build a load of muscle like some of our more bear-like brothers, this doesn’t mean that you should assume your girl friends are only interested in cardio and yoga.
When you hit the gym together your training need not be that different from hers. Grace Collins, qualified personal trainer and amateur CrossFit competitor (and my housemate) says that there is no reason why girls can’t train the same as guys.
“Of course we can do the same things, just some of the weights are not comparable. When training with other [male] PTs, we’re at a similar level of fitness and I just need to scale back some of the weights in order to relate to my body weight. Usually about 20% less.”
So whatever kind of workout you’re planning, you and your female friends can definitely do the same thing, just with a few minor adjustments in weight. But it may still take some convincing for your girl friends to skip the treadmill and train like man for a change. Here are 3 things girls might say, and why they’re bullshit:
1. “I don’t want to get too muscley”
If, like me, you’re trying to gain as much muscle as possible, you can assure them that putting on muscle mass isn’t something that just happens after a couple of press ups. You have testosterone on your side, along with (probably) eating a lot more calories and protein, and it still will take a lot of effort before you see results.
Gains don’t happen by accident, so there’s little to no chance of them spontaneously bulking. What they will achieve is better tone, more fat-burning muscles, and increased strength.
2. “I can’t do that, I’m a girl”
Vomit! Come on ladies, get some girl power! There is no exercise out there that is exclusively for men, so there aren’t any that you can’t get your girl friends to do with you. Probably some of the most notorious “boy moves” are pull ups and press ups. Men might have more natural upper body strength, but that doesn’t mean a girl can’t get stronger. PLUS, men are typically heavier than women and so have more weight to pull or push up.
“One of my favourite moments was when I beat an ex boyfriend at pull ups. Everyone cheered. So there’s no reason you can’t do everything the boys do.” – Grace
If your girl friend has never done a pull up before, don’t force them to do one straight away. Work with them to improve their back strength and grip strength with moves like rows on the TRX, then move them onto to assisted pull ups.
If you help a girl realise that she can do a pull up when she never believed that she could, then you get into gay heaven right next to Madonna (now there’s a woman who can sure as hell do pull ups!)
3. “It’s easier for boys”
OK, some things are easier for boys. We’re usually bigger and have more of the right hormones to help promote muscle growth. But my definition of strong doesn’t have to be her definition of strong, just like it doesn’t have to be your definition of strong, or that other guy’s definition of strong.
“You just need to adapt it so that she doesn’t feel like she’s left behind. It’s not her fault, it’s just down to damned science.”
If you want to train heavy weights that’s great, but don’t make your female training buddies feel weak because they can’t lift as heavy as you. And don’t be surprised if, in some instances, they can lift more. You can be damn sure that Grace is squatting way heavier than I am.
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