The gym: the place where dreams come true, that is if your dream is to sweat profusely and feel like your lungs are on fire for 120 minutes. Every year, there are women who make it their New Year’s resolution to work out more, and every year, there are women who ignore that resolution. But for those who are brave enough to stick it out, they head to the gym.
As Gandhi once said, “The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.” Wait, that wasn’t Gandhi, that was a quote from Pinterest. What Gandhi actually said was that strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. The point is, it’s important to stay physically healthy, and the gym is the place that can help make that happen.
Upon arrival, there are a million thoughts running through a woman’s head. It’s easier said than done to keep your mind on the task at hand, and that task alone. Of course, women want to put all of their focus into working out, but sometimes it’s hard to stop the mind from wandering during a five-mile sprint—or walk—on the treadmill.
If you’re curious as to what a woman is really thinking during her workout, here are 15 weird thoughts every woman has had at the gym .
15. Did I Put On Deodorant?
As most, if not all, of us learned in middle school, body odor happens to everyone. We also learned that to combat B.O., deodorant is a necessity. Unfortunately, when you wake up at 5 a.m. to make it to the gym before work, it’s possible to forget that critical step. The worst time to realize this is 20 minutes into a workout, surrounded by dozens of other people in a 20×20 space. Luckily, in situations like this, women have an easy fix to this problem: being a woman. In a male-dominated space, it’s easy to trick others into thinking the rancid smell penetrating their nostrils isn’t coming from the hot girl on the elliptical, but the 250 lb. man dead lifting twice his body weight. So ladies, if you realize you forgot your Secret Outlast deodorant in Va Va Vanilla, don’t worry, just blame it on Bruce.
14. Am I Doing This Right?
Walking into a gym can sometimes feel like walking into NASA’s control room. From cardio machines, to free weights, it can be intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with one (or six) certain piece(s) of equipment. It can be even more intimidating when you look around to find everyone else in the gym knows the difference between hex style and pro style dumbbells. Sure, it’d be easy to ask an employee or fellow worker-outer for help, but you don’t want to be labeled as “the weak one.” Gyms can smell fear. Instead, you strut over to the nearest leg machine and get to work. You’re proud of yourself; you don’t need someone else to help you. You’re a lean, mean, leg machine…until a trainer walks over and offers his assistance, informing you that you’re actually on a rowing machine—which is for arms.
13. This Sports Bra Is Not Doing Its Job
Sports bras were made for one purpose, to keep our chests from hitting us in the face while performing any physical activity. Whether it’s a $40 Victoria’s Secret bra, or one you picked up from Walmart for $10, you expect your breasts to feel safe and secure throughout our entire workout. Unfortunately, there isn’t a guarantee that your boobs will remain seated the entire ride, especially for bigger-chested women. It’s painful to have your breasts bouncing around when you’re exercising, and you thought your sports bra would support your fit and healthy lifestyle, but you were wrong. Not only is it painful, but it’s a sure-fire way to get creepy gym goers to ask you if you “need help with anything.” Then you kindly remind them you’re on the treadmill, it’s pretty easy to figure out. Next time, save yourself a few bucks and your dignity and just duct tape your breasts down. Sure it’s painful, but you’ll be able to finish your five-mile run without your nipple touching your nose.
12. Was That Pizza Worth It?
Saturday night, you got drunk, and you had the option of going home with Brian, who manages a DSW, or grabbing a piece of pizza to prevent the hangover you know you’ll get if you don’t. You decided on the pizza because besides his 20% discount on clearance items, Brian had nothing to offer. You chose a double stuffed crust pepperoni pizza, and made a promise to yourself that you would only have one slice. One slice quickly turned into three slices, which turned into the whole pizza. Before you knew it, you were covered in grease with a stomach that looked like you were in your second trimester. Fast forward to today, where it isn’t until you’re desperately trying to catch your breath that you realize maybe Brian actually is wedding-date material, and that you should have left the double stuffed crust behind. “If only I had a salad,” you think to yourself. But then again, whose drunk food is a salad?
11. I Didn’t Know A Person Could Sweat This Much
The average person sweats 0.8 to 1.4 liters per hour during exercise. For those of you doing the math at home, that’s a lot of sweat. It’s one thing to sweat from your armpits and your forehead, but sweat doesn’t stop at those areas; when a woman sweats, she sweats everywhere. Boob sweat: check. Butt sweat: check. Behind-the-knee sweat: no one understands why it happens, but check. Obviously, exercising causes a person to sweat, but you didn’t know a person could sweat this much. You think of all the women you see on Instagram who post selfies at the gym and how beautiful they look. Where’s their sweat? Did they Photoshop it out? Is there a filter that decreases the appearance of sweat? Either way, you’re about two drops away from creating a manmade lake in the middle of Planet Fitness. Next time, make sure to bring a towel. Or a bucket. Or both.
10. Why Is That Girl Wearing Makeup At The Gym?
Despite what fitspiration photos on Instagram make you think, no one looks cute at the gym. Everyone is sweaty, everyone smells like BO, and there’s a solid chance there’s at least one person has a blister he or she is trying to hide. Point being, there is no reason, under any circumstances, that a woman should be wearing makeup to the gym. If you want to throw on a bit of mascara to impress the guy deadlifting more than twice his body weight next to you as you stand there, trying to remember the workout you pinned on Pinterest, fine; but walking into the gym looking like you’re trying to get invited to the VIP section of a club in Vegas, you need to go home and re-examine your choices. Put your hair in a ponytail like a normal person and accept the fact that you probably won’t be coming home with a new boyfriend that day. It’s a gym, not a bar.
9. Is My Fitbit Counting This?
If you’re going to take two hours out of your day to work out, you need physical evidence to prove it was worth it. A Fitbit tracks the amount of steps you take and how many calories you burned that day. You can also manually add exercises you did other than walking/running, and the app will provide you with (approximately) how many calories you burned during your workout. Though the Fitbit is an excellent way to track your progress, it’s easy to fall into a Fitbit vortex, checking your Fitbit every five minutes to see if you’ve made it to your goal. Women want, nay need, reassurance that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed—even if it’s from a piece of technology on their wrists. Nothing is worse than when you’re halfway through your workout and you realize you’re not even wearing your Fitbit. Who are you kidding? You didn’t even remember to put on deodorant, an essential to personal hygiene. It’s no surprise you forgot to put on an accessory. There’s always tomorrow.
8. What Should I Have For Dinner Tonight?
Women love food; some more than others, but food is up there with pictures of puppies and hamsters being friends, and Channing Tatum’s butt. Food is a necessity, which is great because it’s delicious. Some of us love food so much, that we start planning when we should eat next, the moment we finish the last bite of whatever it was we just ate. Health magazine, Pinterest, and health blogs all have their own advice for what a person should eat pre- and post-workout, but let’s be honest, it’s not likely you’re going to take their advice. You try to remember everything you have in your refrigerator and realize you haven’t gone grocery shopping since the Great Depression, so you’re going to have to eat out. Sure, you could opt for grilled chicken and veggies, but where’s the fun? You figure with all of the exercise you’ve done that day, you deserve a burrito bowl from Chipotle, with chips and guac on the side (guacamole is healthy, right)?
7. Should I Snapchat This?
The best part of working out is letting everyone know that you’re working out. Fortunately, Snapchat allows gym goers to capture every sprint, squat, and flex. But taking a #GymSelfie isn’t as easy as you think; you need good lighting, good angles, and a good filter to distract people from your cellulite (the dog filter usually does the trick). Then begs the question, how often should you Snapchat at the gym; every time you change machines? Before and after your workout to show people your progress (sweat)? Or afterwards at brunch as you gulp down your fifth mimosa with the caption, “I’ve earned it?” It depends on what you’re going for…and how many friends you have. Then you wonder if you should Instagram it too, and tweet about it, and check-in at the gym on Facebook to let your distant relatives know you’re taking care of yourself so they don’t ask you about it at Thanksgiving. Snapchat will do for now, Aunt Barbara is going to ask you fifty questions at Thanksgiving anyway.
6. It’s Only Been Five Minutes?!
You’re on the Stairmaster, feeling good (well, maybe not good, but you haven’t collapsed or called your lawyer to start constructing your will, so you’re still a winner). Just a few more minutes on the treadmill and you can reward yourself with a shower. Time flies when you’re having fu—time flies when you’re working out. That is, until you look down at the timer to realize what you thought was 30 minutes has only been five. Five. Minutes. Five minutes seems to fly by when you snooze your alarm for another five minutes, or when you only have five minutes to get to work, but five minutes at the gym seems like an eternity. You check again to make sure your eyes weren’t playing tricks on you. Yep, it’s still been five minutes, and you have 25 minutes left. Good thing you brought your phone so you can watch an episode of Broad City to help pass the time. Your phone’s dead? Excellent.
5. An 80-Year-Old Woman Just Passed Me On The Track
Believe it or not, elderly people work out too. Don’t let their wrinkled skin and thinning blood fool you; there are plenty of elderly men and women who are physically fit. It’s great to see people who are well into their 80s still have the ability and endurance to complete a workout, however, it’s not as great to find out that they’re in better shape than you. It’s easy to assume anyone over the age of 50 spends their days sewing or dressing his/her dog up in costumes for future Christmas cards, but that just isn’t the case. So, you take this as a challenge and push yourself to run faster; you won’t stop until you’ve passed that woman old enough to be your grandmother. You don’t want people to think you’re that out of shape (even though you definitely are). But then, you get a leg cramp, and decide to sit this one out. Maybe things do get better with age.
4. I’m Going To Have To See Her Naked In The Locker Room Later
For some reason unbeknownst to man, elderly women find it socially acceptable to walk around naked in the locker room post-workout. Is it because they stopped caring what other people think in their old age, or do they just not realize there are other people around? Sure, it’s empowering to see a woman so comfortable in her body, but there is a time and place for empowerment, and the gym locker room at 7 AM is neither of them. You thought you were doing them a favor by covering up as you walk from the locker to the shower, since you figured they were raised in a more traditional and conservative time and may not be comfortable seeing another woman’s private parts. Apparently, these women aren’t as conservative as you thought. But as uncomfortable as it makes you, you won’t say anything. You’ll smile and nod, trying to avert your gaze as 82-year-old Margret stands in front of you, butt-ass naked, making small talk about how the beautiful the weather is today.
3. I Definitely Lost 10 Pounds Today
After all of your hard work, you expect to step on the scale and see an instant drop in pounds. You feel like you must’ve sweat off at least 10 pounds—you have the sweat stains to prove it. Looking in the mirror, you can already see yourself posting before and after photos on Instagram, showing people your progress of how far you come; how toned you are now. However, for every pound you want to lose, you need to burn about 3,500 calories. On average, a person burns approximately 500 calories per gym session, so unless you have the endurance of a cheetah and the strength of The Hulk, it’s not likely you lost ten pounds (or one pound, for that matter). Don’t worry, if you continue to work hard and eat right, you’ll lose those 10 pounds…just not that day. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a six pack.
2. I Gained Three Pounds?!
You step on the scale, braced to see an immediate weight loss, only to find out that not only did you not lose any weight you actually gained three pounds. You recount everything you’ve eaten in the past week, thinking there must be a mistake. And then you remember that Saturday night pizza…and the Friday night pizza. But what about the salad you had Tuesday? Then again, it was a barbeque bacon salad, and you did ask for extra ranch. It’s frustrating to see the number on the scale has gone up. You feel defeated, like those two hours at the gym were all for nothing. You look around at the other women in the gym, thinking they probably don’t have this problem; it’s just you. Anything they eat must go right through them—damn their fast metabolisms. “I wish I could eat anything and not gain a pound.” Some women have that God-given talent, and some women have to go to the gym and eat salads without extra ranch.
1. Screw It, I’m Getting McDonald’s
Feeling defeated, you get in your car, post-naked-elderly-women-in-the-locker-room encounter, and make your way to the nearest drive-thru. You think, “I already gained three pounds, what’s an extra pound or two?” You order a Big Mac, fries, and a chocolate shake for good measure. If you’re going down, you’re going to do it the right way. Fry after fry, you wonder how you got to this point in your life. You didn’t even wait to eat until you got home; you set up shop right there in the parking lot. You mentally scan your closet for clothes you still wear, and what you’ll need to give away. Hey, you wanted to go shopping anyway; now you have a reason to justify it. After you’ve stuffed your face with enough fat and cholesterol to kill an elephant, you go home, take a long hard look in the mirror, and tell yourself that your diet starts tomorrow…right after you’re done at the gym.