It really bums me out how many women (including myself) have said that they feel intimidated by the male-dominated weights section of their gym.
At my gym, I'm often the only woman actually working out with the weights (excluding women using the open space for mat work or using light weights). I thought guys would judge me, or be like "what's she doing over here" or not want to share (haha, I know, crazy, this isn't a sandbox!). So my first time over there by myself I was slightly terrified. And this is something I've heard several women on here mention when questioning to start strength training. But after a workout or two, I started getting comfortable. I'd gather my equipment (I'm amusing lugging 2 25lb kettlebells across the floor with my iPhone shoved into the front of my workout top), stake out my spot for the next half hour and get to work. I'll even ask to share equipment to "work in" as I've realized its called if someone is using it.
And apparently the guys have taken notice, in a good way! I ran into two guys from my gym in the grocery store last night. The first thing they said was "hey, it's the Workout Queen!" And then they proceeded to tell me how impressed they were that I was busting my butt over there and they don't usually see women using the weights. So, it looks like I'm making an impression that I didn't even realize. I'm giving all women a chance to get over there and blend in, or even stand out :) Then they started asking what was in my hand basket and started adding things to their grocery list (greek yogurt, quaker Stila bars, etc.) since "I clearly had this whole thing down", haha.
The moral of the story is that anyone can conquer the weights side of the gym. It doesn't matter if you're lifting 5 lb weights or 50 lb weights. It's a start and it's something people take notice of! So if you're questioning whether to start adding strength training into your cardio workout routine, don't let the weights section scare you out of trying. I promise you'll gain much more respect just by walking over there and trying! And like I blogged about yesterday, strength training and cardio training go hand-in-hand. My 5K time rocked, I deadlifted 100 lbs yesterday (need to work on my grip), and my waist is looking smaller! I don't think it gets much better than that...