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Dear Gym Bozos, Stop Shaming Women for Working Out

12/05/2016 11:42 | Updated 12 May 2016

Five years ago, I would not have been able to step into the weights section of a gym.

Apart from finding it extremely intimidating - from heavily muscled guys to the groups of men having loud conversations with their mates, from the equipment itself to the overall staring that happens when you're waiting between reps - I also didn't know what the hell I was doing.

It was much safer to stick to the comforting confines of the cross-trainer, treadmill and mat areas - that way, I reduced the likelihood that someone would laugh at me for doing it wrong.

The fear that someone will laugh at you in the gym may sound trivial, but it's a huge part of why people, especially women, are scared of working out.

So when I heard that some utter bozo had filmed a woman exercising in the gym on Snapchat and titled it 'Tf is she doing', I wanted to ask him Tf he thought he was doing.

For the record, asshole, it's called a Jefferson deadlift. The lady in your video may not be doing it quite right, but that's what it is.

This isn't the first time I've seen videos like this floating around on Facebook - women being secretly filmed and then shamed on a public platform.

But please don't let idiots like this put you off your workout or heading to the weights section.

After this video was posted, there was overwhelming support for the woman being filmed.

Some of my favourite responses to this on Facebook have been: "Well a real man would of went over and showed her the correct way instead of recording it....#fuckboy!!

"To the fat guy recording this. She's trying to do a jefferson squat. Maybe not the correct way but at least she's not on her phone like your fat ass. Lift more stare less bro!"

I feel really strongly about making the weights section a more inclusive, approachable space for people to work out in.

Why? Because weight training is one of the best things I have ever done.

Not only has it changed me physically in a way that hours on the treadmill never could, but the act of lifting weights itself has given me confidence and boosted my own self worth so much, that I'm almost in disbelief that it happened.

Lifting weights requires strength not just physically, but a lot of it is psychological too. So it follows the stronger your body gets, the stronger your mind becomes too.

It seems a total paradox and unacceptable that a type of fitness that would dramatically boost body confidence in women is closed or made more difficult due to machoism.

I've got enough personal experience to know that telling people to get over their fears is not going to work. I've seen the fear and it's big and it's real.

My advice would be to hire a personal trainer for a month to set you a program and to make sure you're doing the moves in the right way. It also means you're not going into that section unaccompanied.

If you can't afford a personal trainer, then don't worry - a quick look on Google reveals videos showing you how to do certain moves.

But above all, my advice is for the people in the weights room.

We're all there for a common goal - to get fit and healthy. This isn't a competitive sport - it's collaborative. So the next time you see someone doing a weight wrong, don't laugh about it with your mates or film it like this cretin.

Help them out because once upon a time, that was you.

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