Why do you lift and dress like that bro? | Athletes Collective

Why do you lift and dress like that bro?

A female fitness professional's prospective on male gym etiquette/fashion.

By Ashley Korman

**Editors note

More and more these days, men are woman are being active together; whether that’s means working and running with their partner or playing in a co-ed league. Men, as we can tend to be, are sometimes oblivious about how they act around woman in certain social situations, and the sports arena is no exception. With that in mind, we are proud to introduce the first in a series of articles featuring serious female athletes offering advice to men about how to properly comport themselves in a co-ed athletic world.

In our first instalment we reached out to former University of Western track athlete turned personal trainer/weightlifter Ashley Korman for some advice on male gym etiquette & attire.   Here are her dos and don'ts all guys should take note of at the gym, especially around woman.


On men's gym fashion:

1. Don’t wear sleeveless shirts for lifting

Playing sports, running on the treadmill, feel free to go sleeveless, but let’s be honest, you can still get full range of motion with sleeves. Girls in the gym know you’re wearing a cut off because you want to show off your arms. From a shared equipment standpoint, what you may not realize is that your skin to bench ratio is worse wearing sleeveless, and your sweat isn’t contained within the shirt. Furthermore, exposure to your open pits means sweat odor levels increase, and do you really want us smelling that while we work out next to you? To that point:

2. Leave the cologne at home

Put on some deodorant before you hit the weights. Smell clean but don't smell like you're headed to a club in Vegas. 

3. Compression shirts are fine but don’t wear small t-shirts

So you want to wear a compression gear, go for it, it’s meant to be tight and actually serves a functional benefit for your muscles, but don’t purposely buy a t-shirt that’s two sizes too small, it just looks ridiculous and makes it seem like you’re trying hard to show off.

4. Too long is better than too short (when it comes to t-shirt length)

When you lift your arms in the air during a press, the shirt shouldn’t come above your belly button…we don’t want to see your stomach unless of course you’re ripped to shreds, then it’s ok (sorry for the double standard guys).  


On gym behaviour around woman:



1. Don’t lift beyond your ability

Woman are far less impressed by how much weight you can lift than you think. If you’re looking to get the attention of that cute female trainer, focus on form, don’t struggle trying to put too much weight over your head, you just end up looking like an idiot.  In terms of which exercises look the best, stick with Deadlifts and especially squats; they make your butt look good during and after the workout.

2. Don't scream

If you’re going to scream loud you better be lifting the most weight the gym has ever seen. Small grunts to get the weight up is acceptable, but just like sex, a guys screaming too much just makes us uncomfortable. 

3. Don’t offer us a spot

A good way to not pick up a girl in the gym is to offer an unsolicited spot. In general, girls don’t lift heavy so if she needs help she’ll ask. Furthermore, don’t try and correct a girls form, it’s just rude.

4. When is it appropriate/inappropriate to hit on a girl at the gym:

  • Don’t do it during her workout
  • If she has earphones on, don’t talk to her
  • If she’s dressed in baggy clothes, don’t hit on her.
  • Either talk to her before or after her workout

If you want to know if she's interested you’ll know, she’ll be looking at you. She’ll be telling you to come over and talk to her with her eyes, we’re as obvious in the gym as we are in a bar.

5. Don’t talk about your workouts with woman at the gym or on a date.

As a trainer, I give zero fucks about your workout. Unless I ask you about your routine, assume that I don’t care. The confident man doesn’t have to talk about what he does or how often he does it. I don’t want to know how many times a week you work out, results speak louder than words.




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