Or perhaps gym workouts mean you ARE comfortable in your skin.

Nevertheless, some influencers believe that gym workouts signal discomfort in one’s skin.

Every body should undergo regular workouts, regardless of that person’s degree of self-worth or comfort “in their skin.”

The human body needs to move. It was meant to move, not be sedentary. Exercise is just SO GOOD for the body!

Exercise is about all the benefits it can bring to various systems including cardiovascular, neuromuscular and immune.

And some people prefer to do their workouts at a gym rather than from home where there’d be limitations on equipment.

This article was inspired by the TV show, “What Would You Do?” that aired August 11, 2020.

The setup involved a morbidly overweight woman (an actress for the show) working out while wearing yoga pants.

Nearby were two smaller women (also actresses) loudly criticizing her for wearing the pants.

The idea was to see if any gym patrons, upon overhearing this semi-scripted exchange, would get involved. Of course, cameras were hidden.

This scene played out multiple times. During one take, the camera spotted a woman who was noticeably aware of the situation but remained uninvolved (previous takes revealed gym patrons defending the obese actress).

John Quinones, host of “What Would You Do?” eventually appeared with his camera crew, as he always does, and asked the uninvolved woman why she didn’t say anything to either the “victim” or the “bullies.”

The patron responded something like, “There’s body issues everywhere. That’s why people come to the gym; they’re not comfortable in their own skin.”

What this woman did was put a negative descriptor on gym enthusiasts. I wonder if she was really talking about herself.

Her statement suggested that people who work out at gyms have some kind of defect in the self-love department. She was very judgmental.

I have to believe that she’s not the only woman who feels this way. She wasn’t unique. There are plenty just like her, preaching this on their Instagram and TikTok accounts.

WHY do people exercise at a gym?

 They feel very positive about their bodies.

 They like having big muscles, a sculpted look, a buff physique, a V-taper build. The only way to get these is to strength train.

 A strong cardiovascular system, lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.

 A reduced risk of other pathology such as cancer and low back issues or to build a strong back.

 Prevention or management of type 2 diabetes.

 Extended lifespan.

 Improved fitness for sport or physical labor on the job.

 Training for a physique, bodybuilding or powerlifting competition.

 Improved mobility and stamina.

 To improve the chances of winning a street fight or fighting off a sexual assault.

 Treatment of depression and anxiety.

 And of course, weight loss. And wanting to lose weight doesn’t always mean that one is not comfortable in their skin.

Body positivity means taking good care of your body. If you feel good about your body, then exercising is a logical outcome.

People who feel rotten about their body may be very unmotivated to join a gym. Their mindset may be, “Oh what’s the use?”

Now I’m not saying that nobody in any given gym has poor body image.

Certainly, some do. For sure, there are faithful gym-goers who feel quite uncomfortable in their skin.

It makes sense that they’d be hitting the gym to overcome their self-depreciation.

And maybe this demographic goes to the gym primarily for type 2 diabetes management or better heart health, and the poor body image is just a coincidence!

As for those who’d name “Looks” as the No. 1 reason for working out, this doesn’t mean they have negative body image — just like it doesn’t mean negative face image when a woman puts makeup on before going out. She does it for looks.

So why can’t a woman exercise for looks without being accused of having low self-worth?

If you actually believe that many people go to a gym because they have poor body image, then I challenge you to approach that muscular guy who just pulled up in his hog and tell him that the reason you think he pumps iron is because he doesn’t feel comfortable in his skin.

He may die tomorrow in a motorcycle accident. SO WHAT. He’s here today to kill it in the gym. For many, living life to the fullest includes kickass gym workouts.

Why can’t a woman be part of this demographic without being judged and labeled as having a body image disorder?

This reminds me of the time I was softly grunting for the last few reps of a challenging set. A woman nearby was staring.

If I’d been a man, I guarantee it, she would not have been staring. Can’t a woman work out as hard as a man without being judged?

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 


Top image: Freepik.com, drobotdean