In recent years, you may have noticed the term “mansplain” becoming more popular. It’s most commonly used to describe a man’s condescending explanations or unsolicited advice given to an unimpressed woman. If you’re a woman who works out in a public gym, you’ve almost certainly been subjected to some patronizing mansplaining. For your entertainment, 30+ irritated women have shared their most vexing mansplaining stories in this article!
Inspiring or Objectifying?
We’ll start with a particularly vexing anecdote. A woman was working out at the gym when she confronted a man who was making inappropriate comments about the body of another gym-goer. He then proceeded to mansplain that these comments were actually inspiring and motivating to women.
He was not only misinformed about the impact of creepy, unsolicited comments on women’s bodies, but he was also oblivious to the fact that the person he was speaking to was a woman. Thank you, next.
Unwanted Underwear Advice
This story about mansplaining is a real puzzler. What made this guy think his remarks were acceptable? He approached a female gym-goer and told her he had been watching her workout. You’d think this was the creepiest part of the conversation, but you’d be wrong!
He then informed her that she was wearing her sports bra incorrectly. It’s not only perplexing but also misogynistic to tell a woman how to wear her underwear. Oh, no!
Strange Safety Concern
Have you heard that lifting heavy weights can cause ovarian damage in women? No? This is since it is not scientifically possible. When a man approached this frustrated woman in the gym, she was perfecting her deadlifts. He felt compelled to point out that women should not attempt to lift more than 135 pounds.
He explained that she was in danger of “breaking” her ovaries with a solemn expression. He even claimed to know several women who had been victims of the phony injury. The woman was (rightly) taken aback.
Stay Out of My Workout
For some gym rats, mansplaining isn’t always enough. So when a man approached her rowing machine and physically turned down the resistance while she was in the middle of a workout, she became enraged.
It isn’t easy to comprehend why people feel compelled to interfere when others are working out. This is not only misogynistic, but it’s also a poor example of gym etiquette. Just stay out of other people’s machines and mind your own business!
Girls Can Bulk Too
Gym bros are frequently overheard talking about their ‘gains.’ To gain muscle, they slurp protein shakes and lift heavy weights. Women are often pressured to be small and petite by diet culture and other social pressures, but this is not always the case.
A man approached a woman who was exercising in the gym and told her that her chosen workout would make her “wider.” This, she informed him, was the entire point!
Just Take the Stairs
Some men approach women at the gym to mansplain exercise machines and techniques, while others try to strike up a conversation. We can’t help but think that this guy was trying to strike up a conversation with the wrong person.
He hopped on the stair climber next to a female gym-goer and proceeded to tell her that she should probably take the stairs because the machines were useless — all while he was on the same machine. Strange!
Don’t Tell Me to Smile
Nothing irritates a woman more than being told she should smile. So you can imagine how irritating it is to be told to smile while being rudely interrupted in the middle of a workout! When an older man told her to smile, she was in the middle of some excruciating reps on the lat pulldown machine.
Who knew your facial expressions influenced your workout’s effectiveness? They don’t; oh wait, they don’t. So, gentlemen, keep your opinions to yourself.
Leave it to the Experts
To become a competitive dancer, you must have years of experience. In addition, you must be extremely fit, flexible, and strong to compete at the collegiate level. That’s why, when a man at the gym tried to mansplain the importance of cold stretching to her, she couldn’t help but laugh.
She was in a full split at the time while also wearing her university dance team jacket. The fact was, he had no understanding of what he was talking about, and she was an expert.
Getting Strong, Not Skinny
Another example of men assuming that women only want to exercise to lose weight. A man approached a woman who was doing chest presses at the gym. He decided to use this as an opportunity to mansplain, showing her how to get leaner by doing various crunches.
He couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that she didn’t want to tone her abdomen but wanted to bulk up her arms. Women can be strong as well.
Misguided Mansplainer Strikes Again
Sumo squats are unique in that they target the inner thighs, the glutes, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and calves, and the glutes, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and calves. As a result, they require a wider stance and the turning of your feet outwards than regular squats.
One misinformed mansplainer failed to notice that this woman was doing sumo squats and attempted to correct her form. When she told him she wasn’t doing normal squats, he was probably embarrassed. Gym bro made a rookie mistake.
Mind Your Own Business
When you walk into a gym, it’s natural to notice that the weight lifting section is dominated entirely by men. That isn’t a reason to avoid it, though. When she was chest-pressing with free weights on a decline bench, she was chastised by a fellow gym-goer, which made her frustrated.
He explained that because of her “biology,” she shouldn’t lift anything heavier than 20 pounds. This is not only a load of nonsense, but it is also extremely impolite.
A Rookie Mistake
Nothing is more embarrassing than someone trying to prove their knowledge of a subject only to discover that they are vastly underqualified than the person they are conversing with.
A six-month-experienced martial arts novice approached a woman in the gym and offered unsolicited advice on her kicking technique. Instead, she revealed that she was a seasoned professional with a decade of experience. To make matters worse, he tripped while demonstrating the drill.
Keep it to Yourself
If you’re considering giving a woman unsolicited advice about her gym technique, you should probably reconsider. It’s usually impolite to criticize someone unless they’re in grave danger of harm.
Everyone works at their own pace, and others may be experimenting with new routines or drills that you aren’t aware of. This oblivious mansplainer was on the verge of getting a smack in the face. Before you say anything, think!
A Gang of Mansplainers
You know how when you’re waiting for a bus and three appear out of nowhere? Imagine going to the gym and encountering not one but a whole posse of rude mansplainers! This woman was lifting weights at the gym when she was surrounded by no fewer than four men who began arguing about her form.
For her, going to the gym was a waste of time because she always regretted going alone. While honestly, we can see why that’s enough of a reason for her. Why do they seem more offended?
Not a Woman’s Exercise
Different activities are reserved for a specific sex, according to one mansplainer. For example, when one woman was doing tricep dips at the gym, she was told this. A man approached her out of nowhere and told her she shouldn’t do tricep dips.
“Women are good at leg exercises,” he said, suggesting she try the leg press machine. There are no words to express how ridiculous this is. Some individuals should not be permitted to use public gyms.
Awkward Treadmill Fail
Do you ever wish you could peer into another person’s mind? Unfortunately, lately, we have no idea what this guy thought when he approached a woman on a treadmill and told her that she should run backward.
He said that only men should walk forwards on a treadmill in one of the strangest mansplainations we’ve ever heard. Before falling flat on his face, he attempted to demonstrate the preferred female technique. Do not attempt this at home.
Mansplaining to a Staff Member
Imagine trying to explain yourself to someone who works at the gym. Unfortunately, that is precisely what occurred to one unfortunate individual. He asked a woman to bring him a basketball, explaining that men and women have different sizes.
With a serious expression on her face, the lady informed him that she was, in fact, a member of the staff. That’s what you get for patronizing and being rude to women who are simply trying to do their jobs.
Rules of the Gym
Some unwritten gym rules are non-negotiable. For example, you should always bring your own towel and return all equipment to its appropriate places after each use. Also, always respect other people’s personal space, and remember to wipe down machines after each use!
However, if you’re uncomfortable with a machine, you should never be afraid to move or switch to another. So not only is this mansplainer misinformed, but he is also misogynistic. Yikes!
Did I Ask?
Another important aspect of gym etiquette is to mind your own business! Other gym-goers do not require your input on their workouts unless you are a member of staff or a personal trainer. Someone should inform this individual.
He approached a woman at the gym and told her that she should focus on cardio and fat burning before lifting weights. Perhaps he should learn that a woman’s exercise routine is none of his business and that weight lifting burns calories as well.
Wannabe Personal Trainer
Some people believe they know more than professionals, which is quite humiliating. This woman minded her own business at the gym, following a workout plan devised with the assistance of her personal trainer.
Even though her personal trainer had shown her the routine, a gym bro decided to criticize her form after two sets. She ended up justifying her method by telling him she trusts her physical therapist’s advice. He should’ve kept his inner monologue to himself.
Passive Aggressive Mansplaining
It’s difficult to say which is the worst. A brazen gym bro who approaches unsuspecting women in the gym to criticize their form and technique, or a passive-aggressive dude who mutters criticism under his breath.
This woman decided to confront a man who had been silently criticizing. However, when she inquired about his problem, he backed down and pretended he hadn’t said anything! So, not only was he impolite, but he was also a coward!
Some women have decided to take extra precautions at the gym to avoid mansplainers. They have begun to wear massive headphones, indicating that they are uninterested in conversing with others.
It’s a shame that people feel the need to go to such lengths to avoid unwanted advice and comments. If only the message could get through to the mansplaining men. If a woman is in danger of serious injury or has asked for advice, don’t approach her to criticize her.
Now, That’s Awkward
It’s safe to say that most female martial artists have stories to tell about chauvinism they’ve encountered. Even in the twenty-first century, some men believe that women are incapable of being experts in their fields.
This woman was tired of being paired with men who felt compelled to critique her technique and explain various moves. He wasn’t even relaying accurate information to her. That’s a bit awkward.
The Mansplainer Trifecta
There is a slew of flaws in this story. First, the man decided to snap his fingers in front of a woman’s face to get her attention (rude). He then lectures the woman on the proper stance for boxing drills, even though he was confident in her posture.
At last, he asked her to push his butt to show that he wasn’t going to fall over. That’s the cherry on top of the misogynistic cake. When you come across a guy like him, please ignore them!
Correcting the Personal Trainer
We’re not sure where, to begin with, this one! You won’t believe the level of ignorance displayed by some people. On Reddit, one woman shared her experience of being mansplained while wearing her personal trainer uniform and leading a workout program.
Nothing is more aggravating than being told how to do your job, so we can only imagine how aggravating this must have been for the woman. This is not only condescending but also extremely rude.
Underestimate the Girl
Don’t dismiss someone solely because of their gender. Girls are capable of lifting heavy objects as well. However, after a particularly vexing exchange with a mansplainer, this woman was left irritated. After moving up from 15, she was attempting to lift 20lb weights on her first day.
Suddenly, a man approached her and handed her a pair of five-pound weights, saying, “Here, try something a little more your speed.” Maybe he was trying to be helpful, but this isn’t polite.
Leave Me Alone
At a bowling alley, you wouldn’t approach a stranger and tell them their technique is incorrect. So, why is it okay to approach a stranger at the gym and inquire about their workout routine? It’s strange behavior.
This Reddit user vented their mansplaining frustrations to other users, recounting her gym experience. Then, without warning, a man approached her and began interrogating her about the number of reps she was doing.
Do You Even Lift?
Benching weights isn’t easy; you have to admit. To press heavyweights, you’ll need a lot of strength training, but there are no rules prohibiting women from doing so.
You can imagine how surprised one female gym-goer was when the bar suddenly lifted from her grip halfway through a set! A random man had noticed that she was in distress and attempted to justify his actions.
Too Much for a Girl
It’s a glorious thing when shameless mansplainers get their comeuppance. When a rogue gentleman appeared, one woman pushed herself on the leg press machine, nailing her personal record. Then, he started yelling about how her workout routine was “too much for a girl.”
She clapped back, stating that it was most likely too much for him, and she was correct. So he attempted to do the same thing but was quickly bailed out. Oh, the sweetness of victory.
Thanks, Captain Obvious
We’ll repeat it: unless you’re a paid personal trainer or a gym employee, you shouldn’t be providing feedback on other people’s workouts. Until an enraged man yelled at her in the middle of her pendlay rows, this woman had managed to avoid mansplaining.
“You must breathe!” he exclaimed as she was pushing herself to the limit and sweating buckets. Captain obvious, thank you very much. He must have thought that all women were stupid.
Giving Backhanded Compliments
When they give backhanded compliments, some mansplainers mistakenly believe they are nice. For example, this Reddit user was at the gym when she was confronted by an older man who decided to give her feedback constantly.
He chastised her for not stretching enough, told her she had the potential to be great with more experience, and then kept interrupting her lifting to give her unwanted advice. He had no idea she was a marathon runner when he met her.
Exercise Is Hard
To all male gym-goers, this is a public service announcement. You don’t have to step in if a woman appears to be having trouble with her workout. It’s no secret that exercise is difficult.
A man decided to shower her with unwanted encouragement while she was doing paused reps with dumbbells. While the intention is noble, it can come across as patronizing. These are the types of situations that make women feel uneasy about exercising in public because they are constantly scrutinized.
Practice What You Preach
Pull-ups are one of the most difficult exercises to complete. At the gym, this woman was doing pull-ups when a man approached her to inspect her form. He told her she wasn’t doing them correctly, so she asked him to show her how to do them correctly.
He grabbed the bar in an embarrassing display and failed to do a single one! He claimed that he “used to do them all the time,” but we believe he was lying. Oh, no.
Get Out of Here
It’s difficult to know how to respond to toxic mansplaining if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of it. However, it’s critical to stay safe while also respecting your personal boundaries.
When a man took it upon himself to physically take a piece of equipment from her hands because “it wasn’t for girls,” she decided enough was enough. She decided to report him to the gym’s management immediately. You’ve got it, girl! It is critical to speak up for yourself.
No Questions, Please
In the middle of a workout, it’s natural for your mind to wander. When your body is in excruciating pain, you’ll do anything to avoid it! However, don’t get too caught up in other people’s workout routines.
Also, don’t question their decisions or provide uninvited feedback.
When a man asked why she was doing cable crunches to strengthen her shoulders, she was perplexed.
She stated unequivocally that she works on both abs and shoulders at the same time.