Ever fear that mid-workout moment when you realize you can smell your own sweat — and maybe even last night’s post-work cocktails seeping from your pores? Well, don’t cancel your membership and stop attending your favorite studio because of it! We promise, people are too busy being nosy about themselves to poke their nose into your business.
After all, these cursed moments don’t stop just because you leave the gym. (Although, sometimes sweat sessions can cause, if not aggravate, some issues.) It could happen simply on a sunny day out! But if self-conscious moments are really stopping you from getting your workout in, we have some good news.
There’s a workaround for that. Here’s five pieces of advice for common gym moments that could help eliminate — if not alleviate — some of these common gym-barassing situations.
1. Feel like you’re taking up too much space?
Ever walk into a gym all pumped to get your sweat on, only to find the place crowded and overwhelming? For some people, especially those who are new to the gym, it can be intimidating to feel like you’re in the way.
One of the most uncomfortable things when you’re lifting weights is wondering if you’re encroaching on another person’s space and interrupting their gains. In the event you decide to cut your workout early and stretch it out for a break, here’s where you may contemplate what would be the right thing to do. Leaving the gym early isn’t sustainable for your workout routine, so there has to be an alternative… and there is.
What to do: The quickest way to solve this problem is to ask the other person if there’s space for you in the area too. You may even want to ask them what they’re doing, to help establish boundaries. If that doesn’t work out, take your weights to another part of the gym, being mindful of not hogging that piece of equipment for too long, and continue your workout. Check back in a few to see how they’re doing, and remember: Everyone has a right to take up space at the gym!
2. Should you release the gas in your stomach?
After an internal battle of whether to just release extra wind or hold it in, most people choose the latter to avoid attention. But that buildup can be uncomfortable, and honestly, passing gas is normal. Most people need to do it a few times a day.
But it’s natural — everybody toots! You’re doing your body good by letting it out instead of keeping it in. The best workaround is to remember that you “forgot” your water bottle or a towel and leave the room… wink, wink.
What to do: If you’re really in a crunch and can’t escape, you can relieve some of the pressure by focusing on your breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Here’s what’s happening: As you squeeze your core muscles, it puts pressure on your colon, causing you to have to toot. Breathing slowly can help counteract that. You can also slow down your movements a bit, without having to forgo the entire workout.
3. Feeling very naked in the locker room?
We all get body conscious. We don’t want to bare our naked body to be judged in a room full of other people. So we try everything we can to keep that towel from falling, even if that means walking hunched over with our hands full of clothes, toiletries, and a death grip on the towel.
What makes matters worse is when there’s a great possibility of seeing colleagues — or better yet your boss — naked in the locker room.
What to do: Well my friend, there are two things we recommend. First, neatly organize your things so you can change in the stall or in the shower. Second, realize that everybody has these hang ups and nobody of worth will be judging your body. Own your body so you aren’t caught up in the locker room. Plus, when you have a carefree, confident attitude, it actually puts others at ease too.
4. Is your panty line showing?
It happens. The wrong part of your underwear goes into the wrong place or your panty line seems to be more pronounced than usual. Trying everything you can during your tabata class to shake it out doesn’t seem to be helping, and “fixing” it appears to be futile.
What to do: Wear athletic pants! Believe it or not, most workout pants are created to provide coverage and proper properties to protect our private areas without underwear. If you experience a panties party that’s cramping your style, go commando. Excuse yourself during this class to do a quick garment change. Don’t let your underpants literally get in a knot, or deter you from getting in your sweat session.
5. Are your workout pants betraying you?
It’s the middle of a squat sesh and you notice that your cute pants are… completely see-through. Since you’re a hardcore believer in finishing what you started, you know leaving the class early is just not an option. However, out of courtesy to not offer a free peepshow during spider pushups, you need a solve — fast.
What to do: If you grab one of the small workout towels and tuck them in the back waistband of your tights, you’re able to add extra coverage without drawing much attention. If you’re good with just wearing a sports bra to sweat, you could even use your T-shirt as extra coverage. The debate afterwards is whether or not you want to shelve those pants for new ones, from a company that’s not skimping on material.
None of these moments are actually “bad”
Keep in mind that none of these moments are actually bad or worth being embarrassed over. But they’re circumstances that happen, even if we can’t help but getting red or blushing over them.
The best thing to do is power through it and realize that at the end of the day you’re still fine! They may not be considered ideal, but it’s a reality and a normal part of life! We encourage you to be real, not perfect.
Ally Love is the in-arena host at all Brooklyn Nets home games at Barclays Center. Model, host, and commercial dancer, Ally Love is a multitalented woman who proves you can truly do it all. Dedicated to empowering people in their pursuit of natural wellness, Ally is a certified health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and NASM-certified trainer. As a Peloton instructor, Ally is all about changing how people experience fitness. She consistently trains hard to lead by example — but she still loves a good donut every so often! Ally is aiming to change the world one person at a time. She’s the creator of Love Squad, a sports, fitness, and lifestyle website that brings together people from all walks of life around their shared love of sweat. Follow her journey on Instagram and Twitter.