I quite like weight-lifting, even if it is punishing me right now. Frustratingly, there are no free weights in the women's area of our new gym. Let's pause for a rant-y mc-rant about women's areas.
Why Women's Areas in Gyms Make Me Happy and Sad-Panda-Face At the Same Time
Happy - Gyms can be intimidating. Providing a smaller scale workout area is a great way to get newbies used to some of the machines and used to sweating in public (something I have never had a problem with, natch).
Sad-Panda-Face - It's not only women who might feel intimidated when Hulky McSteroid lumbers past you to squat eleventy billion pounds. It makes my inner equality voice squawk a bit.
Happy -As long as I ignore that inner equality voice, it's awesome to have a second option if everyone is using my treadmills. Selfish, but true.
Sad-Panda-Face -There are no free weights. Sweet baby jesus this is annoying. Our last McGym (read: large chain o' treadmill factories) had free weights in their women's area, but only the light ones *deep sigh* but at least there was something. Also, the machines that are in these areas are often "made for women," meaning they are painted in baby blue or pink, have odd weight increments that usually don't go as high, and are "designed for women." As all 5'4'' of me worked out next to a woman who was at least 6'1'' last night, I just don't get how that can be true. Machines adjust. Because people are different sizes. The "designed for women" machines make me irrationally angry.
Bonus Sad-Panda-Face - Exposure in a quieter, less intimidating environment is great - however, if you're limited to treadmills, stairmasters, ellipticals, and six weight machines that focus on inner thighs, you are missing out on a lot the gym has to offer. At least put some kettlebells in there. The power of free weights is that they allow you to try out a huge range of movements - much more than the one movement that ab cruncher has.