The feminization of exercise

The NYT hits the health clubs:

Devotees stake out favored spots in studio classes to place themselves strategically at the seat of power near the instructor or to lay claim to real estate with the best view. Woe to the newcomer who disrupts the established order, because some members fight for a coveted space.

Lisa Singer, an instructor at several clubs in New York, including at the Sports Club/LA, once saw a woman set up her mat and equipment in another’s usual place during a conditioning class. A confrontation ensued. The usurper wouldn’t move, so the testy regular whacked her with a Body Bar (a pole that can weigh 15 pounds). The assailant was escorted from the club.

Weight lifters flex their muscles in other ways. Slamming a weight on the floor or grunting while lifting is “about needing to preen and exhibit territorial behavior,” said Dr. Jack Raglin, a sports psychologist at Indiana University in Bloomington. “The gym just seems to bring out the animal in some people.”

Two things. First, I’d like to see Dr. Jack Raglin bench 315 without grunting. A loud exhalation is a method of increasing explosive power that has been recognized for centuries, if not millenia. Second, I found it interesting that while men tend to offend by acts of omission, most of the aggressive boorishness in the article was exhibited by women.

While I can testify to the accuracy of the former, I have no idea about the latter. Men who are serious about working out shouldn’t be in the aerobics rooms or around the machines anyhow, they should be hitting the free weights.