Manquarium: CWU Weight Room

“If I bother going in, I always try to go with a friend who knows what they're doing. Otherwise I just feel like a tiny sardine in a sea full of angry fish." -Roni Wenz, student at CWU

At Central Washington University, students have the privilege of having full access to the gym in the SURC. There has always been this stigma that going to the gym is a scary and if you go to the gym you already need to be fit. Central has a great gym full of cardio equipment, free weights, indoor track, strength training equipment, and a huge weight room. The CWU weight room is a glass walled room that you can see in and over the top of from the track upstairs, which is where the name MANQUARIUM came from. It is like a fish tank down there, like Roni said you "feel like a tiny sardine in a sea full of angry fish." 

We all have our excuses for avoiding the gym, but “gym intimidation” cn be one of the most powerful in preventing people from exercising. So many people are worried about being judged and say they need to be in better shape before they go to the gym, but how do you think those people who have been going to the gym are in such great shape? We are all there for the same reason which is to better our lives and live a healthier lifestyle.

Why are we scared?

Tiara Curow, a student from CWU and HC CWU President points out that she is “forever intimidated because I’ve never lifted weights so I know if I went in there and tried I would end up on someone’s snap story.” The fear of judgment is a huge factor into whether or not people go to the gym. Feeling the judgment from people in the gym and the weight room is hard especially when you are there to take care of your well being.

Jenny Johnson, another student from CWU, admits that, “even though I’m an athlete I’m still intimidated to go in the weight room because guys assume girls don’t know what they are doing. Yes, Jenny we are all scared of that weight room or just the gym and general because of the stigma brought on by society. There are some great tips out there to help get you started and gain the confidence in stepping foot in the gym or in the weight room that will benefit your overall lifestyle.

Tips You Can Use to Overcome the Fear that is Holding You Back


1. Start Out Slow

Don't worry about being the fittest or one of the people to bench the most weight. Start out slow and try to get your groove going before just throwing yourself in with the big dogs. 

2. Group Workouts

“Even though I️ have experience with lifting weights from being in group fitness classes, I️ don’t go into the weight room because the ratio of guys to girls is so high. The atmosphere in the weight room and even upstairs is judgy, but taking group fitness classes is such a great environment and I️ don’t think I️ would have a dedication to fitness if I️ didn’t start them freshman year! 10/10 would recommend!”  Miya Mukai, student at Central Washington University


3. HAVE A PLAN- Write Down Your Workouts

Check out Pinterest or a workout website online before going to the gym, this will help you to feel more prepared and confident in your workouts.

4. Dress Comfortable

Wear clothing that you feel comfortable enough in to sweat in, its important to feel comfortable when you are at the gym!


5. Own the Back Row

Don't be afraid to hangout in the back row! Its okay to take your time and warm up to whatever exercise you are practicing and the back row is perfect for that. 


6. Go to the Gym During Off- Hours

Go to the gym at times when the entire student body isn't there to feel more confident in your workouts.


7. Overcoming the fear, BE CONFIDENT!

“One time I went down there to squat and I swear to god someone growled/grunted at me then said “when are you going to be done” so it’s safe to say I never returned.” -Madeline Darling, student from CWU


Just like Maddie, many of us have had some scary stories about our experience at the gym. Let us know your scary stories at the gym and how you have tried to overcome them. Also, CWU Cats let us know what you think of our gym and how the culture of the gym can be improved in our comments below!