Ahh, the cacophonous medley that accompanies hardcore female training. Oh, you didn’t know? You didn’t get the memo on this one?
Perhaps you have to be a trainer with a wide range of female clients that you see throughout the week. It gives you unique perspective into what the human body is capable of—physiologically of course, but more important here, audibly. An intimate insight into the sounds that men—but mostly women—might be making during times unseen. Shall we take a look at the list?
THE BEAR: Perhaps one of my favorites, because it resonates so clearly with me—I’m the male version of the Bear when lifting heavy on my own. The female Bear, rather than making cute girl noises and grunts, instead opts for a guttural growl that starts deep within the pit of the stomach, vibrates up through the larynx, and manifests as a growl. The type frequently will growl at the weights prior to engaging and beginning their set, as if to scare their prey (the barbell, in this case) into submission. The Bear type might be all roses and perfume on the surface, but make no mistake—in the weight room, this lady is all business, and will grunt and growl as needed to make it obvious to all around.
THE SUPPRESSOR: Although technically not “audible”, the Suppressor deserves her own mention here. This is the woman who is so self-conscious about making nose while lifting weights, that she bites her lip, holds her breath, and proceeds to let every single vein bulge out of her forehead/neck/delts/traps/eyeballs, rather than actually make noise while lifting. Chalk this up to a Catholic upbringing perhaps. The Suppressor is committed to passing out and dying before she’ll let you see her make a noise. This type is also known to nary offer a smile to those in her vicinity, or any type of emotional expression for that matter.
THE SCREAMER: On the far other end of the spectrum from the Suppressor lies the Screamer. This is the female lifter who somehow hasn’t figured out that screaming at the top of your lungs on every single rep doesn’t make you stronger, but actually robs your body of precious oxygen and makes it more difficult to complete the set. But the Screamer is oblivious to that fact, bellowing with eardrum-shattering yelps that can sometimes be heard from the parking lot. And as the eyes draw around to see what’s at the center of the calamity, the Screamer keeps doing her thing, clearly oblivious to any form of being self-conscious. Don’t like it? Tough shit, says the Screamer, that’s why they invented Planet Fitness.
THE LAUGHER: This lady is a little unique—when the going gets tough, instead of buckling down, holding her breath, or letting out grunts, she instead falls prey to hopeless fits of laughter, often completely losing track of where she’s at with her set, sacrificing her form, and falling so far off the rails mid-set that you have to rack the weight and start over. The Laugher is a joy to be around, but a pain in the ass to train at times, as her jovial nature is so light-hearted that focus comes at a premium.
THE SQUEAKER, AKA, MRS. O: Everybody’s favorite, the Squeaker, sometimes lovingly referred to as Mrs. O. The Squeaker is a bit of a loose cannon, and at times brings an entire symphony of sounds to the weight room floor—gasps, occasional snorts, but most of the times, squeaks that sound perhaps more appropriate in the bedroom than on the bench press. It can be difficult to train the Squeaker. Not because she lacks focus or commitment to giving it her all, but instead because it’s so amusing to try to make her squeak that you design her entire workout around the exercises that elicit the most humorous sounds (rather than what is most effective). The Squeaker has a special place in everybody’s heart, because, well, she’s funny as shit, and without fail sparks inappropriate jokes and conversation that has absolutely zilch to do with working out.
This world has place for all types, and for all types of sounds. What would the hardcore gym-going experience be without the Bear, the Suppressor, the Screamer, the Laugher and the Squeaker? Pretty boring, if you ask me. Which is precisely why all of these ladies have a special place in my heart.
Growl, Scream, Laugh, and Squeak on, ladies. Squeak on.
~David A. Johnston