4 Nigerian Women Talk About Their Experiences At The Gym

July 25, 2021

I spoke to four Nigerian women about what visiting the gym as a woman is like. Here’s what they had to say:

black woman in the gym

Bibi, 22

I always have a pleasant experience at the gym but there was this day, my friends and I were on the mat and the instructor was helping us stretch our bodies. It was painful and we were screaming. Three guys walked in while this was happening. One of them said, “See the way they are screaming. Their screams would make a sweet ringing tone.” 

I hissed in annoyance and his friend tried to apologise on his behalf. He said, “But he said it would be nice, na.” I was embarrassed because there were other people at the gym and they were laughing at the joke. When I got up from the mat, I gave him a piece of my mind. Rubbish. 

Mel, 21

I am a regular at the gym. One day, while I was working out, I noticed the owner of the gym watching me. I continued my routines, trying to ignore him but he started changing the trash bags and wiping down tables so he could be close enough to watch me. I caught his eyes several times and he didn’t stop. I knew I was safe because there were other people in other parts of the gym but I was definitely weirded out. 

Dawn, 23

I am a self-conscious person, especially around other people so being at the gym wearing tight clothes makes me uncomfortable. On some days, I wish men would not look at me. Male attention makes me uncomfortable.

I also wish they wouldn’t assume I don’t know what I am doing and try to help me. If I need help, I’d ask. Why do they have to touch my arms to get my attention, when they can see that I can see and hear them?  Because of this, I pay per day at gyms because I expect to feel uncomfortable and leave. 

I found a women-only gym in Lekki that I want to try. I hope I get to have personal space there. 

Wendy, 24

The best part of going to the gym is watching my body transform as I work out but the worst part is men talking to me at the gym. They either try to hit on me or tell me what to do. 

There was the time I went to a gym in Aba and this man came to disturb me. Normally, I lift dumbells of 10kg but I had an injury on my elbow so I was lifting 5kg that day. As I was doing my sets, this guy walked in and said, “If you are trying to lose weight, you should be lifting heavier weights. If not, you are wasting your time.” I ignored him but he stood in front of me, insisting that I pick up the heavier dumbells. When I got tired of ignoring his presence, I told him to fuck off. He walked away saying I was rude. Why are men? 

Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

September 3, 2020

Since the dawn of time, women have worn makeup to accent their features. What nobody tells you is how hard making up is. One wrong move and you’ve ruined everything. That said, here are 5 things novice struggle with when wearing makeup. Drawing your freaking eyebrows Women understand that a face without eyebrows is basically […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

January 26, 2022

Black don’t crack, black don’t crack but they won’t tell you all the things they do a maintain that gorgeousness. Because we are so generous so we compiled a list of health care tips for 30+ women.

Recommended Quizzes

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

November 15, 2019

There are two types of people in Nigeria right now: those who are proud Marlians, and those who are still in denial about stanning the divisive star. So, for those who proudly wear the Marlian tag, we made a quiz to test how well you really know Naira Marley. If you get more than 6 […]

April 1, 2020

Everyone has a Nigerian bank that matches their personality. You could either be as likeable as GTB, as efficient as Access or as mature as First Bank. Either way, all you have to do is take this quiz and we’ll let you know with almost 100% certainty. So, go ahead:

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

More from Her

January 26, 2022

Black don’t crack, black don’t crack but they won’t tell you all the things they do a maintain that gorgeousness. Because we are so generous so we compiled a list of health care tips for 30+ women.

January 22, 2022

African music has always had its place at the top of the global music industry. These days, with tech switching up the scene and genres blending, everyone keep bringing their A game especially these six female African artistes. 

Read here:

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X