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Not all gyms are created equal. Some fitness centers have the latest fancy equipment, while others could use a serious makeover. No matter the state of the gym you're using, the one thing they'll all have in common a rack of dumbbells. The rack should provide enough weight and variability for you get in a kick-ass sweat session.
Even if you're out of town visiting a new gym and aren't even sure where the locker room is, you don't have to wander around like a newb. Just find the dumbbell rack. With a few basic moves and a couple sets of dumbbells, you'll be set to get to work.

You won't reach alpha status if you're not working toward a goal. You should hit the gym not just with a long-term plan, but also with a firm idea of what you're going to do every time. I understand that not everyone has the desire or means to hire a personal trainer, but you should gather as much information as possible before walking into the gym. Look in magazines, check out fitness apps, or follow trainers like Jamie Eason's LiveFit.
The amount of fitness information and programs available today is staggering. Sometimes it's a blessing, sometimes it's a curse, but you should never go into a gym without a workout prepared. Come in with sets and reps written or entered so you can get started and go hard without wondering about what you're going to do next.

I know I've covered this before, as have countless other fitness writers, but it bears repeating: Ladies, please pick up some weights and get lifting! I still shake my head in disbelief when I see women walk into the gym—fully armed with their iPad—and pedal slowly on the stationary bike while they watch "Sleepless in Seattle."

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Alpha girls are intent on achieving their goals. They don't walk around the gym to scope out guys or fluff their hair and reapply lip gloss between sets. Alpha girls look for free squat racks, push themselves to the limits, take charge, and navigate their way through the gym—any gym—with ease. These ladies exude confidence and wear expressions of laser focus. They separate themselves from the pack. They're women on a mission.
Not every gym-going girl is born an alpha. Trust me: When I first wanted to join a gym, I was nervous as hell! My first gym was called Lady Nautilus and every machine was clad in hot pink. I was self-conscious and wandered around the gym aimlessly, working my way up and down the line of equipment. I was a far cry from the fitness professional and model I am today.
If you spend most of your gym time on the treadmill jealously watching those heavy-lifting ladies, now is the time for change. There's no reason you can't be the alpha female at your gym. All you need is a little courage and the wisdom of these five tips. Apply what you learn here and soon you'll be walking around the gym with strong, confident steps.