Women only gyms are making a comeback. Partly because some women have realized that their morning workout can include not only pilates, but bonding and creating relationships with other women, without the feeling of being at a meat-factory.
Leanne Shear, trainer and founder of Uplift Studios, a boutique women-only venue in Manhattan, also feel that women only gyms can cater to women better by providing equipment specifically fit for women.
Equipment in Shear’s studio includes an elliptical machine with a smaller stride better suited to women, and instead of huge plates and bars, there are lots of dumbbells, balls, balancing equipment and body weight exercises.
A 2014 report by International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) showed that while health club members are equally likely to be male or female, what they do when they visit the club differs considerably.
Dr. Barbara Bushman, of the American College of Sports Medicine, said both sexes require a balanced exercise program of aerobic activity, resistance training, and flexibility and, for older adults, balance and agility.
“To me the women-only gym fits into the enjoyment aspect,” she said. “If someone feels more comfortable in that environment and that helps them to stick with their program better, it’s a great thing.”
She added that women tend to lag behind men in resistance training, which is important for bone health. Being properly fitted on standard machines can also be difficult for smaller women.
“At university I was only female in weight room,” said Bushman, whose 5ft 10-inch height mitigated the sizing issue. “It wasn’t an environment that welcomed women.”
Clutchettes, what do you prefer? Women only gyms, or co-ed?