Women’s only gyms are starting to pop-up at an ever-increasing rate to such an extent that you shouldn’t be surprised to see one coming to a town or city like yours relatively soon. As trainers, our concern is does this benefit the people who attend. Simply put, will women achieve more if they are in a women’s only gym environment? The secondary question, which is arguably of less significance to us, is whether or not the very existence of such gyms disadvantages men from achieving equally as positive results.
Let me start by saying I can see where the rationale for this comes from. You might not agree with having gender-specific gyms but what you will struggle to deny is the reasoning behind their existence. Let me go into a little bit more detail. I’ll take a few of the major arguments and hopefully that will demonstrate my point.
When we feel less insecure, we work harder. Like I mentioned above, you might not agree with the premise but the point is valid nonetheless. If a woman feels insecure about her appearance, particularly when it comes to men, then she will be more conscious of the fact that as she works harder she is likely to sweat more and the implication is that women won’t work as hard to preserve their appearance. Hopefully I don’t have to explain why I think that is ludicrous. Everyone goes to the gym to achieve something. If you are put off because you are worried about how you look when you work at then my guess is you aren’t too serious about what you want to achieve! That applies to both men and women.
The sense of camaraderie is another, and in my opinion a stronger, argument in support of a women’s only gym. Anyone who has played on a sports team will understand this point immediately. There is something about having your teammates’ back and knowing that they have yours too that forces you to give more than you ever thought was possible. And for the majority of sports, if you play on a team you are likely to be playing only with people of your own gender. So I can see how that can be transferred into the gym environment to help promote similar results. But we don’t just rely on sport to work in a team. I don’t see why a sense of camaraderie can’t be achieved with people of different genders. Surely it wouldn’t be argued that you try harder when working with the same sex?
It’s difficult to look objectively at an issue like this. The exclusive element to all of it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But if women claim that they are achieving more, that they feel more comfortable and that they are more likely to put in extra effort then that is difficult to argue against. And the popularity of classes and gym solely for female participants seems to be on the rise.
The truth is that if people want to train in an environment that is helping them achieve better results then they should feel free to do so. But the idea that we regress to a system where there is one place for a man to train and one place for a woman to train is unpalatable. Thankfully, I’m convinced that enough people just want to work hard and reach their goals, no matter what the gender of the person on the machine next to you is.
If you want to get in shape but don’t like the idea of a public gym and would rather train alone, get in touch with the Manchester based personal trainers at Ollie Lawrence Personal Trainer to discuss training alone in a private gym with the help and guidance of a professional.