Let’s face it, walking into a gym full of muscle-clad men would make many women uncomfortable and a little self-conscious, especially at the start of a fitness journey. This might have something to do with feeling inadequate, looked at or something completely different. Women could also feel apprehensive about working out in front of men, period. It’s unfortunate because many women need the same type of community and equipment that men do to achieve fitness success.
Studies from the Centers for Disease Control show that only 49% of women get the exercise they need, compared with 57% of men. While there are multiple reasons for this, the gym gender issue could play a role in this statistic. The good news is that there are some things you can do up front to solve the problem. Consider searching for a gym or facility that caters to women or has special women’s classes or nights. Here are a few other ways to feel comfortable at the gym.
Hire a Female Personal Trainer or Join a Class
Most gyms offer group classes and personal trainers. Hiring a trainer or enrolling in a class designed for women are both fantastic ways to kickstart a fitness journey. Do your research before you sign anything. I recommend visiting each gym you are considering and ask to meet all of the trainers. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding gyms like the Club Fitness facilities that do have female trainers on staff. It’s important to find someone who is knowledgeable about the female anatomy, hormones, and limitations. Having a trainer with you at the gym should give you a boost of confidence and an edge with the equipment.
Look for an Optimal Floor Plan
Depending on the gym and its main focus, the layout will be open or have many rooms separated by walls or glass. As a woman, it can be daunting to walk into a room of weights with sweaty men grunting on groaning. You could encounter this if the free weight room is secluded. Look for a gym that is open but has each area separated by enough space for your comfort. Stick around each gym for at least 30-minutes to see how things flow and what type of traffic they get. Go at the time you would most likely go to the gym.
Get a Gym Buddy
Ask a friend or two if they would be interested in joining a gym with you. Some gyms offer coupons, commissions or discounts for referring people. This could be helpful to your fitness cause, as well as your bank account. When I attended a gym, I was also so happy when I made new friends there to work out with and talk to about women-related struggles, diets, and other stuff.
Though attending a gym can be uncomfortable, consider that everyone has insecurities. Yeah, even those muscle dudes that seem to have it all together. After all, most people go to the gym because they are not happy with their bodies as they are. So try not to let this gender gap thing ruin your plans to get fit and have the best body you can. Do your research and find the right gym and the right people with which to work out. You got this!