Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why I love going to an all-women gym

So, my regular readers know that I go to an all-women gym, Transformations Fitness for Women. I love the atmosphere of a single-sex environment. I went to the co-ed gym when I was in grad school and didn't want the same kind of thing as a married adult, so here's a little breakdown of why I enjoy it.

  1. We have a very diverse community. You will see a woman in a hijab kickboxing right next to a woman in a sports bra and booty shorts. You will see a 19-year old doing Zumba next to a woman in her 60s. You have the very thin woman lifting weights next to the overweight woman. You wouldn't get that same kind of environment in a co-ed gym. 
  2. My gym is small, but I love that about it. I couldn't go much for a month because of my teaching obligation. When I came back on Monday, I had lots of people ask me where I had been and what I had been doing. It made me feel missed. I feel like that kind of community doesn't exist in a larger co-ed gym. The person checking you in, doesn't usually know your name, but at a place like mine, they make an effort to know people. 
  3. Childcare is very important for me with a gym. I have two small boys and I need to feel safe dropping them for an hour or so while I exercise. Larger gyms have them, but in smaller women-only gyms, the people who work there learn your children's names. I can say that because I work in the childcare area. When I run into the moms and kids outside of the gym, I always say hello and talk to the kids. 
  4. I love that I'm not having to share equipment with men. I wipe down machines before and after I use them, but I remember trying to share equipment with men who didn't.
  5. It's less of a meat market. Most of the women I have met who go to the gym are married, moms, or both. We come in our old clothes, with our hair in ponytails, and no make-up. For the most part, we don't care about looking sexy or cute when we are sweating. This environment makes women more likely to work out harder. I'm not saying that women at a co-ed gym don't work hard or that we don't get our fair share of women in the full make-up who hop on a treadmill for 10 minutes at 1 mph. I own my fair share of cutesy running clothes that I wear, but I'm just as likely to show up in that as I am to go in sweats. I just think that an all-female environment is conducive to encouraging women to work harder.
  6. Women can be people... weird bodily functions and all.
I love my all-women gym, but I haven't done an all-women race. I prefer a co-ed race :) Do you prefer a single-sex environment for your exercise needs?

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