According to a recent survey of 1000 people by Fitrated, about 65 percent of women avoid going to the gym because they fear being judged. Many women feel intimidated and insecure when trying to navigate around all the equipment in the gym, not to mention all the iron pumping and grunting men in the weight room.
The gym atmosphere can often leave many women feeling too anxious to try. Often one negative experience, whether it be an injury or just feeling inadequate can be enough to leave many from ever returning to attempt weight training again.
Women often claim that they felt embarrassed or not understood by their super-uber fit trainer or they had difficulty keeping up in group classes even with modifications. When already feeling insecure about their current fitness level - gyms often exasperated the discomfort.
No need to suffer from "gym-timidation" or the feelings of inadequacy or plummeting self confidence wondering if people are looking at you like you "don't belong" or that you have no idea what you are doing. For many women it takes a lot to muster up the self confidence to even walk through the doors never-mind worrying about what other people think (not that you should care!).
Working out to big, burly, sweaty men can make most novice trainees walk out the door! Nevermind certain movement patterns can feel awkward to begin with, such as a deadlift where you have to push your butt way back to get into the right form. Feeling physically awkward can often lead to poor form and injury.
When you are in a place with women who are just like you and being coached by female trainers who specialize in training women - the experience is very different. Our trainers have at one point in their lives been where most women are starting - inexperienced and confused. We teach from experience and our own personal journey and can easily relate to even the most novice level.
Changing a woman's body composition is a bit more complex than that for a man. Many women report how when going on a diet with their husband/partner that their significant other lost a significant amount more weight than they did. How frustrating!
In a study published by the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism the researchers showed how when both men and women were put on a liquid diet consisting of 800 calories (which is too low, by the way), men lost more weight overall than women. The men lost on average 26 lbs. over the eight weeks whereas women lost 22 lbs. on average. More importantly, the metabolic profile of men improved significantly where women did not have the same health benefits overall. In fact, women lost more bone density by the end of the study and also had a reduction in HDL cholesterol (that's the good kind of cholesterol that we don't want to go down).
A women-focused gym understands the important differences in a woman's physiology vs. a man and how it affects their diet and type of training needed in order to make changes in body composition and metabolic health.
Women who are in peri-menopause or menopause also require a different approach. Educating a woman on the effects of hormonal changes during this time in life is extremely helpful and can lead to a holistic approach that allows a woman's body to work with her instead of against her.
The method needed to change the composition of a woman's is different in the respect that women tend to have much lower levels of lean mass/muscle mass than men and they are often in a catabolic state where muscle is being wasted. Teaching a woman how to stay in an anabolic state often leads to drastic positive changes in body composition.
Gyms for women are typically less chaotic and provide a cozier environment where they feel safe learning new body movement patterns and attempting weight training for the first time. I don't know about you but learning to do a pelvic hip thrust or glute bridge is a movement pattern that can be awkward.
A lot of co-ed gyms are overwhelming for a new trainee and looking like you are a "newbie" among the crowds of people who look like they grew up in a gym can be extremely uncomfortable. A woman's gym can often be smaller and provides more one on one attention in a small group in a non-judgemental atmosphere.
There are a lot of dynamics that go into coaching a woman to be her best self. Women are wearing many hats in their lives and are often mothers, caretakers, business owners, employees, friends to many, PTA volunteers, Girl Scout Leaders, Uber drivers, etc.
Coaching women to balance life and apply appropriate self care without feeling guilty about it essential. Giving women the emotional support they need helps them to make the necessary changes needed to reach their goals.
Working out and lifting weights and eating right is only part of the formula. Learning a new mindset is KEY for lifelong change.
A community of women who are in the same shoes as you and who understands where you are is priceless. Women, by nature are caretakers. In a woman's gym, they lift each other up and encourage each other to keep going. They watch out for each other and support each other outside of the gym as friendships develop.
We have had members move to a different part of the country to eventually send a message saying "I miss my gym and my tribe. I haven't found another place like yours."
Strong women lift each other up and help each other be better than they were before. They inspire each other and make each other laugh. There is nothing like feeling like you fit in and are appreciated for being YOU.