Poll: Would You Join a Same-Sex Gym?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/12/2008 1:24 PM   :  501 comments

See More: fitness, poll, at the gym,
I recently read an article about women-only gyms, which are growing in popularity. According to the story, "Studies have shown that self-conscious women who exercise in same-sex environments are more willing to work out, and more satisfied with their workouts." It made me wonder: Would you join a same-sex gym?

I have belonged to all types of gyms over the years, but never a women-only gym. One "big box" gym I belonged to did have a women-only wing, just off the ladies locker room. I worked out in there once, but only because it was less crowded on the machines I wanted to use.

I've never been too self-conscious or intimidated to go to the gym, even when I was overweight. And I don't mind exercising with or in front of other women or men (although the locker room is a different story!) I can see how women-only gyms can have a lot of appeal, whether you just don't want to worry about men checking you out while you work out or you just don't feel comfortable in that sort of environment. But I can't see myself ever joining a gym just for women.

How about you: Do you belong to a same-sex gym? Would you ever join a same-sex gym? Why or why not?


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Comments

  • 501
    I would join a female only gym if it were available,I have anxiety as it is, but it's a million times worse around men. Probably due to past abuse. Should women be able to feel comfortable and safe in a mixed sex gym? Of course. However, it's simply not the case, so of course there's a market for same sex gyms. - 11/21/2014   11:26:15 AM
  • 500
    The same-sex gym I used to have a membership with was the best gym I have ever joined. It was no different from any unisex gym, including having weight machines and free weights. I loved being able to use the weight machines freely (they tended to be less crowded), and having only women around definitely helped with any self-consciousness.

    The only reason I cancelled my membership was because I moved out of the area. I wish I could find another gym like it! - 9/16/2014   10:32:59 AM
  • 499
    I definitely would. I think I`d feel less embarrassed to use the machines. - 9/16/2014   2:16:45 AM
  • 498
    No way, co-ed gyms only. I've been to a women-only gym once, it was so saccharine-sweet decorated and there were no decent sized weights.A gym to me is not a gym without the slight smell of sweat and rubber, and grunting dudes in the weight room. - 7/1/2013   8:48:57 AM
  • JOYFOCUS
    497
    In the past, I've always gone to co-ed establishments so that my husband and I could go together. I liked it fine, never felt intimidated. I am older and very unfit, so I never felt like I was being "evaluated" in the same way that a younger woman might. I liked the guys and they were always very encouraging. Now we have moved, and the only facility near me that has everything I want is women-only. It is a really nice place, very deluxe, but I miss exercising and swimming with my husband. If there were a co-ed place near us with the same amenities, that is where I would go. - 6/22/2013   2:55:44 AM
  • 496
    Definitely. The gym we go to now is coed and I am too embarrassed to workout in the "big" gym because there are bunch of men and I am unsure how to use the machines and don't want to be embarrassed. - 5/19/2013   10:59:37 AM
  • 495
    I belong to a women only gym and love it! It is one of the top gyms in our area. True, I'm older, but there are LOTS of young women in this gym. The main difference I see is laughter, focused workouts, great classes, super clean facilities, lots of great equipment for any level, and friendly members and staff. They also have a pool and share it with a therapy company. Sundays allow men. Great gym! - 5/8/2013   9:42:16 AM
  • 494
    I would prefer co ed.. hot guys are a great motivation (: this coming from a 19 year single woman - 4/20/2013   12:45:02 AM
  • 493
    It wouldn't make me any difference. I'm so focused when I work out, I don't even notice the people around me. - 9/7/2012   9:28:12 PM
  • 492
    The only gym I have belonged to was a women's only gym (Women's Workout World). It was great as the machines were actually designed for women. Even then, since I am short, there were a couple that I couldn't adjust down far enough for my size, but I used the free weights for those exercises instead. And I rarely had to wait for a machine to open up.
    Had lots of classes I could try as well. And it was the closest one to my home, so it was very convenient. - 8/3/2012   8:53:18 AM
  • 491
    I tend to think I would rather join an all-women gym, but at this point I am so self conscience I would feel uncomfortable at any gym. Totally at-home workouts for me!! - 8/3/2012   8:17:29 AM
  • 490
    Curves was a great starting point for me as I really had no idea how to use any of the gym equipment and was more comfortable in that all female setting. My location closed so I moved to Planet Fitness. Now the gender of other members doesn't matter to me. If another all women's gym opened and offered me a better membership deal I would consider it but not just because it's all women. - 7/4/2012   10:07:49 AM
  • 489
    I prefer a co-ed gym. I tend to run a little bit longer while looking at the fellas in the gym while I'm on the treadmill : /
    Even though they are arrogantly walking around (some of them)....they are still nice to watch. I also find them a bit humorous as they try to see who's looking at them.
    Too funny!!!
    I also put petty women in the gym on ignore.
    - 6/28/2012   9:35:34 AM
  • 488
    I would never pay for a gym membership! All the exercising I need to do I can do it at home. Dont like all the drama the gossip queens the people that think they are better than everyone else & the men with there big egos. I will save my money & exercise at home. - 6/19/2012   9:11:45 AM
  • 487
    Absolutely! Men could not keep there eyes to themselves. I was not there to get pickup. I am married. Too much drama...but things have changed at my gym thank GOD! I am female but I find ladies like to chat and I do not like to chat while I am workout. So I wear my MP3 player turn it up and add my chewing gum and I am ready to roll. I did not join the gym to talk...I talk after I finish. LOL. - 4/23/2012   10:55:24 AM
  • 486
    I am apart of an all women gym but it's in a co-op with two Gold's gym so I can attend any of the three gyms at no extra charge. But the cons of same sex gym is petty women being sometimes catty. - 4/19/2012   2:29:19 PM
  • 485
    I don't particularly care either way. I've never been a member of a women's only gym but I used to go to Jazzercise regularly and even though it's not specifically for women, in all these years I have yet to see a man at a Jazzercise class. Think about how intimidating it must be for a guy to join.

    When I started going to the gym, I was using my university's gym so I guess the experience was a lot less intimidating. Since I've been going to gyms now, I never feel intimidated. For those who are new to gyms or fitness, I can see how they may feel self-conscious. If a same-sex gym would help them overcome those feelings, then by all means, good for them. But in all honesty, people at the gym probably barely notice you. Everyone is usually focused on their own workouts. I know I get "in the zone" too and I could care less what the person next to me is doing.

    Yes, I dislike the meatheads who hog the weight equipment at the gym (I call them peacocks with all the strutting they do) too but I also dislike the gossipy women who won't shut up. I don't care what your boyfriend/husband/whatever did. I don't want to listen to that banality. And yes, I know these are stereotypes but how many female peacocks/hens(?) do you see? How many dudes do you see stand around and gossip? - 4/2/2012   11:25:18 AM
  • EMIM05
    484
    I actually looked for a women only fitness club and there used to be a curves in my town but suddenly they left and where replaced by a vietnamese restaurant!!! lol not going ot help. But in the end it worked out for the best because we joined a community gym that has daycare and 3 family members for less than 1,000 a year - 3/31/2011   2:55:25 PM
  • 483
    Yes I would but right now I am in a co-ed gym at a great bargain so I can't see leaving to pay more anywhere else. I would love to be at a same sex gym though as I am so self conscious right now about my appearance. - 3/15/2011   2:01:11 AM
  • GETTINGTHERE92
    482
    Never!!! Hot guys at the gym are motivating as hell. lol - 2/24/2011   3:24:44 PM
  • 481
    I agree with FIRESTARINFINI. I'm happily married, but it's fun to watch the eye candy at the gym. - 2/20/2011   5:01:08 AM
  • 480
    I used to go to Curves and I liked it. I like the support and friendship of the other women there, and it's really impossible to replicate that atmosphere in a co-ed setting. I also appreciated that my chest wasn't being ogled-at. - 2/18/2011   10:07:26 AM
  • 479
    No way. There would be no cute men to look at :) - 2/16/2011   4:33:15 AM
  • JENRWARD
    478
    I loved my women's only gym. It was about the same price range as other gyms in the area. All the machines were smaller, there weren't mirrors everywhere, just in front of the free weight area, very clean, quiet and people were very respectful about sharing the equipment during busy hours. There was even a spa upstairs with discounts for gym members. (run by the same owners). This was NOT a Curves gym, which I really don't like as most of the ones I have checked out have little equipment, many have no free weights really anything except the most basic machines. As Curves are the only women only gyms where I live now I do go to a co-ed gym...but I really miss the Kent Women's Gym. - 2/11/2011   2:01:12 PM
  • 477
    The closest I've been to a same-sex gym was the two years or so that I was a member of Curves, and I **LOVED** that format. It's cleaner. But the nearest one away was like 10-15 minutes drive away. A new one opened up in our community and then they had very late hours, starting at 9 am when I was used to driving in for a 6 am workout, and I was reluctant to switch my membership to the new location until they changed their hours. Evidently the new members who did join also hated the limited hours, and the location eventually closed. So I'm now a member at the YMCA but have the same 15 or so minute drive (the Y is maybe 1 mile closer than the Curves location), and I have all the men to deal with, the feelings of awkwardness, the cavernous huge building that is hard for me to hear anybody in, and a few of the men are just slobs enough, not wiping down their equipment, that they share their germs with everyone after them - so I tend to get sick a day after being there. Consequently we've just not gone back. I know I need to start going again now that my son is older and can be there to play by himself or run on the track etc. and I need to find classes for him to help burn off some of his energy. But I'd be so much happier and likely to go back once they have a women-only wing (I've heard rumors that they would, because there is a mosque across the freeway from the Y, and so more Moslem women are wanting to have a safe women-only place to work out.). - 12/13/2010   12:28:42 PM
  • 476
    I've only ever belonged to one gym. It's women only and I love it.

    - Josie - 11/26/2010   10:57:12 PM
  • 475
    I've been to both "regular" gyms, and Curves. I loved Curves, but quit going when I got a job with free membership at one of the aforementioned regular gyms. I would LOVE to go to Curves again, but having MS and no money makes it out of reach for now. - 11/26/2010   8:20:08 PM
  • TAMIAMLEXICON
    474
    i prefer same sex gyms. there is one in my town. - 11/5/2010   2:10:36 PM
  • JERSEYDEBBIE23
    473
    I'd prefer a same sex gym over the other co-ed gyms I've joined in the past. Wish they had one here where I live. - 11/4/2010   9:15:42 PM
  • 472
    I would not join a same sex gym. I went to curves with my sister and I was not impressed. I don't mind working out in front of men. It all about us a humans getting in shape. - 11/4/2010   7:21:31 PM
  • 471
    On a personal note I don't know that I would join an all women's gym. - 11/4/2010   9:05:25 AM
  • 470
    I belonged to Curves for a couple of years. It was...nice. By "nice" I mean there were cutesy motivational collages and decorations for every month and color-coordinated towels and "You're Special!" posters and potpourri in the bathrooms. It was ENTIRELY too feminine for my taste; I am not a girly-girl. Not to mention that women-only gyms tend to be extremely limited: they feed the myth that women should only work on easy machines or with light dumbbells. That's total bull. Within a few months, I had 'outgrown' all of Curves' machines. I MUCH prefer a gym with a range of options for strength training -- squat racks, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells of all types, machines, cables, bodyweight equipment. Let ME choose my own workout. If that means being surrounded by sweaty cursing dudes who might judge me by my size or my strength -- so what? No one's ever bothered me, and I don't bother them...as long as they re-rack their weights when they're finished with them! - 11/3/2010   11:38:40 PM
  • 469
    I prefer a women's gym. I feel more comfortable using the free weights there--and they're actually available for use! I feel less concerned with being watched, and I feel more comfortable with the atmosphere. Most folks are there to work out, not to show off or to watch other people, and people seem generally friendlier. I tried the co-ed Y, but just felt awkward--especially while using the Olympic bar. - 11/3/2010   9:59:56 PM
  • 468
    I much prefer a women only gym. - 11/3/2010   9:47:04 PM
  • 467
    i did join a women's only gym. It was ok but I actually enjoyed working out at Planet Fitness more. It was more machines and the hours were so much better. - 11/3/2010   7:10:54 PM
  • 466
    The best thing about my Women Only Gym (CURVES) is that most of the women there are older, and more interested in improving their own health rather than competing to see who can wear the tiniest piece of Spandex and call it "Work-Out Clothes". - 10/3/2010   4:24:07 PM
  • 465
    I belong to a coed gym. It is a large local chain, and I can attend any of their locations. It is definitely the best deal for me. However, when I teach classes, I definitely prefer to teach at a women only facility. - 9/9/2010   8:21:18 AM
  • 464
    When I lived in Long Beach, CA the Bally's Total Fitness (main gym) had a floor that was totally dedicated to women and I have to admit that it was really convenient for me. I found that when I visited that floor to exercise the machines were more "female-friendly" if ya know what I mean. Also, it seemed like more of the women with a goal, focus, and seemed much more mature were on this floor - not like the "cutesy teeny-boppers" with their g-strings showing all out and smokey eye make-up on *LOL*. However, I could join either type of gym 'cause it doesn't bother me much. - 9/7/2010   10:18:01 PM
  • 463
    We only have co-ed but yes I'd somewhat prefer same sex. It's not a big issue to me. - 9/6/2010   8:37:49 PM
  • JULIET711
    462
    I have done same sex exercise classes, which I really enjoyed. At the same time, I work harder when I have a trainer of the opposite sex. - 9/6/2010   3:48:57 PM
  • CONNIEDIANEF
    461
    Yes I would! I would feel more comfortable there. - 9/6/2010   1:26:19 PM
  • 460
    Personally I don.t think it would matter to me as long as I was getting out my workouts what I wanted - I am not going there to pick up anyone nor to be picked up. Of course I am a guy so I can understand why you ladies might fell different and I respect that. - 9/5/2010   7:06:22 PM
  • 459
    I've belonged to both types and I find that's not what makes the difference for me. If the staff are friendly and the gym offers the classes and equipment I want then I'm happy sharing with men or women. - 9/5/2010   4:41:16 PM
  • 458
    I go to a women's only gym and I loooove it.

    I've been to co-ed gyms before and I didn't like it as much. I guess it's personal preference. I find I'm more comfortable working out with just women. The gym is also cleaner and doesn't stink as much. (I found a lot of men put on cologne before they work out...ew)

    - 9/5/2010   10:41:14 AM
  • 457
    Yes - maybe then I'd be able to find an open bench in the free weight room! - 9/4/2010   11:52:23 PM
  • 456
    My current gym does separate the women's and men's work out areas... but many classes and the courts are co-ed. I don't mind it, I've enjoyed getting to know some of the women really well! ALL of the trainers are amazing women who I have gotten to know pretty well. But I believe that would happen in a co-ed gym too!

    I was once a member of a women's only gym, no men at all, and my problem with them was that they were super pushy and when I was not renewing my membership (because I was moving to a different country!) the woman I talked to acted completely inappropriate.

    I do like co-ed gyms, it's fun! I've even been an instructor/TA at a university level and worked out at the same gym as my students (and with my own professors too!), it's a good example and always motivation!

    As long as I have a gym to go to, I'm happy! - 9/4/2010   11:16:27 PM
  • TWOOFTHREE
    455
    They could have elves and orcs as members in the gym for all I care. I go early enough that the gym's nearly empty when I'm there.

    And when I workout, I'm in the zone (mentally), so they could have dancing clowns in there and I wouldn't notice. And I wouldn't notice who was noticing me.

    The only thing that annoys me is when someone jumps on a piece of equipment I had lined up to go on next.

    That rarely happens 'cause the gym's nearly empty when I'm there. - 9/4/2010   6:46:25 PM
  • 454
    NATRONA32 asks why there aren't gyms for men only - maybe because most of us are wired to enjoy watching women? Only half kidding, and no, I wasn't staring at you. I run in the first row of treadmills so I can look out the windows. - 9/4/2010   5:15:03 PM
  • 453
    I am a member of a mixed-sex gym, SNAP Fitness. What really matters is the atmosphere promoted and the equipment available, and SNAP provides good equipment and any "everyone should work at their own level and be fit" atmosphere. At any given time, there are teenagers, elderly, men, women, those in fantastic shape body building and those that need to lose tons of weight and are on a treadmill working out for the first time in decades. And everyone does their own thing, and if words are spoken, they are words of encouragement to keep up the good work...I love my gym! - 9/4/2010   4:28:14 PM
  • 452
    I wouldn't mind it, because I am self concious about my body and would rather not be around a lot of attractive men while I'm trying to work out. However, like others have said, it depends on the equipment they have at the gym. - 9/4/2010   3:06:06 PM

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