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

  • 451
    I have no problem with a same sex gym,however the equipment can be a bit whimpier
    at times-just depends on the gym. - 9/4/2010   12:44:28 PM
  • 450
    I belong to a gym for seniors--you have to be 50 or over, and other than an annual membership it is free. I like the atmosphere and there are many less-than-perfect bodies but I have always enjoyed the company of men and women wherever I am and wouldn't really like to be isolated from either. - 9/4/2010   9:08:23 AM
  • 449
    I have belonged to a co-ed gym and currently belong to a same-sex gym. I had no problems with the co-ed gym except getting on the weight equipment from time-to-time. However it was fun to see the faces of the guys when I get on a machine, increase the weight from their settings, and have awesome form! I currently belong to a same sex "gym" because I love the workout, which is a circuit workout. - 9/4/2010   3:45:03 AM
  • 448
    I work out with men in my karate club and don't mind it at all, but I'm happy to be in a women's gym. The atmosphere is so much nicer, there are lots of machines and other equipment, it is quiet except for the music, it's clean, we get free classes - I just love it. When my gym was closed for renovations I went to the community centre for a few days and the difference was quite noticeable. There was very little equipment so I had to wait around. The guys were all over the weight machines and looked at me as if I were an intruder when I took my turn. Surprisingly, the monthly fee is the same in both places. I joined because my friend was already a member and I'm happy I did. - 9/3/2010   10:48:48 PM
  • GIYPSY
    447
    I am fortunate to be a non-traditional college student and work out at school so, nobody is checking me out for any reason other than maybe to be kind & help me with proper technique. However I think the cultural makeup of the gym is the key factor; if the management is focused on making money, you will probably find more of a meat market. If the management focus is on being in a profession committed to helping people achieve goals first and profit second, stands to reason you will find the attitude of the clients falling along the same lines.
    Think of it this way; would you expect Bob Harper to hit on you if you went to the BL Ranch?

    For those reasons I might choose a women only gym. On the other hand, some nice guy who reminds me of my son, wanting to help the old lady would be very welcome. ;) - 5/13/2010   8:13:06 AM
  • 446
    Yes,I would!
    For modesty and comfort reasons! - 4/11/2010   9:47:31 AM
  • 445
    I wouldn't join a womens only gym. I have 4 older sisters, a mom and a bunch of friends. I'm surrounded by enough chics. LOL - 4/5/2010   3:26:39 PM
  • 444
    I work out at a women only gym and I love it. I only chose it because it was within walking distance of my apartment and I don't drive. There is nothing else remotely close. I would prefer to be by a swimming pool, and when I can get to one it doesn't bother me working out in front of men. But I learned to love Curves as there were mostly people there like me, older, overweight and plain, past the age where you don't feel you have to wear make up and the latest fashion trends to the gym. Not the little spandex wearing super models types. It seems to attract the middle age crowd which is nice. - 4/4/2010   10:20:03 AM
  • OZARKMEL
    443
    I belonged to a co-ed gym before and always felt unsafe at it....not to mention the sweaty equipment and men "spitting" on the floor....I lasted about 2 weeks. Never again! - 4/4/2010   10:12:47 AM
  • 442
    I'm a huge fan of same sex gyms for lots of reasons and wish I had one nearby now. When I lost 60 pounds 8 years ago, it was at a Women's Workout World. Everyone was serious about weight loss or fitness and there was no "chatter" at our gym. I wasn't intimidated or self conscious of men being around and didn't have to deal with their extra sweat or them hogging the weight machines. It was a smaller gym, but still spacious, so there was more camaraderie and we got to know each other and would encourage and support each other in the locker room. I started at close to 200 pounds and was motivated by others of all sizes around me. I learned from just watching how other women worked out and when I was 145 pounds and saw someone 250 pounds walk in, I thought "GOOD FOR YOU!" not something derogatory.

    I'm at Planet Fitness now and while it's co-ed, the discourage guys from being "lunks" (you know the sweating, shouting, growling weight lifters) and have a separate room with a weight machine circuit so women can use weight machines without fighting with the guys for a turn.

    I'm all for single sex gyms! They can be a huge blessing!
    - 4/3/2010   12:27:47 PM
  • 441
    I have belonged to a same sex gym in the past, but only because of cost and convenience. I would not now because I don't feel same sex gyms offer the variety of co-ed gyms. - 2/8/2010   4:36:18 PM
  • 440
    It doesnt bother me whether I am in the same sex gym or mixed. Im there to work out. thats it. So No I would not join a same sex gym - 2/6/2010   6:12:44 AM
  • 439
    I go to a women-only gym now. I don't go because it's a women-only gym, though. I go because it is a 15 minute walk from my apartment. With the gym membership I have, I can go to any Goodlife Fitness in Canada, and there is a co-ed gym where I live, but it's a 30 minute uphill walk to get there. I don't think I would mind working out in a co-ed gym. Ask me a year ago, and I probably would have been uncomfortable working out with guys around, but since I've become more confident with my body, it wouldn't bother me as much. - 1/22/2010   1:53:27 PM
  • EVACLAIRE
    438
    I think that i would join a same sex gym because it is very helpful to be in a non-hostile environment when working out. at least i think so. - 1/13/2010   8:27:44 PM
  • 437
    I have belonged to a women only gym. I do understand the premise behind it because when I first started working out I was almost 300 pounds. No woman wants a guy-even a stranger to see all that jumping around while she sweats and works out. I was also intimidated with the whole gym thing to begin with. As I started to get stronger and learn about my body and the pounds started dropping off I didn't care who was in the gym. Also, I started to hate the chatter in the all women gym. I am surprised I still have hearing from cranking up my ipod to drown out the constant personal conversations going on. These women spent more time socializing and holding up machines than working out. It got to be annoying when I was on a schedule and most were either stay at home moms or retired. Not fun. I recently joined a co-ed gym and LOVE IT! I found out that most folks-men and women, who are truly there to workout barely pay any attention to the people around them. I am by no means a perfect hard body but I don't care. I go to workout just like everyone else. I don't have time to be intimidated any more. - 1/6/2010   9:41:06 AM
  • 436
    I have belonged to a women only gym. I do understand the premise behind it because when I first started working out I was almost 300 pounds. No woman wants a guy-even a stranger to see all that jumping around while she sweats and works out. I was also intimidated with the whole gym thing to begin with. As I started to get stronger and learn about my body and the pounds started dropping off I didn't care who was in the gym. Also, I started to hate the chatter in the all women gym. I am surprised I still have hearing from cranking up my ipod to drown out the constant personal conversations going on. These women spent more time socializing and holding up machines than working out. It got to be annoying when I was on a schedule and most were either stay at home moms or retired. Not fun. I recently joined a co-ed gym and LOVE IT! I found out that most folks-men and women, who are truly there to workout barely pay any attention to the people around them. I am by no means a perfect hard body but I don't care. I go to workout just like everyone else. I don't have time to be intimidated any more. - 1/6/2010   9:36:35 AM
  • 435
    I never belonged to a same sex gym. I too had never been too self-conscious or intimidated to go to the gym. And I don't mind exercising with or in front of other women or men. Most of my friends came along with their husbands to the gym. I used to go in the morning and my husband in the evening. I would never join a gym only for women. - 1/6/2010   5:31:12 AM
  • 434
    I don't really have a problem with either gym. The cost and convenience is probably the most important thing to me when looking for a gym. - 1/5/2010   6:12:13 PM
  • 433
    Doesnt matter to me either way. I look for prices and what they offer. My gym is mixed and honestly I dont think anyone really pays attention to each other. People are busy doing their own thing. - 12/5/2009   3:21:15 AM
  • 432
    I've always belonged to co-ed gyms, but I used to teach classes at a women's only gym (it was owned by the same folks who owned another gym where I taught, so all the instructors taught at both). The atmosphere was much more "let me hide" than "let me work out" - dimmer lighting, fewer mirrors, etc. I hated it. I want the mirrors so I can check my form, and while I don't need super-bright light, having the place dimly-lit just seemed odd...

    I've only had the one same-sex gym as my experience, so my opinion is limited, but I just don't worry about whether others at the co-ed gym are looking at me or judging me or whatever - I'm there to work out, and I'm pretty darn sure I'm not "spectactular" enough to get anyone's attention, which suits me just fine... LOL... - 10/18/2009   10:44:00 PM
  • 431
    Way back when I was in high school, I joined an all female gym for a year (1980). I absolutely loved it! I would join again in a heartbeat if there were one close to my home, at an affordable price, and with a good selection of equipment. About a year ago I checked out a heavily advertised all female gym in my area---it was a total disappointment. It was set up more like a Curves-type 'gym'.... and the trainer/saleslady discouraged the use of the only piece of equipment I was really interested in using. Needless to say, I walked out of there and never looked back! - 10/15/2009   10:22:32 PM
  • 430
    I attended an all-female college so an all-female gym wouldn't bother me - if it included enough free weights for weight lifting. Years ago while on vacation I visited a women's gym and was very disappointed to find that they had no free weights heavier than 25 pounds, which made loading a leg press a real pain. When I asked why there were no 50 or 100 lb weights, I was told because women can't lift them (????)...guess that is even more of a reason to encourage weight lifting for women! - 10/15/2009   5:19:28 PM
  • JAL138
    429
    It really depends. I hated the co-ed university gym because it was a bunch of barely-adult young guys showing off to each other and any girl who walked in. All the trainers were guys and preferred to spend time lifting weights with each other than actually answering questions - but a female friend of mine who loved lifting weights found them just as useless when she wanted a spot. On the other hand, there are a couple of women-only gyms in the area which friends have tried and hated.

    Your choice can really be about the gym itself, the location, the atmosphere it fosters, the childcare, extra classes or equipment that's available - in short, your priorities. If you really feel more comfortable in a same-sex environment, that might be a deciding factor for you. Personal choice. - 9/6/2009   1:18:35 PM
  • 428
    I would not join a gym just because it was same sex only. I'm more concerned with the membership price and the equipment - 8/2/2009   6:58:42 AM
  • SHOPAHOLIC4444
    427
    I would join that one! I'm quite conscious about myself and don't want to join a gym because of that... We don't have same-sex gyms here where I live. And I don't think we ever will LOL ... I - 7/25/2009   5:13:16 PM
  • 426
    During the summer between high school and college, I attended your typical gym. I kicked my gym routine before the end of the summer though. I was pretty fit but felt a little odd about being at a gym. A lot of the guys there would make it obvious that they were watching you run or whatever. It became so annoying that I just stopped going. You can say that I should have been flattered but (again I was only 18), it was a little creepy. I can see why maybe someone would want to go to a same-sex gym for that reason. - 7/17/2009   12:46:44 PM
  • 425
    I prefer co-ed. I don't support single sex gyms because it reminds me of the old men's clubs where women were kept out. It's better if we all have access to the equipment and environment we need. Segregation is problematic. - 7/1/2009   9:18:16 AM
  • 424
    I've belonged to co-ed gyms in the past and currently belong to a women-only gym. I was fine with the co-ed gyms and wouldn't mind going back if that was the most convinient option, but I'm enjoying my current gym a whole lot! The atmosphere and especially the group classes are just a lot more fun and silly and supportive than I've seen in co-ed classes. - 6/18/2009   1:22:29 PM
  • 423
    I belong to a co-ed. I love it. Recently I visited a same sex and found women arguing over machines. In the strenght class women were arguing over their zones. It changed my mind to join. - 5/25/2009   5:50:34 PM
  • 422
    I would love to join women only gym, I would be much more comfortable around women only. - 5/24/2009   7:18:05 AM
  • 421
    Not a bad idea.
    There are three major reasons I would rather prefer a women-only gym:
    - one obvious one is the fact that every gym has a few weird male-users that aren't there to work out but simply stare at others
    - I feel like men and women atmosphere creates some sort of competition between guys for who looks tougher. Sometimes they get so cought up in it that us girls never even get a chance to use any of the weight machines
    - I also feel somewhat of a discomfort to get on a machine after 200lb guys just got done lifting 150 on it and here I am lifting 20 and I can feel that the guys is passing on his judgement. I feel a lot more comfortable when other women around me are excercising in pretty much the same range as I do than when hardcore dudes putting me to shame by benching 3 of me while I'm struggling to do a 100 - 5/22/2009   12:22:30 PM
  • 420
    I belong to a co-ed gym. There aren't any single sex ones around, and this is cheaper than most. Honestly, I think its about 75% guys in there. I ignore them, they ignore me. I have no problems with it. - 5/21/2009   4:32:01 PM
  • DORIANRW
    419
    I wouldn't mind joining a women's only gym. The things I look kfor in a gym, are the quality of equipment, daycare, hours, classes, etc. If I can find that in a women's only gym, I would have no problem joining. I'm more concerned about what the gym has to offer than who's there. - 5/21/2009   12:14:16 PM
  • 418
    I go to a gym that has both men and women and I HATE it!!!! I would love to go to a womens only gym. - 5/21/2009   11:28:37 AM
  • 417
    I belong to Curves which is a fitness club exclusively for women and I love it. I work out with women of all shapes and sizes and we motivate each other. I have belong to a co-ed gym before, it was o.k., but I love Curves! - 5/21/2009   9:14:19 AM
  • FREEDOMN98
    416
    I joined a women's only gym at the end of April and I really like it. I didn't think there would be a big difference as I previously had a unisex gym membership, but it really does. The discussions and atmosphere is much more positive! - 5/20/2009   9:12:50 PM
  • 415
    I would join a unisex gym. I am there to work out and I don't care who's there. - 5/20/2009   8:26:17 PM
  • HCETREPUS
    414
    No way Jose Canseco. - 5/19/2009   12:52:23 PM
  • 413
    I work out at home but given the choice, I would probably prefer a woman only gym. I used to have my membership at a co-ed health club. I liked it well enough. What I didn't like is when they guys are trying to "hit on you". I get enough of that and after a while, it gets old. I go to the gym to get my workout in and I don't want to have to deal with a strange man who wants a date. That's just my personal opinion. Now I have equipment at home and I really prefer that to going to a gym. - 5/19/2009   9:10:16 AM
  • 412
    I wouldn't join a women-only gym. I think women are far more critical of me and my body than men are. - 5/13/2009   8:43:35 AM
  • 411
    I used to belong to an all-women gym and loved it. The only reason I quit was because I moved and it's too far away. They had the free weights in a room downstairs and it was almost always empty when I was there. I loved that the machines were built for women and could be adjusted smaller, and they had smaller weights with smaller increments. I never felt like I was being stared at. There were quite a few Muslim women who worked out there and they looked like they really enjoyed it there too. I miss that gym! - 5/12/2009   9:36:17 PM
  • RAINDROP1019
    410
    I personally like the eye candy of the co-ed gym! I've used the women-only weight room before, which can be nice because I don't have to change every machine to a much lighter resistance level. BUT women tend to be more judgmental about bodies, workout clothes, and appearance. I can't help comparing myself to the other women at the gym, and I know many are doing the same. On the other hand, if men are looking, it is at least positive attention (I've never experienced any type of harassment or prolonged leers at my gym)! - 5/12/2009   12:09:05 PM
  • SMITH938
    409
    I would if it were cheap and convenient..I wouldn't seek one out. I used to attend aerobic classes at an all-women facility but it wasn't a gym..just a small place in a shopping center(next to a bakery and mexican food place!) and had a few morning classes and a few evening classes rotating toning, basic step, advanced step and a hi-lo class. - 5/12/2009   1:33:42 AM
  • 408
    I would NOT join a same sex gym. I feel much more self-conscious while working out with other women. I also noticed women looking and judging other women. Men don't do that. Men usually don't look at all. The gym I go to is mostly men and I've had men come up and give me tips on form before. Women tend to just stare if you're doing something wrong.

    Plus I tend to get a long better with men than a lot of women and many of my friends are men as well. If I was working out in front of a man I was attracted to, that would be a completely different thing all together. - 5/11/2009   2:48:53 PM
  • 407
    You brought up a good point that I honestly just had not thought of, to work out in an environment where you would not be looked at... ??? I think it's nice that they are available, some people find them to be more comfortable & they have every right... but I think in the same regard, why aren't there gyms that are for men only? I don't buy into what people are saying that women would complain that they are not allowed in, there are plenty of organizations in our society that are for men only & what the INTELLIGENT women have done is start their 'own' organizations that are for the girls. Bottom liine, it's nice to have, good to know it's there, don't belong to 1 b/c it just didn't occure to me. When I go to the gym, I'm not there to socialize so I don't care if there are men there or not. If they want to look, fine, look, it's no different than being anywhere else in public.
    I guess next we'll need to have women only sections at the beach? How about water parks? Ehh... people are too sensitive - 5/11/2009   9:37:13 AM
  • INNEEDOFLESS
    406
    I honestly don't think that it's appropriate to have a gender spacific gym. Femenists would raise a fuss if there was a gym that women weren't allowed in. Why is it okay for women to have gyms that don't admit men?
    It's childish to be unwilling to workout in the presence of the opposite sex. It's not like you're showering or poll dancing. You're running on a treadmill! Suck it up, and stop being so self-conscious.
    Besides, other women tend to judge women more critically than men do. - 5/7/2009   1:31:49 PM
  • 405
    I belong to one and I love it...its just less distracting and honestly less grunting...lol - 5/7/2009   11:14:49 AM
  • KHALLEXY
    404
    I can't allow other people to deter me from working out. When I am at the gym I zone people out. I come there to get fit. Fit people go to the gym that is part of life. I never cared what people thought of me or them checking me out. That is too much power to bestow on assumption! I like variety of people, well ran equipment and having access to my favorite machines and weights. True, some gyms can have that meat market mentality but honestly what does it have to do with me working out? - 5/6/2009   10:59:27 PM
  • 403
    Price is the most important thing to me (I'm a college student) but not having males around would be nice. Honestly I'd like a gym where all the already obviously fit people wouldn't be there. I think seeing them and having them questioning why I'm there makes me more self conscience. - 5/6/2009   4:18:42 PM
  • 402
    I will only use a 24-hr access all women gym. The others in my area ..Meat Markets. Women come in full make-up and men hang-out looking. Not for me, I am going to get the workout not a man. - 5/6/2009   12:43:30 PM

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