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It’s common enough for women to feel a certain unease about going to the gym- especially the weights room. Over half of all respondents in one recent survey in the US reported feeling anxious about going to the gym for fear of being judged. Search for a ladies gym near me and get started on your fitness journey!
Training should not look different between men and women. The same styles, exercises, rep ranges and techniques apply to both, evenly. Bar a couple of postural differences (wider q-joints leading to a slightly wider squat stance, and so on), there really is no difference in how men and women should be working out.
This can lead many to assume that the same space for one is good enough for the other. However, if you’re a woman going into a weights room- a traditionally male space- filled with men, pumping iron, grunting and eyeing up anything female with legs that crosses their path, there is a lot to overcome. There is a lot to put you off. You want to work out without being objectified, chatted up, or intimidated. The idea of a female-only space in any gym has great appeal and, as such, many gyms have begun to offer it.
In fact, there are some great benefits for any gym making room for female-only space.
The benefits of women-only gym spaces
Broadly speaking, there are four main benefits to be gained from including female-only spaces in gyms. These are:
This is the big one, so let’s kick off here. The male gaze is a big deal in any gym- as soon as a woman walks in, dressed in her workout gear and ready to go, heads begin to turn. If you’re just there for a decent workout, you don’t want this level of attention- if, indeed, anyone is ever comfortable with this kind of scrutiny.
This is assuming that men will just remain passive observers. You go to the gym for a workout, not to be chatted up. Nothing will ruin your flow like having a queue of people coming up to you, trying to get your number. You’ll never PR your squat in these conditions.
In addition, gyms are often massive spaces with a hundred and one types of machine. Female-only spaces are often a lot more intimate, making them far less intimidating to start with. Add this to the peace and solitude of being away from the gym’s main thrust, and you will have a much more comfortable experience.
It can take enough confidence just to get into the gym in the first place, without dozens of pumped up men drooling over you. Go for a women’s only option.
More appropriate facilities
This one is controversial. I don’t even know how much I agree with it. As mentioned above, there shouldn’t be anything too tangibly different in the ways in which men and women train- the same moves, with the same equipment and same basic theory will do the same for each.
However, it’s a big draw and many women report finding female-only spaces to be better equipped for their needs. The equipment and classes you will find in a women’s gym or gym space will be specifically designed and chosen with women in mind, obviously.
More fitness classes that are popular with women will feature on the roster- yoga, Pilates, dance, aerobics and so on, to use cliched picks that nevertheless do bear scrutiny. Everything will be put in there because the members want it- and the members will all be women.
However, though a female-only gym or space will tend to mean more classes and group work, and less free-weight solo training, there is a greater level of detail at work.
Most equipment is designed with men in mind, with women as an afterthought. This can make a difference. The gear you will find in a female-only space will be for you- designed, built and chosen with you in mind. Even if you go in and power lift, you will know that everything there has been included so as to include you.
In addition to the equipment and classes on offer catering better to women than a mixed-space might typically do, the way in which the space is used as a soft-skill area may be different. Rather than having a super-competitive, actively intimidating space (of the kind that many mixed gyms foster), female-only spaces can be great places to socialise, network and let off steam- all the things that put ‘leisure’ into the idea of a ‘leisure centre’. You will be able to meet like-minded people without having to watch out for predators on the side-lines.
A different approach
This all comes together to both inspire and further a different approach to training. Women-only gyms and gym spaces tend to approach health and fitness with more of a holistic approach than mixed-spaces. We are painting with broad brushes here (the whole article is, and plenty of examples exist to disprove everything we’ve been running through!), but, in general, women-only spaces will honour the fact that being fit and healthy is about more than PRs and calories burned.
The nutritional and psychological support needed to build a healthy body is profound. There are specific nutritional details that go into making a healthy woman in particular that need bearing in mind. Women-only spaces will often do this more successfully than mixed-spaces.
Being surrounded by fit, healthy women and female trainers will be a tremendous benefit. Seeing anybody who looks like you achieve their maximum, succeeding with, it is inspiring- personally so- and will give you plenty to aim for and learn from. Everybody needs this- women-only gym spaces are a perfect place for female fitness enthusiasts to find it.
If you’ve ever felt intimidated training at your local gym- which, let’s be honest, most women have- or if you’ve been putting off going to the gym for fear of exactly the kind of intimidation and objectification mentioned above, it could be time for you to find a women-only gym space near you. It will represent the first step in achieving your health and fitness goals, allowing you to become who you have always wanted to be.
Luckily, there are plenty of ladies only gym spaces in Dubai, from whole leisure centres devoted to women, to large areas in state-of-the-art mixed facilities.
GymNation and women-only spaces
GymNation have sites all over the city. They actively look to make all of their members as comfortable as possible, so that nothing gets in the way of them having a pleasant, rewarding experience as they train in whatever discipline they choose. As part of this, their gyms all have comprehensive women-only sections, all accessible from the ladies’ changing rooms so that their members need never have to step foot in the mixed-section if they don’t want to.
They have all the equipment anybody could ever want in their women-only spaces. No matter your goals, you will be catered for, with the highest spec cardio and resistance machines, strength equipment and free weights. They have onsite female personal trainers to run through demos on all of them, and offer female personal trainers for more direct, long-term advice and intervention.
GymNation also run several ladies only fitness classes and group workouts, with instructor-led programs designed with a wide range of goals and styles in place.
You can also rest assured knowing that you’re safe with GymNation. They take security incredibly seriously, with staff on-site at all times. This includes first aiders and security workers. They have CCTV up in all their locations and secure entrances and exits.
If any of the concerns about mixed-gym spaces are getting to you, give them a go. Their ladies gym space will be perfect: they are safe, comfortable, and expertly run.