A few years ago, it was hard to spot a gym for women anywhere. However, now they are popping up on every corner and people are getting ideas of opening their own. Besides wanting to stand out, we have to look at it realistically and admit that most women’s gyms just aren’t doing it right. There are things that can be greatly improved and things that fall victim to stereotypes surrounding and putting women in boxes. So, if you want to open up a women’s gym, or if you already own one and are looking to improve: here are the tips that you will need to make the ultimate, bulletproof all-ladies’ gym.
There is a reason why women go to all-women gyms. They want to exercise without feeling like there is someone checking them out or judging them based on how they look. They want a secure place that meets all of their needs. This is why female staff is crucial. Not all of them need to be women, but you will need a female manager and at least a couple of female trainers. Imagine being a woman, walking into an all-women gym and seeing nothing but men working there. Wouldn’t exactly make you feel that great. On top of that, a male manager might not think of all the little details that are important for a place frequented mostly by women. Thing like pads and tampons in the bathroom, a comfortable place to take a shower and change, a blow dryer or dry shampoo to fix their hair after a workout, etc. On top of that, a lot of women will feel more comfortable being coached by a woman or asking a woman for help with the equipment. Simply put: you cannot have a women’s gym without women employees.
Most women’s gyms make the crucial mistake of only having “female” equipment for exercise that is considered typically feminine, like treadmills, stationary bicycles, and stretching equipment. However: believe it or not – women have various interests that transcend stereotypes, and every gym should reflect that. There are women who want to lift weights, who want to build up muscle, who want to do pull-ups and so many other activities that are often not available in women’s gyms. You should also have trainers who specialize in different types of exercise so that you can have a various offer for all of your dedicated gym rats. It’s perfectly fine to have the traditional feminine equipment, but it should also have as wide of an offer as possible. In the end, giving people as many options as possible through various exercise equipment is the best way to get them to try new things and broaden their horizons.
It should be inclusive
There are a lot of people who don’t go to gyms because they feel like gyms simply aren’t made for them – and that’s because many gyms aren’t. A lot of people with disabilities, various health issues and other things preventing them from going to the gym should be welcomed. This should extend to more than just having a ramp to get to the gym comfortably. If you really want to go above and beyond to make sure all women are welcome, then you have to think about the mothers who often don’t go to the gym because they have nowhere to leave their kids for that time. So, having a little playpen where the kids can play while their mom exercises, or having ideas for a mommy & me workout that they can enjoy together will make sure that moms will be flocking to your gym.
Have different classes and programs
Doing the same thing over and over again isn’t going to get you really far. This is why various classes that your clients can attend will give them the opportunity to try various workouts and exercise different muscle groups. Consider different dances, sports, stretch classes, CrossFit, bar workouts, martial arts, etc. You can bring in different teachers and trainers who specialize in that particular activity to hold a class once or twice per month and rotate the classes regularly so that there is always a selection to choose from. The same rule applies as before: don’t limit yourself (and your clients) to the traditionally feminine workouts and give them variety.
Make it unique
As we already said, there are a lot of women’s gyms out there. So, if you want to open one, you really need to stand out. Whether that’s going to be a selection of classes, the best possible equipment or just outstanding service, make sure you have it. Remember that women like to spend time with each other, so a small lounge where they can grab a cup of tea or coffee, sit and talk is a great addition to any gym. You can also host different events at your gym like nutrition classes or other related activities. Make women feel like home and give them a space to spend some time for themselves. We are all so busy today, and with the majority of housework more often than not still falling on women, they desperately need a place that will be just for them. Make sure that every woman feels like she is powerful and working on herself the moment she walks through that door. Motivational and positive messages are a big plus, just make sure that none of them cross the line into body shaming or make anyone feel insecure and not committed enough.
All-women gyms might seem to some people like a waste, and not exactly necessary, but you can guarantee that those people thankfully never witnessed a woman having a bad experience in a gym just because she was the only woman there or because someone felt entitled to comment on her body. These gyms are a place for women to feel safe and empowered, so we should all work on making them as good as they can be. Simply put: these gyms are a response to the need of women to exercise in a safe and comfortable environment that caters to their needs: and that’s exactly what they’re getting there.