Are “Sisterhood Gyms” the New Fad in Women’s Fitness?

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By Tallulah Ray

What are sisterhood gyms? “Sisterhood gyms” is the new term for women’s only gyms. They are beginning to pop up everywhere. If you don’t have a sisterhood gym in your area, there should be plenty of sisterhood classes: work out classes devoted entirely to women’s fitness. Zumba is a great example of this.

While men are always welcome to join a regular Zumba class, some classes are made for women only. There are many reasons for this and none of them involve discrimination. Believe me, we (women) love our men. It’s just that sometimes it feels better to work out without them.

#1) Wait, I’ve Seen These Before…

Yes, women’s only gyms have been around for a while and they did have a stigma attached to them: a bad stigma. However, it seems as though they’ve shed that reputation for a better one. While women’s only gyms used to be known for overweight women working at a slower pace, they are now focusing on general women’s fitness at all levels.

#2) What’s So Awesome About Women’s Only Gyms?

It’s true, some women are just shy. They don’t want to sweat, stink, and fumble around in front of half-naked men. That is totally understandable. However, these “sisterhood gyms” can give you much more than just peace of mind. They can be a place for networking, bonding with your friends, and for gaining some new friends.

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Often, we unintentionally and subconsciously feel as though we need to keep pace with the people who are working out around us. This can become a problem if you find yourself working out next to men.

However, that is not the frame of mind that you should have when you are at a gym. You must workout for you. Focus on yourself rather than on those around you. 99% of the people who are working out around you are focusing on themselves and aren’t looking at you. The 1% that is looking around, are at the gym for the wrong reason.

That being said, some people can’t help but feel as though they are being judged when they attend co-ed gyms. No amount of influence will convince them otherwise. That’s okay. That insecurity is built into us by society. If you do feel this way, perhaps a sisterhood class or gym would work well for you.

Sometimes, these gyms also have extra options for us ladies: day care for a limited amount of time, spa treatments, Jacuzzis, massages, etc. After a good, hard work out, it is nice to give ourselves a little treat.

#3) Different Focus?

If you look at a “regular gym” and the various equipment that is in use, you will see a pattern. Men normally go for more of the free weights, sports related activities (racquet ball, handball, etc.), and the heavy duty resistance machines while women prefer the cardiovascular workout machines, smaller resistance machines, and the classes (yoga, pilates, Zumba, etc.).

As a general rule, in sisterhood gyms, there will be more of those machines available (the kind which draw more females) as well as more classes offered at different times.

Don’t get me wrong though. These gyms aren’t meant to be less rigorous or less intense than regular gyms. Most just focus on more cardiovascular activities as well as other forms of fitness which women find appealing and helpful.

#4) What Kinds of Sisterhood Gyms Are Out There?

There are the traditional ones like Curves (which focus on the Curves circuit training program). However, if you’re not wanting to join the Curves program, you’ll have to look for women’s only gyms in your area. You can Google “women’s gyms near me” in order to find some gyms in your area.

#5) Are There Problems With Sisterhood Gyms?

The buzz around sisterhood gyms revolve around the issue of discrimination. Are they discriminating against men? There are a few men’s clubs in my area which have gyms in them. I haven’t heard an uproar about discrimination involving those places?

If you have a problem with women’s only gyms, you can go to your local gym and check out their sisterhood classes. There are classes which only have female enrollment in order to ease the sensitivities of shy girls and help create a greater bond between the members.

One of the drawbacks to going to a gym are the other people. There are some nice and helpful people at the gym but no matter how nice they are, sometimes we feel judged when we go.

Let me tell you this though, you shouldn’t feel as though you are being judged when you go to a gym. You are being proactive in your health-related choices. You are making a great decision. You are doing something good for you. Those are the only things that should matter. After all, you are going to the gym for you, not for them.

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