Is a No-Boys-Allowed Gym Better Than Co-Ed?

| Fitness

There's a growing popularity among women's-only gyms and studios, and you might be like, "Wait, am I missing something?" What's the difference between a classic co-ed gym and a ladies-only gym other than the obvious? Let the consumers' actions speak: If there's a rise in demand for all women's fitness gyms, then there must be something totally awesome about them. At the same time, you can still complete the same workout or more walking into a gym that happens to have dudes in it. Where you join is completely up to you, but let's explore the benefits of each first.


Co-Ed Gyms

  • Bigger and more versatile. If you're doubling the amount of people in it, of course this establishment is going to be larger. There will be more machines and sometimes more choices for your workouts: spinning class, swimming laps, lifting weights, more machines, and so forth. Some places even have tanning beds, child care, TVs everywhere, larger locker rooms. There will be more staff as well.
  • Usually cheaper. If you look at what you're getting in terms of services, usually the co-ed gyms have a lower price. Most co-ed gyms are also chains, meaning they don't just need you as a customer because they happen to have 462 other locations.
  • More chances to hang out with your man. Couples who sweat together, stay together. Share an active lifestyle with your man, or invite your guy friend or brother to join you. You can also take tips, steal workouts and recruit spotters more easily. Click here for one mom's take on working out with her husband.

women doing core exercises in a group class at the gym

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Ladies Only Gyms

  • Fewer eyes. Women tend to feel more comfortable to get sweaty, stinky and red-faced at the gym when it's just a bunch of other women next to them. You don't feel like there are eyes on you for inappropriate reasons and suddenly your squat depth improves overnight.
  • More camaraderie. You'll build friendships with the ladies who attend the same classes as you every week. You'll see them often enough to spark up a conversation, relate to them about mom life, wedding planning, dating, workout gear, food tips and more. You might even plan a meet-up outside of the gym.
  • Specialty classes. Most women's studios are just that: studios. This means they offer more group fitness classes, getting creative and selective on programs. This offers the member a level of motivation and accountability to show up for these classes and lead them through workouts they don't need to plan themselves.

Men ruled the gym for a long time, hitting the weights for the "big pump" and pushing themselves to gain more and more muscle. For decades, fitness and physical strength was left for the female athlete (click here to train like a World Cup athlete anywhere) — not the stay-at-home mom or everyday woman. It wasn't until the 1970s and 80s that exercise programs and gym memberships were pulling in women. Fast forward to right now and physical well being is a top priority for both men and women. The gym you choose will be the one that makes the most sense for you. If you need childcare, want more machines and the option to go during off-peak hours to do your thing, the co-ed gym might be best. You also have the choice to work out with other like-minded women, built-in motivation and inspiring classes with an all-women's gym. What's your prerogative?

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