I have been working out for many years, and I was not always comfortable being around people. Regardless, if the gym had more men than women or vice versa, if there’s way too much people in that place, it’s so difficult to workout.You get that weird feeling where you can’t really go about your routine, there are so many interruptions, and it just feels awkward when somebody watches you. Not that I give a f*ck about it, but there are days when I just want to be in an empty gym where I can have the whole place to myself.
I know that’s not possible all the time but at least you can reduce half of the population, right? I, just like any other woman, get intimidated and bothered sometimes when I workout around men. When they go beast-mode and throw the dumbells to the floor, use machines and leave the seat all dripping with sweat, I don’t get excited to exercise anymore.
I was in the States a few weeks ago and I was lucky enough to experience working out in a gym with a “Women Only” area. The place had all the equipment necessary to do a full body workout. It wasn’t like a large crossfit box or anything like that, but it was a nice, quiet and fully-equipped area where women can really go all out minding their own business.
And yes, that was the vibe I got when I first entered the room. I didn’t get that “Hey, welcome to the club” cheery vibe from the ladies, but I definitely felt that level of comfort when I started working out there. I didn’t have to worry about raising my arms if I had waxed my armpits or not, I wasn’t too conscious spreading my legs open or bending forward because it was just me and other women. I felt free, and it was mentally easier for me to perform workouts with full range of motion. Because, for once, I wasn’t worried about any wardrobe malfunction.
Another awesome thing about this “Women Only” workout, was it just had the equipment necessary to build a beautiful woman’s body. It was pretty basic, but to me it was complete. There was no music playing in the background, so you had the option to go completely zen and perform your exercise in silence, while some of us used our own headphones.
I like this “Women Only” gym because, as a woman myself, I want to stay fit and active whether I get pregnant or wanted to bring my mom with me, who by the way is a senior citizen and cannot be working out right next to twenty-something jocks who might scare the sh*t out of her.
If gyms had a special section or area where women of all ages can start their fitness journey without feeling conscious, unsafe or intimidated, more women will be inspired to take on that challenge of living a healthier lifestyle. It just really takes building a community where women feel safe and empowered. I honestly wish that the Philippines can learn a thing or two from this.