I know stereotypes are a bad, bad thing, but I can’t help myself. Los Angeles is synonymous with gym addicts who covet pumped-up muscles, lips and pectoral areas. When I see heavy make-up and perfectly coifed hair at the gym, my fit bottom twitches a bit, so you can imagine the spasms that vibrated through my glutes when Jenn and Erin suggested I check out a new boutique gym (with a pink motif!) on my side of the U.S. of A.
See, I am not a pink fan, and Pink Iron is a gym that prides itself on being for women, by women—and it’s covered in pink . And it’s in LA. I envisioned 1-pound weights and twiggy big-chested women, complaining about their weaves and chipped nails. Did I mention I don’t like the color pink?
When I first heard about this health club, immediately a dialogue between Shelby and her mother M’Lynn from Steel Magnolias popped into my head:
M’Lynn: “Her colors are pink and pink.”
I created a list called “Shelby scores” and “Shelby bummers” to see if I wanted to accept this writing assignment. No men ogling booties as we squat? Shelby score! No men for us to ogle as they squat? Shelby bummer.
My short little list came out even, so I drove my accidentally pink-dressed self to the spot. (How ironic is it that I accidentally wore pink? I barely even own anything of that hue!) Located in West Hollywood, Pink Iron sits right above a Barry’s Bootcamp (the bummer on my above list just poofed itself away) and across from a massage therapy studio. (Score!) Pink Iron got an immediate two thumbs up for having free parking (that’s rarity in L.A., my friends), but even that couldn’t poof away the initial stereotypes I had in my head.
That all changed the minute I walked in. While the place is definitely pink as pink can get (pink floors, walls and weights), it’s packed with workout goodies for all different kinds of ladies. I know how intimidating and scary walking into a gym can be. I was a gym newbie not so long ago. Just thinking about going into a gym and trying to figure out how to use the equipment correctly would stop me in my tracks.
Holly Holton, the brains and the brawn behind Pink Iron, totally understands. The whole gym is tailored around women’s individual needs. Your first day at Pink Iron consists of a one-on-one with Holly. She’ll take you back into an office area and ask you a series of questions about your current exercise habits and what your fitness goals are. She takes measurements and pictures, then assesses your own personal plan of attack. You’re matched with a personal trainer, given nutritional counseling (you can even call them at the grocery store if you have questions when shopping!) and workout plans.
Holly was kind enough to take me through a 45-minute training session, too. We went through a circuit workout of dips, push-ups, squats, free weights and good ol’ hellacious lunges. After we ran through this tough workout, I knew Holly was a true Fit Bottomed Girl. Any girl that isn’t afraid to give women the real workouts they need to succeed is OK in my book.
Holly stresses that the gym is a place you go for a lifestyle change. And she acts as your best friend would, helping you and supporting you through the change. She and her gal trainers basically hold your hand for as long as you need until you’re rockin the sweat dates on your own.
My initial reaction was so wrong about this gym. Yes, it’s hella pink. But women of all shapes and sizes were there working out, and getting healthier. If that’s what pink is about, then, heck. It’s my new fave color! —Tish