I’m Every Woman: Joining a Women-Only Gym

Women-OnlyGymGyms are like a box of chocolates…You’ll never know if you dig them unless you dig in. Two months ago, I joined a popular gym chain and found out pretty darn quickly that it was not the gym for me. First of all, I live in Los Angeles…in the valley…the porn mecca. I couldn’t get away from all the silicone boobies and high-heeled “workout” boots that I saw at that place. But believe it or not, that wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back. I hate to admit this, but the men at the gym were terrible, too. They ogled. They stunk. Did I mention they ogled? I just could never get comfortable there and found myself (a fitness enthusiast!) reluctant to make the trip. Not cool.

Lucky for me, I have a fiance who encourages my fitness endeavors. He suggested I go tour this women’s-only gym that is also in my neighborhood. Being a self-diagnosed tomboy, I never thought I’d feel more comfortable in an estrogen-only facility, but the minute I walked in to Total Woman, I fell in love. It’s peaceful, it’s clean, the television monitors were rocking some HGTV programs, there’s a spa…did I mention it’s clean? I walked in and immediately felt like I was home. No ogling. And everyone was there to get healthy–not be seen.

The best part so far, though? When I joined, they gave me a free fitness assessment. I met with this wonderful trainer named Nicole (British and fun to boot!) who took me through a round of tests to determine where I stand health-wise. She walked me through my results and helped me develop an easy plan and timeline for getting into the kind of shape I’m looking to be in. (I still want those muscles, dang it!) Mind you, this was all free and is free to any woman who joins! It was nice to be so well cared for. I have a three-month goal to be able to do pull-ups, like some other fitties I know.

I’m so pumped! I have a gym I can’t wait to get to. Sometimes you have to kiss a couple of frog-esque gyms in order to find your princess-charming facility.

What about you? Have you ever had bad luck with a gym and had to change? Ever thought of joining a “Girls Only” gym? What do you look for in a fitness facility? —Tish

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  1. Roxane says:

    As a girl, I find it very intimidating to go to a gym where guys exercise as well. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I do. Judgement is a very powerful tool, and when you feel judget, you don’t feel well.

    So I tried a girls-only gym, and I found it fabulous. No need to feel bad about what I can – or not – do! Also, I never had problem with gyms, but I realized one really important thing for me is to have a gym nearby. This way, I go. Otherwise, forget it.

  2. Kate says:

    Hi Tish,

    This post was awesome! I have definitely tried out a lot of gyms. I really hate when the area used by sales people takes up as much space as the cardio room. So that’s one thing I don’t like. Luckily in Nebraska you don’t have as many fake boobies, but they are a lot of oglers at some gyms. We don’t have such specific gyms. So I go to the Y.

  3. FBG Tish says:

    Kate, I sooo feel you. (Sales areas…groan) I’ll make sure to push Nebraska for a Total Woman take-over. The Y is great, though. There are some gyms where you walk in and immediately feel like it’s a hook-up cesspool. Then there are other gyms where you know folks are there to get their wellness on. Y gives me that feel, no?

    Roxane,I SOOO feel you on the distance lol

  4. Loren says:

    I have a great gym here in NZ, it’s relaxed, with a mixed group of people (the odd gym-grunter) and there’s no ogling! For me the biggest drawcard was that it’s small and it has a pool. So I can do a mix of workouts and exercise without having to fight for equipment. You’re also not in there in what sometimes feels like a giant fitness barn. As a newbie to this fitness business, it’s important to me that I get some variety in my workouts or I quickly get bored. It’s working so far, I’m a few kilos lighter, a little fitter and I’ve been at least 3 times a week since I joined 6 weeks ago.

  5. Sarah says:

    When I was in college there was a girls-only gym adjacent to the locker room. I absolutely LOVED it. Everyone was there to get fit, period. The regular gym had way nicer equipment, but the friendliness, focus, and lack of unwanted ogling and can-I-have-your-number-ing was so worth it. If there were a decent ladies-only gym in my area I would definitely join!

  6. I definitely feel you, man are by nature not that clean when it comes to gym work. They are not that conscious when it comes to dripping sweat. Good thing you found a gym where you get motivated to stay fit and work out.

  7. mely says:

    Been there, done that! At one point I tried to go to a woman’s only gym, which I wouldn’t mind, but it was out of the way. So now I just ignore everyone and don’t look at anyone at the gym. I also just try to stay away from the hook up hours where people are trying to look good and get dates!

  8. Kristy says:

    I’m a personal trainer and avid gym rat, so I’m very comfortable flinging around kettlebells and occupying the squat rack even with an audience. That being said, one of the gyms I train from has an all women’s section and I LOVE IT! I can grunt, pant, and contort all I want with no ogling. I also love it because women feel more comfortable to approach me, asking questions about what I’m doing and I feel it motivates them to work harder when they see a girl in pigtails and lipgloss training like the boys. 🙂

  9. Cassie Damewood says:

    All female gyms are the best! I’m not distracted by men (sweaty, handsome or otherwise!) and I find that women are more willing to share workout tips without touching me during the explanations. I particularly like to work out very early in the morning when the gym is almost empty and I can pretend it’s my own private weight room. Nothing like silence to concentrate on exercise and Zen out!