In 2015, 65% of total turnover in the European health and fitness industry was being generated by just five EU nations: the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain.
But is this really any wonder?
Over the last decade, the market for personal sports coaching and working out in gyms has grown significantly, to the point where there are now hardly any British towns without leisure centres and sports facilities.
And whereas gyms have become increasingly popular with men over the last 15 or so years, it’s women that were the first consumer group to gain dedicated gyms and health clubs, which began to appear in the 1990s.
Like with many products and services, the health and fitness industry has used aesthetics and an emphasis on women’s wellbeing in their marketing to attract ladies of leisure to their gyms.
Female-only health centres focus on women’s health and relaxation with training programs to help them reach their particular fitness goals and become healthier, as well as single-sex Pilates classes and exercise programs designed for exercising during pregnancy to name just a few of the services available.
Have a read of this article to learn more about the world of female-only fitness and find a women only gym London, Women only gym Birmingham and elsewhere.
Rooted in jazz dancing, aerobics – a style of gymnastic exercise choreographed to music – was developed in the 1960s, before evolving into other categories of dance workouts such as Zumba.
In its essence, aerobics was about maintaining your physical fitness levels as part of your general wellbeing.
The 1970s saw aerobics capture the population, which was the beginning of the rise of the workout.
At this time, attending and working out at a gym was considered to be quite a feminine pastime, and so, it was rare to find men in fitness clubs.
Group training sessions offer an opportunity to improve with other people ¦ source: Pixabay – janeb13
As the years went by, throughout the 80s and 90s, the practice of going to the gym only continued to grow in popularity among both sexes.
Working out at a dedicated facility offered people a new opportunity to exercise without having to go too far from their homes. For this reason, going to the gym became the exercise option for city folk.
And with pressure on women to be toned in all areas and have a flat tummy, they became the main targets of health and fitness organisations.
Today, the fitness industry is largely made up of franchises, each one with its own selling point – and of course, offering single-sex options is one of them.
The effect of advertising in the fitness industry is represented in gym membership figures: 34% of women work out, compared to 28% of men.
With these figures showing just how well gyms are doing thanks to their female clientele, more and more lady-specific classes and gyms are popping up all over the country.
‘Legs, Bums and Tums’, ‘body sculpt’, Zumba, and yoga are just a few examples of classes targeted at female athletes.
Some women are so put-off by mixed gyms that they simply stop working out.
Is this overdramatic, or do they have good reason to feel disgusted?
Joining a womens-only gym can remove the stress from working out, and this is just one of many benefits.
So, if you’re wondering about what makes female gyms such a good choice for some people, or you’re just curious, here are 5 great reasons to join a ladies-only gym.
In many mixed gyms, the size of the machines is ‘standard’, so that in theory, most men and women will be able to use the equipment.
However, a lot of women struggle with the ‘standard’ sizes, which are usually too large for their physiology, and so workouts aren’t as comfortable as they could be.
In addition, the type of strength training exercise may not be suitable for a woman’s build, so adapted classes can tailor workouts for the feminine physical makeup, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.
Every woman who has ever worked out in public knows that too many men see lycra as an invitation to wolf-whistle and cat-call.
Sadly, this also goes on in mixed gyms – but in a different way.
Since the gym environment is enclosed by four walls, some single men choose to approach women, interrupting their workout sessions, in an attempt to chat them up.
For ladies who have experienced this kind of unwanted attention, female-only gyms can be a solution.
Taking part in a group fitness class such as step or body pump in a women’s gym will give you an opportunity to chat to other women who may be working towards the same objectives.
Women-only workouts: a chance to meet new friends ¦ source: Pixabay – irinakeinanan
Because you’ll be interacting with women from various backgrounds, this is a fabulous way to network and make new friends who could offer you new opportunities.
Taking part in sporting activities with other women can be seen as a way to progress together, at the same rate as the rest of your group.
Due to the physical differences between men and women, it is much more difficult to achieve this homogeneity as part of a mixed group.
Every year when Summer comes around, women everywhere are preoccupied with the same thoughts: how do I achieve and maintain my beach body?
Well, if you’re after a flat tummy in time for July, you’ll have to sweat!
Between them, women can swap advice on weight loss and body confidence, whilst supporting each other and learning to better understand themselves.
Whatever your fitness goals and favourite exercises, it’s now more likely than ever that there will be a female-only gym with the right equipment and facilities to suit your preferences – here are just a few of the available options. Like in mixed options, gym membership prices will vary.
Gymophobics is a ladies-only franchise with a focus on encouraging women to work out – even if they hate it – to fulfil their weight loss and fitness objectives.
The Gymophobics approach is a holistic one, meaning that all aspects of its members’ lives are taken into account when setting up their training program, including diet and cardiovascular strength.
Gymophobics is all about improving members’ lifestyles to help them achieve their goals, and their fitness instructors also act as mentors to motivate members and keep them on track. For this reason, Gymophobics is about a lot more than going to the gym, and each personal trainer assigns home exercises and walks to their members according to their needs.
Training sessions are carried out on appointment and last 30 minutes each, and membership is just £1 per day – adding up to around £30 per month – a low price for a personalised regime.
Gymophobics has over 40 franchises with many a personal trainer up and down the country to choose from – so it’s likely there’s one just around the corner!
With two centres in Essex, Go30 offers a fun and friendly space for women to exercise.
Like Gymophobics, its training is based on 30-minute circuit of exercises, and its instructors offer a full body analysis and fitness assesment which they can use to create a personalised training program based on your physiology and strength.
30-minute workouts – perfect for career women and busy mums ¦ source: Pixabay – tacofleur
Membership also includes a nutrition consultation with an accredited fitness professional, access to group exercise classes and complimentary tea and coffee – all for under £1 per day! Cheap gym memberships don’t always mean bad service anymore.
Each class is graded by its level of difficulty, so you can choose the one that is right for your ability without feeling self-conscious about being judged.
If there isn’t a gym exclusively for ladies near you, it’s likely that your nearest mixed gym will hold ladies-only classes for women to exercise in a more relaxed, pressure-free environment.
The aim of these classes is to get women to banish their fears of coming to the gym and welcome them to exercise with like-minded women while they build up their confidence in a friendly environment.
Understandably, some people (particularly men) question the ethics of reserving sessions for women, however, the most important point about single-sex gyms is that being pro-women has nothing to do with being anti-men.
The fact is, traditional gyms and health clubs often intimidate newbies to the world of fitness, and since women are more likely to lack self-esteem when it comes to exercising in a public environment, ladies-only classes offer a supportive and positive atmosphere for women to work on their fitness.
So, given the numerous benefits to choosing a ladies-only gym, including the fact that they are fantastic for gym novices, could they be for you? If not, there are many exercise and fitness options out there – get your own exercise equipment or consider an online personal trainer with Superprof.