How to Create a Female-Friendly Gym Culture

For some female clients, venturing into the traditionally male-dominated weights zone of a gym can be intimidating.

Exercise professionals can empower women to feel comfortable in these areas, and these four tips can help:

  1. Ask clients what skills they want to learn:
    1. One of the main reasons female clients find the weights zone daunting is because they are not familiar with the equipment or how to use it.
    2. Ask your clients what they want to learn or have confidence in doing.
  2. Run a  female-specific class in the weights area:
    1. This could be similar to a circuit-based class, going through a number of different exercises, to encourage women to do weights in a safe situation where they are being supervised.
    2. Once they have done a few classes in that area, they will be more likely to venture there by themselves.
    3. Ensure classes are small for proper supervision.
  3. Make gym staff more readily available:
    1. Owners and managers should consider having a staff member available in the weights section of a gym to assist clients.
    2. Even having a staff member there at peak times to help people set up or to spot them during certain exercises can be beneficial.
  4. Focus on technique first:
    1. Exercise professionals should encourage clients, regardless of gender, to focus on form and technique.
    2. It is about changing the focus from movement amount to movement effectiveness, and that brings everybody into line.
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