There is no getting over the fact that womens fitness and womens health is and always will be big business.
You only need to take a look in your local newsagents at the array of womens fitness magazine and even with the popularity of the internet, these magazines are still in our shops week after week. No company would continue to spend money on a product that was not returning them a sizable profit so you can assume these magazine are still as popular.
Another area of womens fitness that also remains popular are the womens fitness only gyms and this is the area that I want to cover in this blog post.
On my recent holiday I was lucky enough to have the choice of two gyms to train at in the same complex.One was a unisex gym whilst the other was the womens fitness gym.
I happened to visit the unisex gym to train at first and was pleasantly surprised with the equipment, bench press machines,leg extension,leg curls machines,cable machine,lat pull down,ez bar, a reasonable selection of heavy dumbbells ie weights over 10kg and just enough cardio equipment appropriate for the size of the room which was relatively small.I had a great workout and looked forward to my workout the next day where I had decided to train at the womens fitness gym upstairs..
My enthusiasm for my next training session was soon quashed upon entering the womens health suite and the womens only fitness gym. Whilst the room was double in size of the unisex gym it was airy and overlooked the sea, the equipment in there for me as a woman who likes to train with weights and likes to educate other women of the benefits of weight training, was to be honest disappointing at best.Was this a 2015 gym or I had I time travelled back to 1985?
The first thing that hit me that was not in the unisex gym was right at the door and that was the scales,moving on the majority of equipment was cardio machines, bikes, treadmills and cross trainers.
The resistance machines that were present were ab machines, a few of them, the ever favourite abductor/adductor machine, the smallest multi system I have ever seen which really just worked pretty much the back-not nearly as big or adaptive for various muscles groups as the one in the unisex gym.
Now although this all pained me I could almost have forgiven all of that but then I came to the selection of free weights/dumbbells.Here I was met with 3 sets of dumbbells ranging from 1kg-3kg.that was it!
I actually laughed and said to myself ‘this is why so many women are trying to get a toned look and failing,womens fitness gyms are set up to see them fail’
I have been in the fitness industry for over 15 years as a certified professional trainer and as an athlete my training has spanned over 30 years.Fitness fads come and go but the one thing that is a constant and I hear time and time again from women who seek my help is
“Paulette,I want a toned body”
And time and time again I tell women the only way to get a toned body is to develop lean muscle and the only way to develop lean muscle is to do resistance training, starting off with body weight for a beginner and eventually progressing to incorporating dumbbell,barbells and some resistance machines.It is the ONLY way..
Cardio on it’s own won’t cut it and in fact is leaving so many women with the exact opposite of what they want. rather than a toned body they are left with a skinny fat look ie a slim body with no tone, lots of body fat and lots of saggy areas and cellulite.
Now if I as a trainer know what women want then make no mistake so do gym owners and in particular those opening womens fitness gyms.
But still womens fitness gym are being set up in such a way to do the exact opposite of what women want.
Its simple really -follow the money!!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post womens fitness and womens health is a billion dollar industry and continues to be for the simple fact that many women are not achieving the results they want year after year, but instead of giving up many women will either train for longer on their favorite cardio machine, join the latest aerobics class (more cardio) or go on the latest fad crash diet accompanied by more cardio, and yes ,womens fitness gyms continue to encourage this year after year because it keeps their revenue streams and profits ticking along nicely. Never mind if their members are not getting the results they want, their businesses are getting the profits they want and as you and I know, every business is there to make money and more importantly make a profit-This is any businesses main goal,otherwise it would be called a charity or would very quickly go out of business.
I am not saying that there should/should not be womens only gym,that is a topic of discussion in a future blog post, but what I am saying is if womens only gyms are to continue then as women it is up to us, up to you to question why they are being set up to do the exact opposite of what the greater majority of women want. Your voice and your money are powerful to this industry and if you start to walk away from womens fitness gyms set up this way because they are not helping you to achieve what you desire then I am pretty sure the power in numbers will soon get the powers that be who open these facilities setting them up in this was to do a very quick U-Turn.
You are the consumer, and in any other industry if you were not getting what you require from a product, would you continue to part with your money? I doubt that very much, so stop lining the pockets of womens fitness gyms who are not providing you (intentionally in many cases) with a facility to achieve what you desire and what you require.
Remember your money talks,your feet can walk,people start to listen then change happens.
Please watch my video of the womens fitness facility to see what I encountered
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