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13 Jun 2024
Total Fitness to launch purpose-built Women’s Gym
By Kath Hudson
Total Fitness to launch purpose-built Women’s Gym
Staff at Women's Gym have been trained in female health
Photo: Total Fitness
Following the success of its first site in Whitefield, Total Fitness is launching a purpose-built Women’s Gym in Wilmslow.

The concept has been trialled using an area of the Whitefield club that was converted to the Women’s Gym, but the second site will be purpose built. The new 4,500sq ft club will include cardio machines, a strength training area, group classes and a recovery area.

Kerry Curtis, brand development director at Total Fitness, says the company is responding to consumer needs: “We’ve witnessed an increase in demand for women’s-only gyms across our member base in recent years. Research has found that in the UK one in three women are not currently exercising due to low confidence and as many as two in five women are avoiding gyms due to concerns about intimidation or harassment. We must acknowledge these challenges and support more women to get the health and fitness they deserve.”

The concept was informed by a study of 3,800 women and 150 in-depth interviews, to find out about women’s attitudes towards fitness and current health club provision. Key learnings were taken on board, including ensuring the fitness space provides a seamless workout, caters for changing needs and removes feelings of intimidation.

Incorporating the findings into the design, Total Fitness has given members the choice of whether or not to work out with a mirror, access to equipment for differing abilities and prioritises comfort, natural light and privacy.

Staff training has also been enhanced, so fitness teams are empowered to guide women through all the key life stages. The range of educational content and digital workouts has also been extended.

Sophie Lawler, CEO at Total Fitness, says: “For most of my career and fitness journey, I have led with the thinking that we should focus on unisex approaches. That was to assume that sameness would empower. But, as I’ve learned in the later years of my career, leaning out of sameness and into the uniqueness of being a woman day to day, has been the key to feeling comfortable and increasing performance. Taking this into fitness spaces and listening to the needs of thousands of women has led me to understand that we should champion women’s gym spaces to honour fundamental differences too.”

“I understand and appreciate that not 100 per cent of women will want a dedicated space, and not everyone will empathise with that need. But for those who do, we are proud to be offering a space designed to build confidence and provide comfort while working out. This approach has been lacking across the sector, and we have been letting women down. We’re committed to solving this as best we can and for as long as our customers tell us to.”

ENDNOTE
Also responding to female-specific training requirements, in the Netherlands, Urban Gym Group has confirmed it will be rolling out its dedicated women’s zone Gaia to several of its Trainmore gyms.

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