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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

features

Strength: All aboard

Frances Marcellin spoke to the experts to find out more about how gyms can encourage women to take up strength training

Published in Health Club Management 2023 issue 3
Gym design and planning can play a big part in making weight areas more welcoming / Photo: Shutterstock / dotshock
Gym design and planning can play a big part in making weight areas more welcoming / Photo: Shutterstock / dotshock

Strength training is trending in 2023 and is a growing market for gym operators. It’s also a practice gaining popularity with older women for its proven benefits during midlife and menopause.

There are more 40+ females joining this space on the gym floor, yet with some women experiencing gymtimidation and feeling unwelcome in such male-dominated territory, what strength equipment can gyms install to create a more inclusive strength training zone that feels approachable to women and men? Our experts give their views.

Greg Highsmith
Life Fitness

Women are now training everywhere, on equipment that was historically more commonly used by men and are knowledgeable about working out this way, understanding the benefits that come with training in different modalities, including free weights. I think this is a trend that will continue to grow.

If I had to pick one area of focus where we’re seeing growth, I’d say glute training, regardless of whether it’s on selectorised or plate-loaded machines. That’s why we wanted to drive this trend with products such as the Hammer Strength Plate-Loaded or Life Fitness Insignia Glute Bridge.

Both men and women can be intimidated by strength training and the design of the strength training area can play a big role in reducing that intimidation. I believe this has more to do with the facility creating the appropriate environment than the specific equipment itself – but that could be because we’ve been focused on building non-intimidating, easy-to-use strength equipment for the last 20 years.

More: www.lifefitness.com

Both men and women can be intimidated by strength training and the design of the strength area can play a big role in reducing that intimidation
The Life Fitness Glute Drive / Photo: Life Fitness
Scot Lamber
Jordan Fitness
Photo: Jordan Fitness

Gymtimidation happens to every gym goer at some point in their gym lifetime because we all want to perform the best we can. Dumbbells are ideal because you can drop in at any weight and also move your workout away from the weights area if you’re still feeling anxious.

However, we would say that weight lifters are the friendliest bunch at the gym – everyone wants to cheer on another to hit their PB. Everyone picking up those weights started at less than 10kg at some point. Lifting is a progression, it’s not about where you started from.

Dumbbells are our favourite because they’re available in many weights and price points. There are 100s of workouts for them, many of which are online, including on our own YouTube channel, so users can improve their knowledge and feel more confident before going to the gym.

More: www.jordanfitness.com

Weight lifters are the friendliest bunch at the gym – everyone wants to cheer on another to hit their PB
Dumbbells are ideal because you can start at any weight and then progress / Photo: shutterstock / SofikoS
Jordan delivers a range of custom dumbbells
Jon Thiel
Nautilus

As operators continue to rebuild from the pandemic lockdowns, people are flocking back to gyms and studios. With that growth, it’s important to recognise that some may be experts while others may be working out for the first time outside their home gym. Therefore, accessibility and approachability are ever more important.

At Core Health and Fitness, our strength lines allow for easy access, intuitive setup and best-in-class biomechanics to support all levels of users and athletes. Specifically, our plate-loaded Glute Drive and Leverage lines make it possible for everyone to be successful in the weight room.

Plate-loaded machines benefit users, giving them their desired workout while guiding motion safely and effectively. For example, our new Leverage Deadlift Shrug allows someone to perform functional exercises, such as a deadlift, safely, controlling their hand positions and keeping the bar away from their shins. It also allows for simplified adjustments for start and stop positions, accommodating a wide range of users.

he Nautilus Leverage and plate-loaded line has a focus on biomechanics and ergonomics, with low-profile, low-load points and user-centric features to make strength-training areas approachable for everyone.

More: www.corehandf.com

The Nautilus Leverage and plate-loaded line is designed with a focus on biomechanics and ergonomics to reduce gymtimidation
The Nautilus Glute Drive / Photo: Core health and fitness
Juan Pedro Alonso
Nexa
photo: David Rodriguez Salas

From our perspective, robotic machines with servo motors can transform strength-training areas to make them into more inclusive spaces. We want everyone to be able to operate them without needing expert knowledge – like driving a car, users just want the vehicle to work and to enjoy its benefits.

Gymtimidation can make you feel you’re not in the right place. With Nexa, a user is briefed on day one and from this point on a user’s data is stored and they work against their previous performance. The servo motor knows the user’s force limit to one-10th of a second, so anyone who is not used to weights can feel as though they’re training like a NASA astronaut.

More: www.nexarevolution.com

We want everyone to be able to operate them without needing expert knowledge – like driving a car
Andrea Oliver
Pulse

All strength-training equipment should be seen as inclusive. We’ve seen a shift in the industry’s focus as it relates to women and strength training and women have embraced it because of the clear results it produces.

Pin-loaded resistance machines have long been associated with entry-level and safe-strength training. The possibility of incorrectly using pin-loaded resistance machines is greatly reduced due to the fixed range of motion and stability it offers. The IFI Pulse offering increases this even further for disabled wheelchair users, improving accessibility for people of all abilities.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is in good gym floor planning, which can immediately reduce perceived barriers. Typically, the status quo of gym floor planning was to have areas dedicated to different sections without understanding member habits.

Gymtimidation is more about who is in an area rather than what is in the area. A popular solution has been to have a women-only section, but not all facilities can or choose to offer this option, so a simple, yet effective solution could be understanding the member’s journey, from doorway to dumbbell. Knowing this can make it look and feel more welcoming.

More: www.pulsefitness.com

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is in good gym floor planning, which can immediately reduce perceived barriers
The Pulse Fitness Shoulder Press / Photo: PULSE FITNESS
It’s important to understand a member’s journey from ‘doorway to dumbbell’ / Photo: shutterstock / tmcphotos
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2023/924627_748296.jpg
We talk to the experts about how health clubs can best encourage women to take up weight lifting without fear of gymtimidation
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features

Strength: All aboard

Frances Marcellin spoke to the experts to find out more about how gyms can encourage women to take up strength training

Published in Health Club Management 2023 issue 3
Gym design and planning can play a big part in making weight areas more welcoming / Photo: Shutterstock / dotshock
Gym design and planning can play a big part in making weight areas more welcoming / Photo: Shutterstock / dotshock

Strength training is trending in 2023 and is a growing market for gym operators. It’s also a practice gaining popularity with older women for its proven benefits during midlife and menopause.

There are more 40+ females joining this space on the gym floor, yet with some women experiencing gymtimidation and feeling unwelcome in such male-dominated territory, what strength equipment can gyms install to create a more inclusive strength training zone that feels approachable to women and men? Our experts give their views.

Greg Highsmith
Life Fitness

Women are now training everywhere, on equipment that was historically more commonly used by men and are knowledgeable about working out this way, understanding the benefits that come with training in different modalities, including free weights. I think this is a trend that will continue to grow.

If I had to pick one area of focus where we’re seeing growth, I’d say glute training, regardless of whether it’s on selectorised or plate-loaded machines. That’s why we wanted to drive this trend with products such as the Hammer Strength Plate-Loaded or Life Fitness Insignia Glute Bridge.

Both men and women can be intimidated by strength training and the design of the strength training area can play a big role in reducing that intimidation. I believe this has more to do with the facility creating the appropriate environment than the specific equipment itself – but that could be because we’ve been focused on building non-intimidating, easy-to-use strength equipment for the last 20 years.

More: www.lifefitness.com

Both men and women can be intimidated by strength training and the design of the strength area can play a big role in reducing that intimidation
The Life Fitness Glute Drive / Photo: Life Fitness
Scot Lamber
Jordan Fitness
Photo: Jordan Fitness

Gymtimidation happens to every gym goer at some point in their gym lifetime because we all want to perform the best we can. Dumbbells are ideal because you can drop in at any weight and also move your workout away from the weights area if you’re still feeling anxious.

However, we would say that weight lifters are the friendliest bunch at the gym – everyone wants to cheer on another to hit their PB. Everyone picking up those weights started at less than 10kg at some point. Lifting is a progression, it’s not about where you started from.

Dumbbells are our favourite because they’re available in many weights and price points. There are 100s of workouts for them, many of which are online, including on our own YouTube channel, so users can improve their knowledge and feel more confident before going to the gym.

More: www.jordanfitness.com

Weight lifters are the friendliest bunch at the gym – everyone wants to cheer on another to hit their PB
Dumbbells are ideal because you can start at any weight and then progress / Photo: shutterstock / SofikoS
Jordan delivers a range of custom dumbbells
Jon Thiel
Nautilus

As operators continue to rebuild from the pandemic lockdowns, people are flocking back to gyms and studios. With that growth, it’s important to recognise that some may be experts while others may be working out for the first time outside their home gym. Therefore, accessibility and approachability are ever more important.

At Core Health and Fitness, our strength lines allow for easy access, intuitive setup and best-in-class biomechanics to support all levels of users and athletes. Specifically, our plate-loaded Glute Drive and Leverage lines make it possible for everyone to be successful in the weight room.

Plate-loaded machines benefit users, giving them their desired workout while guiding motion safely and effectively. For example, our new Leverage Deadlift Shrug allows someone to perform functional exercises, such as a deadlift, safely, controlling their hand positions and keeping the bar away from their shins. It also allows for simplified adjustments for start and stop positions, accommodating a wide range of users.

he Nautilus Leverage and plate-loaded line has a focus on biomechanics and ergonomics, with low-profile, low-load points and user-centric features to make strength-training areas approachable for everyone.

More: www.corehandf.com

The Nautilus Leverage and plate-loaded line is designed with a focus on biomechanics and ergonomics to reduce gymtimidation
The Nautilus Glute Drive / Photo: Core health and fitness
Juan Pedro Alonso
Nexa
photo: David Rodriguez Salas

From our perspective, robotic machines with servo motors can transform strength-training areas to make them into more inclusive spaces. We want everyone to be able to operate them without needing expert knowledge – like driving a car, users just want the vehicle to work and to enjoy its benefits.

Gymtimidation can make you feel you’re not in the right place. With Nexa, a user is briefed on day one and from this point on a user’s data is stored and they work against their previous performance. The servo motor knows the user’s force limit to one-10th of a second, so anyone who is not used to weights can feel as though they’re training like a NASA astronaut.

More: www.nexarevolution.com

We want everyone to be able to operate them without needing expert knowledge – like driving a car
Andrea Oliver
Pulse

All strength-training equipment should be seen as inclusive. We’ve seen a shift in the industry’s focus as it relates to women and strength training and women have embraced it because of the clear results it produces.

Pin-loaded resistance machines have long been associated with entry-level and safe-strength training. The possibility of incorrectly using pin-loaded resistance machines is greatly reduced due to the fixed range of motion and stability it offers. The IFI Pulse offering increases this even further for disabled wheelchair users, improving accessibility for people of all abilities.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is in good gym floor planning, which can immediately reduce perceived barriers. Typically, the status quo of gym floor planning was to have areas dedicated to different sections without understanding member habits.

Gymtimidation is more about who is in an area rather than what is in the area. A popular solution has been to have a women-only section, but not all facilities can or choose to offer this option, so a simple, yet effective solution could be understanding the member’s journey, from doorway to dumbbell. Knowing this can make it look and feel more welcoming.

More: www.pulsefitness.com

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is in good gym floor planning, which can immediately reduce perceived barriers
The Pulse Fitness Shoulder Press / Photo: PULSE FITNESS
It’s important to understand a member’s journey from ‘doorway to dumbbell’ / Photo: shutterstock / tmcphotos
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2023/924627_748296.jpg
We talk to the experts about how health clubs can best encourage women to take up weight lifting without fear of gymtimidation
Latest News
The HCM team were busy at the recent FIBO Global Fitness event in Cologne, Germany, ...
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The fitness sector’s pivot to active wellbeing is being discussed in a new weekly podcast, ...
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Planet Fitness has a new CEO – Colleen Keating. She will take up the position ...
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UK Active has announced details of its annual health and fitness industry awards ceremony, which ...
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Experience the pinnacle of fitness and luxury at the premier industry event, Sibec EMEA, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Fairmont Monte Carlo this Autumn.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Webinar: Building a new energy future for the leisure sector
As one of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK, leisure facilities face a critical challenge in balancing net zero goals, funding and increased costs.
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical
Physical is the UK’s go-to, one-stop shop for commercial grade fitness equipment and flooring, with ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Orbit4
Orbit4 is a leading FitTech brand that provides gym operators with a comprehensive software solution ...
Supplier Showcase
Supplier showcase - Jon Williams
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Greenwich Leisure Limited press release: Pioneering project boosts business in Basingstoke
A sports complex might not be your first thought when you’re looking for a peaceful and comfortable, drop-in workspace. However, that could soon change thanks to an innovative new project at Basingstoke Leisure Centre.
Featured press releases
The Health & Fitness Institute press release: The future of fitness education: The Health and Fitness Institute champions digital learning
The Health and Fitness Institute (THFI) is leading a revolutionary paradigm shift in fitness education by fully embracing digital learning.
Directory
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
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Diary dates
22-24 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort, York,
Diary dates
10-12 May 2024
China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
Diary dates
23-24 May 2024
Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
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Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
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ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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