More Than a Fitness Trend: Why Women’s-Only Gyms Are Addressing a Deep-Rooted Need


If you’re contemplating the potential of women’s-only gyms, you might be wondering, “Is there even a market for this?” The short answer is an emphatic “yes.” But beyond the financial aspects, it’s essential to recognize that women’s-only gyms meet more profound needs—emotional, psychological, and social. Let’s explore why these spaces are not just a business opportunity but a meaningful platform for transformative change in the fitness sector.

A Sanctuary, Not Just a Gym

The traditional concept of a gym often triggers images of intense workouts, loud grunts, and clashing weights. However, women’s-only gyms break this stereotype by serving as sanctuaries. Here, women find an environment tailored not just to their physical but also to their emotional needs, emphasizing holistic wellness over mere calorie-burning.

Eliminating the Gaze: A Judgement-Free Zone

One frequent concern among women in co-ed gyms is the uncomfortable feeling of being watched or judged. In a women-only space, this issue virtually disappears, replaced by a mutual understanding that everyone is there for the same purpose: self-improvement without judgment.

Addressing Real Concerns: Ease of Mind and Trust

One key point I drive home when speaking with gym owners is the importance of building trust through consistent positive experiences. For instance, many women worry, “Will I slow down the class?” This concern is mitigated in women’s-only gyms that use timer-based classes, allowing everyone to move at the same pace. This attention to detail can significantly ease gym anxiety and sets these establishments apart.

The Body-Neutral Movement: A Refuge from Body Shaming

Women’s-only gyms are increasingly becoming a sought-after refuge for those escaping body shaming and promoting body neutrality. Unlike body positivity, which encourages a positive outlook towards all body types, body neutrality focuses on what one’s body can do, not what it looks like. This shift is crucial for women who have experienced trauma, eating disorders, or other forms of body-based discrimination. Women’s-only gyms offer a space to focus on being strong, healthy, and above all, accepting oneself unconditionally.

Fostering Community, Not Competition

A distinctive feature of successful women’s-only gyms is their focus on community over competition. The atmosphere in these spaces is typically more cooperative than what you’d find in mixed-gender gyms. Group classes for various skill levels, social events, and community-building initiatives all contribute to this uniquely supportive environment.


So, is there a market for women’s-only gyms? Unquestionably, yes. And it’s not merely about profitability. Women’s-only gyms fulfill a deeply-rooted need for safe, nurturing spaces that empower women in their health and well-being journeys. If you’re a gym owner looking to create a space that aligns with these values, diving into the world of women’s-only gyms could be your next significant endeavor.

Written By

Stacy Kim

Stacy Kim, the founder of KUMA Fit (a women’s kickboxing & fitness studio in Saco, Maine) and Stacy Kim Coaching, has dedicated her life to teaching. She has taught over 10,000 classes and has trained in martial arts and fitness for over 15 years. Today, her mission is to redefine what fitness means for women, to stop objectifying the body, and focus on moving to feel strong.

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