5 Ways to Make Your Gym Classes More Inclusive and Relieve Anxiety

Hey there, gym owners! You’re committed to creating a space where everyone feels welcome, right? But have you ever stopped to consider those subtle anxieties that might be keeping your clients from truly enjoying their workout? One of the most common fears, especially among women, is the worry of “holding up the class.” Let’s dig into how you can alleviate this stress point and make your classes more inclusive.

1. Introduce Timed Workouts

Here’s a game-changer: Use a timer instead of rep counting. This ensures that everyone moves on to the next exercise at the same time, eliminating the fear of holding anyone back. It’s a simple fix that can make a world of difference.

2. Create a ‘Newbie-Friendly’ Class

If you offer a range of classes, why not include one specifically designed for newcomers? Make it clear in your marketing that this class is all about learning the ropes and getting comfortable. No judgments, just support.

3. Offer Modifications

Every body is different, and offering modifications for exercises can go a long way to make people feel included. Your instructors should be trained to present these options as completely normal, not as an easier way out.

4. Develop a Clear Signage System

From the moment a new client walks in, make it crystal clear where they should go and what they should do. A little signage can go a long way to easing that first-time anxiety.

5. Set the Tone with Language

Instructors can play a massive role in shaping the class atmosphere. Train them to use positive, inclusive language that encourages participation without highlighting any individual’s pace or abilities.


If you’re in the business of running a gym, especially a women’s-only space, these are actionable steps you can take to make your environment more welcoming and less stressful. Remember, a gym that feels like home from day one is a gym where people stick around.

Ready to make these changes? Your community is waiting for you to lead the way.

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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