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Gen Z Supports Gender-Segregated Gym Spaces, Survey Finds 

Gen Z Supports Gender-Segregated Gym Spaces, Survey Finds 

A new poll reveals that most Gen-Zers are cool with male or female-only sections in gyms and fitness facilities

More than half of Gen Z consumers are on board with gender segregation in the gym, according to a survey of 1,500 U.S. adults.

The poll, conducted for Newsweek by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, asked participants to what degree they’d support male or female-only hours or sections in fitness facilities. The findings revealed that 57% of those aged 18 to 26 support the idea, compared to only 15% of Gen X.

Considering Gen Z is a coveted consumer for their growing buying power, especially as they join the workforce, the results of the poll could influence what’s to come in boutique fitness and big-box gyms.

It should be noted that trying to find a male-only gym in the U.S. is next to impossible, despite the existence of female-focused fitness centers (including the OGs of the space, Lucille Roberts and Curves.) All debates aside, Newsweek’s polling results could help explain some current trends — such as rising interest in men’s wellness retreats and boutique fitness modalities that tend to attract women, such as Pilates and Barre.

Women, in particular, have been vocal about their experiences at the gym — with one survey from FitRated showing that 70% of women have had an interaction or experience at the gym that made them feel uncomfortable. 

Some fitness chains have already begun offering female-friendly zones, such as Amped Fitness, a Florida-based high-value, low-price (HVLP) gym chain that has ‘Babe Caves,’ a women-only workout area. Amped describes the Babe Cave’s purpose as making the gym less intimidating, noting that fitness facilities tend to be “male-dominated.”

“We’ve created a space with tons of state-of-the-art equipment for upper and lower body where women can move at their own pace, without the fear of judgment or peering eyes,” the fitness chain explains on its website. 

credit: Amped Fitness

Giant Fitness Club’s Jersey Girls, a chain of NJ gyms with bubblegum pink fitness equipment, was launched to provide strength training equipment in a private and safe setting. 

“Women often get hit on or even catch men trying to sneak photos of them working out—proof of which is often shared on TikTok,” Giant Fitness explains on its site, referencing FitRated’s poll. “These experiences are contributing to declining women’s membership at fitness clubs, but Jersey Girls and Giant Fitness are hoping to reverse that trend.”

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But it’s not just leering looks that have driven entrepreneurs to create female-only fitness spaces. 

Sync, a woman-owned, women-focused fitness and wellness studio that is slated to open in New York, provides fitness classes and recommended nutrition based on menstrual cycles and offers programming for menopause and pre/post pregnancy. 

While men may be the most frequent fitness consumers of powerlifting and strongmen training facilities, certain gyms, like Chicago’s Ladies Who Lift, are serving the many women who have embraced strength training. Female Fight Club, a non-profit fitness club serving NYC’s female fitness consumers, has grown from a group of women working out together in a park to a brick-and-mortar location in the Bronx. 

With the global women’s-only gym market size projected to reach $5.8 billion by 2028, an increase from $4.6 billion in 2022, it’s fair to expect more gyms and fitness facilities to look to target female fitness consumers by catering to their unique needs.  

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