An Exclusive Gym for Plus Size Women, Is it Needed?

I read this interesting article about a gym specifically catering to plus size women in Canada. The article states, “Founder and CEO of Body Exchange Louise Green says she considers her gym  a “safe haven” for overweight clients.”

As a plus size woman I completely understand what it’s like at the gym, but I don’t know that I subscribe to the idea of having our own exclusive gym.

Part of me feels like a “safe haven” is a good idea for women who feel like they need a safe place to work out, but I still feel like the majority of plus size women walk into the gym, mall or  work with confidence about who they are and it’s not based on what other people think.

I do realize my views may be a little skewed since I work in the plus size industry and find myself in the company  of confident plus size women, but am I wrong? Would you rather work out with other plus size women only?

I would love to know your thoughts.

Read more HERE!

Photo Courtesy of www.girllearningtoloveherself.blogspot.com

Comments

  1. Asia says

    I think an exclusive gym for plus sized women would be great. Not everyone is confident enough to go to a gym for fear of being judged. However I can see there being issues with the concept I mean once a woman goes to the gym loses weight and is no longer considered plus sized is she going to get kicked out? Just a little food for thought.

  2. Alexandrea Ward says

    I agree with you on this concept but I also understand where some people could be coming from. I’ve known some that have the motivation to work out but are discouraged by the environment of certain gyms. Many of them are just like fashion shows for the fit and trim. At least the ones in my neighborhood are. And there aren’t many over here.

  3. Morgen says

    I totally love this concept!!! I struggle with going to the gym because I hate getting in the pool with all these ultra fit people! Granted, I have worked out in the gym and try not to pay attention to what people think and for the most part I’m sure they could care less, they are there to get their workout on but I would absolutely love a plus size gym! Don’t get me wrong, I walk around with confidence, not hangin my head and hiding everything but it would be so nice to not THINK about someone watching me or if the seat is too small to get on that piece of equipment, or the fit chick running on the treadmill next to me while I’m panting and walking.. LOL things like that wouldn’t be a thought.

    The only problem I could foresee with this is where do you draw the line for plus size members? Would it become a meat market for people who like plus size people? I guess that exists in every gym setting but that’s the only thing I can see that would potentially create an issue.
    That’s my two cents!

  4. S. Ross says

    I used to wish I could find a gym for plus size people only. About 3 years ago I finally got up enough courage to join a local co-ed gym. Self esteem lacking, fear of judgment at an all time high, I hauled my 280lbs to the orientation. I was so traumatized I cried all the way home. I was determined and continued to go and fast forward 3 years. although I am still plus size, I am confident beyond belief. I have people come up to me all to time to tell me how much I inspire them (men and woman, big and small) and I generally have a few people watch me when I box.

    Going to a regular gym, with regular people was the single most boost to my confidence and I would encourage others to make themselves fit in rather than isolate yourselves. Your confidence will soar.

  5. says

    I have tried to be a gym-goer many times. I am comfortable as a fat woman, however I am not unbreakable – I have huge anxieties about working out in public spaces. these anxieties stem from my experiences growing up as the fat girl on the softball team, the fat girl on the swim team, the fat girl walking down the street…it has made it very very hard for me to deal with being visibly active in public. in some ways, i have a lot of confidence – but this is a weak area for me. so in short, i think a lot of people probably share in my experiences as well and would definitely benefit from being able to exercise in a judgement-free safe space. also, comradeship between fellow fatties is always powerful and healing. so why not?

  6. Juliet says

    YES! i love this! i belonged to a gym, and it’s always so discouraging to work out next to a woman who is in better shape than i am. being a plus sized woman, i am already very sensitive about my body, and when you factor in how red and sweaty i get, working out is just embarrassing. i’d love to be a person that doesn’t constantly compare myself to the bodies of others, but sometimes it’s so difficult. the reason i like this idea so much is because it would actually encourage me to work out- i would have more in common with members of a plus-sized gym, and it would be easier to reach out for support. i was just reading in our bodies, ourselves that in order for plus women to build better self-esteem, we should surround ourselves with people like ourselves, and i think a gym specifically for plus women would help us do just that!

  7. Enjoli says

    I am a confident plus size women and YES I would like to workout at a plussize gym. I think it would make a difference in how kind people would be when you may need help or a machine. I have never done a spin class because of a bad experience of someone telling me it was “their bike” and that I could sit on the one at the very front of the class. Sign me up for a +size gym!

  8. says

    My wife, a lovely plus size woman, says she would sign to that kind of gym if the exercise routines were designed for a woman her size. All of the gyms around here only have routines to build muscle… And she only wants to be fit regardless the size.

  9. tara lynn says

    I would absolutely love to join a plus size gym! Not even with weight loss as the goal but being active and healthy. I used to belong to a gym that seemed to start out with mainly overweight and/or older women but as they made more and more changes and got more popular more and more skinny and/or active women joined, things weren’t as comfortable for me then (and i know for some others) as these women are quicker and way more impatient about moving along. The friendly, comfortable, encouraging place was no longer and now the only real exercise i get is walking my dogs. I hope they start these plus size gyms across Canada!

  10. says

    I definitely have found women-only gym spaces vastly preferable to ones where there are men around, particularly of the beefcakey variety. I’ve also found that, even in women-only gyms, I’ve found the presence of seriously toned, gym-bunny-type women have made me more self-conscious. So yeah, I think I would like a gym that, if not exclusive to plus-size women, certainly made it clear that we were the primary clientele.

    I think it would also be helpful to me to have fit fat women on staff, so that I don’t feel intimidated by them, as well as physical therapists and trainers on site who were more sensitive to the types of fitness and body issues that result from being plus-sized. I’ve dealt with everything from staff members who assumed I couldn’t do anything because of my weight (not true) to ones who just handed me a standard “run for ten minutes to warm up, do the strength machines, then do a half hour of running for cardio” program which I also couldn’t do because of joint issues. Having machines that are smoother-moving (like ellipticals and stair-climbers), and strength machines that can fit larger bodies would be a serious attraction in a gym, as far as I’m concerned.

  11. Sheila says

    As a trainer, I do understand the reticence plus size people have to participating in a traditional gym. Still, I do not think that the “Plus Size” gym concept is best.

    The hardest thing to overcome is for those getting in shape to believe they can fit in at a gym, even after losing the weight and getting fit. A better concept would be to add a more private section to a traditional gym for those that are uncomfortable around the gym rats.

    As they lose weight and gain self confidence they can begin to associate with others in the gym.

  12. Saundra Robinson says

    I think it’s a good idea for those who would feel more comfortable at a gym for plus size women. My gym is great for any size, any age men and women. Isee men and women older than me and heavier than me. No styling and profiling. Only $10/mo. Don’t know if I would go to a gym just for women regardless of size. Did the women-only gym. That’s where I really only saw tiny women, including the staff.

  13. Saundra Robinson says

    Oh and I agree with Mickey Blake. Let’s have some plus size staff who are fit and on their weight loss journey along with trainers, nutritionists who understand what a plus size person needs. (New York even has yoga classes for plus size men an women run by a plus size man.) And equipment to accommodate plus size bodies. Classes too including Zumba, water aerobics, if there is a pool and instruction on how to use the equipment properly. A lot of gyms, including big name gyms, do not really show/train members on equipment unless they sign up with a trainer. (Am I asking too much?)

  14. Sam30317 says

    Its needed!! I believe that plus size people would be more willing to join group exercises if they saw more people like them in the gym. However, I wish the concept would extend to plus size men, too. An exclusive gym for plus size people? YES, gosh yes!! An exclusive gym for plus size WOMEN? No! Encouragement on the fat topic should come from all genders (and I really mean all genders). Being fat doesnt affect just women.

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