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Gymtimidation: 78% Of Women Fear Being Harassed At The Gym

By Brad Shaw, Fitness Editor | UPDATED: 05:28, 08 June 2020

Getting into a serious relationship with the gym is one of the most popular new year’s resolutions. It’s also one that sportswear sales company found intimidates women the most.

Gymtimidation is a real thing, from avoiding busy hours at the gym, to steering clear of weights, there are many things women do in order to try make their workouts a more positive experience.

Golfsupport conducted a survey asking 1,438 women from different parts of the world about their experience using the gym, and they found the 5 most common fears the women in their study had.


Being Harassed

78% of women fear being harassed and 40% were able to recall a time where they have been in the gym (had their picture taken, touched, ogled, stared at, approached). In fact, 33% of females would prefer an all-female gym.  All-female gyms such as Active Newham, have 1,700 searches per month on Google, Curves Gym has 1,100 and The Bridge has 700.


Not Knowing How to Use Equipment

61% of females worry about not knowing how to use equipment in the gym. The equipment they worry about using the most are: dumbbell racks, squat racks and bench press machines.

Worrying about how they look:

48% of women are worried about how they might look when working out, they worry about being sweaty and red in the face. In fact, 24% of women wear makeup in the hopes that it helps with keeping up their appearance when working out. There are around 850 searches a month on Google by those looking specifically for makeup they can work out in, and a further 600 searches per month in the UK for workout cosmetic brand, Sportfx.

Regarding feeling judged, many females worry about being judged because of their gym attire. 38% admitted that when it comes to buying their gym gear, they pick brands based on their favourite fitness influencers. Whereas, 62% pick based on budget and appearance.

Other things females said they do in order to feel less anxious at the gym:

  • 44% go to the gym with a friend for extra motivation

  • 68% pick hours where they don’t think it will be as busy

  • 53% avoid using the weights

  • 38% avoid wearing certain clothes

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