Do men and women use the gym in different ways?


Going to the gym doesn’t just mean one thing. There are so many different types of workouts to choose from that two people can go to the gym at the same time and not do one exercise that is the same. This can be seen quite strongly when it comes to men and women. While the differences are not absolute, since there are many women who do “men” style workouts and vice versa, overall men and women do seem to experience the gym in very different ways.

Men and women’s motivations for going to the gym

In general, men and women have different motivations for going to the gym, and this means that they make different choices when it comes to their workouts. Men tend to go to the gym for enjoyment, competition, and to get bigger muscles. Whereas women tend to go to the gym to lose weight, tone up, and socialize. So men’s workouts tend to focus on sports and on lifting weights. Women tend to take a broader approach, with cardio, strength training, and mind-body exercises such as yoga.

Personal trainers and group classes

Women are more likely to make use of a personal trainer than men, and they are also more likely to attend group classes. This is because women tend to be more open to taking instruction and they are also motivated to use going to the gym as a chance to socialize. The exception to the gender difference with the group classes are classes that are seen as “manly” such as boot camps.

Gym equipment

Men tend to be more focused on building muscle, especially in the upper body. So they tend to be drawn to the weight room. Women tend to be more focused on cardio and the lower body so they tend to be more drawn to equipment such as treadmills, indoor bikes, and rowing machines.

Some people argue that this difference is because of how we evolved to see people as attractive. Attractive men were big and strong, whereas attractive women were slim and toned. Women have also evolved to carry weight on their hips, thighs, and bums, so they tend to focus on those areas when it comes to weight loss.

How long do men and women spend at the gym?

There are conflicting reports on this, but in general, men tend to spend longer than women per week at the gym (around 8 hours a week for men and 7 hours a week for women on average). The reason given most often for this is a lack of time. For example an individual living in their own hometown of York, would prefer to work out closer to home in a gym in York. Women tend to be primary caregivers for young children and other family members, which can make it difficult to get out of the house and get to the gym.

Final thoughts2

Men and women do seem to take different approaches to the gym. Men tend to spend the most time in the weight room building muscles or on playing sports. Whereas women tend to spend the most time doing cardio and attending group classes or using a personal trainer. These gender differences are changing in recent years, however, with more and more women getting into weight training and more classes opening up that are deliberately gender-neutral.


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