Photographed by Rachelle Manning.
We imagine many a deal has gone down on a golf course. The game offers business associates the ideal opportunity to mix work and pleasure. In fact, men have long used fitness as a way to connect with other professionals (from a round on the links to the firm's softball league). Sure, women can and do play golf (and softball), but there doesn't seem to be an equivalent activity that offers the same career benefits for ladies. Until now: It appears that women-only gyms are drawing in young professionals as a new hub for networking.
When they first debuted, women-only gyms didn't seem like they were going to be super successful. Sure, you could go there for a basic workout, but there was a stigma attached to them that they lacked the same equipment and/or quality trainers offered at a coed gym. As such, this type of fitness facility is adapting to include more classes and machines to appeal to women.
A recent report by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) suggests that even though both sexes visit gyms in equal numbers their activities are very different. So, just because a coed gym offers a weight-lifting room doesn't mean women are using it. So, women-only gyms are tweaking their offerings to fit their clientele. Manhattan's Uplift Studios, for example, boasts an elliptical with a smaller stride, dumbbells, balls, balancing equipment and body-weight exercises. And, now that Uplift is attracting a younger clientele, it has become an excellent spot for networking.
Uplift's founder Leanne Shear told the HuffPost that men-free gyms create a more comfortable environment for women to network. And, once everyone's more relaxed, it makes sense that this type of facility would encourage a community spirit among its members. We definitely welcome any chance to meet other smart, female professionals. What do you think? Would you network at the gym? (HuffPost)