The reasons why women hit the gyms
Keeping fit is the ‘in’ thing now as the fitness industry is evidently booming in Shanghai. There are about 2 million people who are attending gym sessions at nearly 1,000 facilities around the city. A recent report by Labour Daily revealed that these figures have been growing exponentially over the past few years.
The demands on Shanghai’s fitness market are also rapidly evolving as the perceived standards of beauty for women change. According to industry experts, many women now are focusing on building flat and firm abs as well as toning their arms and legs.
Luo Wei, the manager of Elephant Fitness Club in Shanghai, said that women don’t just want to be slim these days.
“Women no longer consider being skinny beautiful. They want to exercise and get toned and healthy. It’s not just about losing weight anymore,” said Luo, whose fitness center has seen a 70 percent surge in female customers in the past three years. Eighty percent of its members now are women.
Luo added that many women also hit the gyms for a sense of accomplishment.
“If a student can only complete 20 sets of exercises when she first started but can now do 22 after training, she will be encouraged by the improvement,” said Luo.
For people like Zhou Xianjun, a 22-year-old college student, the gym environment provides a source of motivation.
“Seeing other people looking awesome motivates me. Besides, I’ve already paid for the membership, so I should make use of it,” she said.
Sun Shanglong, a private trainer, said that women require more of a push from their trainers as compared to men when it comes to sticking to a training plan. Sun, who runs a fitness studio, noted that only 20 to 30 percent of his female customers keep up their training for one year or longer.
“Also, some single women exercise to make themselves more attractive so that they can find a boyfriend,” added Sun.
A manager at fitness chain Tera Wellness Club revealed that yoga and spinning classes are some of the most popular programs among women today. The manager noted that many women exercise because they don’t want to adhere to a constrictive diet to stay in shape. He also added that those returning from other countries, where there is a stronger fitness culture, have contributed to the current fitness craze.
Wang Qifan contributed to the story.
Women these days don't just want to stay slim — they're looking to get toned.