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Females focus on fitness for better future

By WANG ZHUOQIONG | China Daily | Updated: 2023-10-02 06:57
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Female members take a fitness class at a BeauFit gym in Beijing in August.

Niche training studios with tailor-made workouts for women springing up, catering to devoted clientele across country

After a health check three years ago revealed some gynecological problems, Gui Fang, a mother of two and partner at a leading law firm in Beijing, decided to look for a fitness club that could match her busy schedule, both as a lawyer and a mom.

Gui found one soon enough, signing up with BeauFit, a female-only fitness center near her home. Its pink-themed workout facilities and flexible training sessions have made her feel at home as Gui works out consistently at least two times a week. She signed up at BeauFit after struggling for years to locate a gym that could keep her fit as well as quickly schedule appointments with a trainer.

"In my business, if a client calls me, I have to show up. Being a mother, I also have to take care of my children, which left me with very limited time for physical training," Gui said.

BeauFit, as it turns out, is a female-only gym that she has always longed for.

"Nowadays, training wear often reveals the body's curves, and it is nice to have only women around so that I am worry-free while working out," she said. "We come for the group class, where we talk and laugh, or share fun things of the day. I like the vibe here."

Gui, who has spent more than two years at the gym, goes for a workout two to three times a week.

"My gynecological problems have improved and colleagues have told me that I look better. I feel constant exercise helps my health and digestion," said Gui, who is one among more than 300 women training at BeauFit.

The club, founded in 2019 by Sun Ning, a former senior executive at internet giant Baidu, has three outlets in Beijing, and is designed to offer fitness courses tailored especially for female customers.

Sun, 41, says she has always a passion for exercise and building fitness.

A trip to Curves, a US-based female-only fitness business operator's unit in Shanghai, inspired her to dive into the sector with localized offerings. Curves, however, has retreated from the Chinese market. Female-only fitness clubs, run "small but beautiful", and usually cover an area of between 150 and 300 square meters.

Sun said the business is booming and has started to make profits this year.

With some market research, Sun discovered that the major difference between women and men when it comes to working out is the focus on content and environment.

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