BYU’s women-only gym offers privacy, comfort

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Some female BYU students prefer the women-only gym that was added 10 years ago to the Richards Building women’s locker room.

Operations Manager Conrad Todd explained why the gym was built. “The room was created to give women a convenient place to work out. It was obvious that much of the women’s locker room was not being utilized, so creating a fitness room within the locker room seemed like a worthwhile and  beneficial use of the unused space,” he said.

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A female student jogs outside during wintertime. Some female students choose to work out in the private, women-only gym located in the RB. (Ari Davis)

Many women who go to the gym agree with Todd. Stephanie Melendez, a pre-medical laboratory science major from California, uses the women-only gym. “It’s more comfortable with just girls because there is less pressure to feel perfect,” she said.

Family life major Emily Earl said she likes the women-only gym. “I like wearing leggings when I work out. I don’t want to take the chance of making guys feel uncomfortable when wearing them,” Earl said.

Faculty members also say the gym provides comfort. BYU Facilities Administrator Steven Baker said, “The gym gives the women that want a more private setting the capability.”

Ari Davis
Liz Pusey and Victoria Szendre work out at the BYU women’s gym in the Richards Building. Some women feel more comfortable working out in this smaller, private gym.(Ari Davis)

The small gym space has been considered a potential issue since its opening. “It would be nice if it were bigger so you don’t feel like you’re making others wait to use equipment,” Melendez said.

Todd agrees that they should have made the gym larger with the amount of use it receives. “Maybe that was not an option at the time (it was built), but with the current use the room gets, it would be nice if it were twice as big.”

The gym may be scarce on space, but there is always room for women seeking a place to work out. The equipment is constantly updated and ready for use. All women are welcome to exercise and enjoy the gym that was created just for them.

The women’s gym is located in the women’s locker room in the Richards Buildling. Employees, students, spouses and dependents are welcome Monday–Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.,with the exception of devotionals on Tuesdays at 11 a.m.

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