When you're looking for a reason to hit the gym, I say everything is fair game. Including man candy.
But how many guys do you count in your Zumba class? Fat Blaster Express? Pole Dancing?
"Not in a million years," says New Yorker Adam Kleinman, 25, when asked if he'd ever be caught dead in a fitness class. "One, I don't need somebody in short shorts and a tight tank top motivating me. Two, I don't think a class is as intense as my own heavy-lifting workout." Dan Powers, 26, who like Kleinman works in finance and works out at Crunch, says, "Maaaybe, if the rest of the class was good-looking enough I could be talked into it. But I wouldn't go willingly. "
In fact, only 4 percent of students in high-impact aerobics classes are men, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the industry's trade organization, which represents about 9,000 clubs. Not a promising ratio if you were hoping to meet someone.The good news, says IHRSA spokeswoman Kara Thompson Shemin, is that gym membership is split pretty evenly between the sexes-skewing slightly more male, as a matter of fact.
They can't all be humping metal at the barbell rack, can they? Let's take a look:
8 Places to Find Men at the Gym
* Kickboxing Class: The IHRSA stats show that cardio kickboxing classes are 31 percent male-not great, but a whole lot better than 4 percent.
* Spinning: "No question about it, spin class is where the hottest guys are going to be," says Justin Hall, operations manager at a midtown-Manhattan Crunch gym. "It isn't a 'girly' class and it gives them a chance to show off their muscles and sweat out completely. Definitely a testosterone booster." (He adds, laughing, "We do get guys in our pole dancing class-just not necessarily the guys women are going to want to date.")
* Hard-Core Strength Classes: As long as the weights are Rambo-sized and the vibe is one that would make Optimus Prime feel at home, men will come. "Where you will not find them is in any group class with dancing and choreography. But our Power Flex, which is purely about strength training with barbells and dumbbells, is 50-50 men and women," says Dave Van Daff, senior director of education and development of at Bally Total Fitness, which has almost 300 gyms.
* Hot Yoga: The pure profusion of sweat may be what draws men to the mat here. Crunch's Hall says their classes are packed with sticky stubble and dripping chest hair.
* "The Beast": This brute challenge is designed by a U.S. Army Master Trainer, Gerald Moore, and held at New York City's Chelsea Piers. Based on the seven-week training cadets go through at West Point, it includes an hour (starting at 6 AM naturally) of pushups, suicides, jumping jacks, running up fire escapes and racing on super-speed treadmills. (Here's the gist in motion.) "At the beginning it was all guys," says Moore. "Now we've got a lot of females-they're better students. One woman lost over 70 pounds."
* Anything designed by a Navy SEAL. Crunch's TRX Body Web suspension training class is half men, half women (Check it out on YouTube.) "It's really, really tough," says Hall. "At one point you have to walk up the wall."
* Parkour: This fitness trend-the art of dodging obstacles to get from point A to point B the fastest way possible-appeals to the super hero in all of us (but mostly men.) Often done outside in urban areas and parks, it involves crashing, vaulting, rolling, and falling. "We have a Parkour class at Chelsea Piers that we do in the gym with swings, trampolines, and foam pits to fall in," says club rep, Jenna Weinerman. "There are generally men in that class. Women are intimidated by it."
* Free-Weight Room: Obviously, this is the mobile man cave. "if you skip the inner-thigh toner and wander over to the squat rack, I think you'll get a lot of respect," says Bally's Van Daff. "You don't have to start taking plates off the bench press. Learn some traditional athletic moves with the medicine ball and resist-a-ball, do wall squats, lunge walks. Guys are into sports-specific training, and they'll probably come up to you and ask what you're doing." You might find Adam Kleinman pumping iron. Asked if he'd like to meet someone at the gym, he says, "I'd love to."
But hey, do you find working out with guys an incentive? Or do you just want to sweat with the girls?
If guys don't motivate you, here are some other workout motivators....
Shake it up, and take the routine out of your fitness
Tighten your body and pump up your sex life
Get Gwyneth Paltrow's Iron Girl Abs
[Photo Credit: Getty/Image Source]
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