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Women's Hour at the Gym

BYU-Hawaii’s Fitness Center restores women’s specific hours for the lifting room

Blond woman wearing a black T-shirt lays back on the workout chair and lifts two weights up, one in each hand, at the same time.
A woman works out at the BYU-Hawaii Weight Room. Nov. 1 women have one hour, twice a week, where they have set aside time just for women to work out.
Photo by Pristine Shek

Starting Nov. 1, 2022, the BYU–Hawaii Fitness Center will hold a women’s hour at the weight room every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m., said Janelle Farley, the Fitness Center's supervisor. While only women will be using the weight room, Farley said all people will be allowed to use the cardio room during this hour.

With support and recommendation from her coworkers, Farley brought the women’s hour back to the gym. She explained, “I think there's a place for getting together with your friends and just having fun, and that's why I want that Fitness Center to be comfortable no matter who you are.”

Jarelle Hunt, a freshman from Australia majoring in social work, said she believes the new schedule for women will be a great start. Although Hunt agreed with this change, she said she also feels women and men should continue to workout together. She explained, “I think it's good to mix women and men in the gym to maintain gender equality here at [BYUH].”

Based on her own experience, Poehere Richmond, a junior from Tahiti majoring in hotel and tourism management, said she is not affected when attending the gym at the same time as men. “I always go to the gym whether it is full of men or not. I am focusing on myself and creating this healthy lifestyle without paying attention to who is around,” Richmond shared.

A woman with dark hair wearing dark blue clothing stands and lifts a bar with a weight on each end of the bar to her chest.
A woman works out in the BYU-Hawaii Weight Room.
Photo by Pristine Shek

She added, “Depending on the needs, students’ needs to use different rooms at the gym might vary.” She explained, “I don't feel the need to go to the lifting room. But if other girls want to go and it's full of men and she doesn't have access to equipment so that she can work out, maybe then it would be a great idea to have women-only hours.”

Pleased with the addition of the women’s hour, Georgia Kelly, a gym employee and a junior from California majoring in psychology, expressed her excitement. She said, “Just because the gym is a very male-dominated place, many of my friends don’t come, but I’m sure they will during women's hour.”

“Most of the girls are nervous about attending the gym and working out,” said Parker Lasson, a freshman from Tennessee majoring in exercise sport science. He explained, “Some people might be very intimidating to women, so it is nice for them to be able to have time and their own space.”

Although this sudden change might interfere with his daily routine, Lasson said he sustains the idea of creating specific hours for women. “If this allows women to work out comfortably, then this change is for a great cause,” he added.

June Tavivongpaiboon, a junior from Thailand majoring in business finance, expressed her gratitude for this adjustment. She said, “This change is beneficial because I feel shy and uncomfortable when I go to the gym when men are inside.”

She added, “Women should take advantage of these hours. We can all work out together comfortably.”