All Articles Tagged "gym"

Which Type Of Gym Rat Are You?

May 19th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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The gym is filled with so many colorful characters. About 75 percent of the gym struggle is just trying to motivate yourself to get through the full 30 minutes to an hour that you swore you were going to stay. The other 25 percent is just trying to motivate yourself to deal with all the people sure to tap dance on your last nerves. From the pushy trainer looking to make you their newest pet project, to the women in your dance class who act like they can’t make space for you even though you were just five minutes late, it’s a jungle in there.

But we all have our moments when we hit up fitness facilities and know we could be nicer, get off of machines sooner, or know we’ve done the absolute most in the attempt to get a good workout. Still, if you had to classify yourself and your regular gym behavior, where would you fall? Check out nine different types of gym rats, and if you don’t see yourself on this list, (politely) tell us what mold you fit in the comment section.

#NoExcuses: Equinox To Launch Fitness Hotels So You Can Stay In Shape On Vacation

May 4th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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When you travel, it’s easy to create excuses so you can eat poorly and avoid working out but if you need a reason to stay on the straight and narrow road of fitness, get ready to lodge at Equinox’s fitness hotels.

The luxury gym brand will launch its first high-end hotel in 2018 in the Hudson Yards section of New York City. The hotel has been designed to have a 60,000-square-foot gym, which will be Equinox’s largest facility. In a February interview with Condé Nast Traveler, Equinox’s Cheif Marketing Officer Carlos Becil revealed that “the demand for fitness and high-performance living has never been greater, and we don’t see it slowing down. We polled our members and we received a 95% response rate that our members would be interested in staying at an Equinox hotel.”

Although many boutique hotels have fitness centers, overall wellness is rarely a focus. Refinery 29 reports that where hotels are not answering the call for health, boutique gyms are. SoulCycle will be opening at the Starwood’s South Beach Miami location and the brand Exhale will begin expanding its 27 studios and spas locations. “We believe that to maximize results and reach your goals, you need to place equal focus on, and carefully plan, how you move, nourish, and regenerate your body,” Becil concluded in his Condé Nast Interview.

We stand in agreement. Would you stay at a fitness hotel?

According To A Study, There’s A Lot More Germs Lingering At The Gym Than We Expected

April 10th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

If you’re like me, you’re always mindful of wiping down equipment at the gym before and after you use them. However, some of us skip out on a good ole’ disinfecting wipe, and after reading the following information they’ll change their mind.

According to a new report from FitRated, a site that reviews gym equipment, gyms are a lot more germ-y than we expected. Sure, we know hundreds of people utilize the equipment on a daily basis, but not to this extent. The site took bacteria samples from 27 different items are three national gym chains to find our which of them weighs in at the bottom of the totem pole. The report showed that the standard exercise bike had 39 times more bacteria than a plastic cafeteria tray with the tread mill having 74 times more bacteria than a water faucet. Yikes!

And the free weights ranked in as the biggest bacteria carrier with 364 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

So, ladies, if weren’t wiping down equipment before and after you use it, now is definitely the time to start! And a thorough hand wash before and after your workout is a must!

Which Piece Of Gym Equipment Has 362 Times More Germs Than A Toilet?

April 6th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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There are so many options of things to do when you go to the gym. You can get on the treadmill and either go for a walk or run. You can get down on a mat and do some yoga poses or stretches. You can grab a few different free weights and work on building muscle. You can tighten and tone on some of the resistance machines. There’s no limit to the kind of workout you can have. Unfortunately, there’s also no limit to the number of germs you can pick up, all while attempting to get healthy.

The website enlisted EmLab P&K to swab almost 30 pieces of equipment at three different gym facilities that are national chains in an effort to find out just how many germs our go-to gear really holds. What they found was, just as you thought, you should probably wipe down the equipment before you use it due to an abundance of gram-positive cocci and other serious bacteria.

Treadmills at the three facilities they checked out had 74 times more bacteria than a public water faucet does.

That exercise bike people sit on for extended periods of time? Thirty-nine times more bacteria than the reusable plastic cafeteria lunch trays.

But the dirtiest equipment of all? The free weights. They have 362 times more bacteria than the toilet you sit your behind on.

Disgusting, but not the biggest of shocks. Most people don’t wipe down the machines before getting on or getting off, and people put their grubby hands on the free weights more than any other piece of equipment because they’re quick, easy, and effective. But just because you use and pick up these things doesn’t mean you need to pick up all the germs that come with them.

It’s recommended that you spray and wipe down the equipment before and after getting on, and don’t touch your face until you wash your hands. Better yet, just don’t touch your face at all while in the gym. And when you get home, take off your workout clothes before sitting down on your furniture. Basically, don’t take the gym home with you, and if you can afford it, get some of your own equipment so you don’t have to rely so heavily on the grimy gear at your local facility.

Are You Having Sex At The Gym? Because 25% Of Gym-Goers Are

January 20th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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There was a scene in the first season of Being Mary Jane where the always conflicted title character runs into Andre, the married man she unknowingly had an affair with, after trying to avoid him.

He follows her into the women’s locker room where they have an argument about him being dishonest that ends with Andre telling her how much he loves her. Eventually, they end up having sex in one of the tiny gym showers, an old-school one with the white plastic-y curtains. And while it was indeed a steamy scene (no pun intended), I couldn’t get over the idea of having one’s body up against the walls of a shower that had been used by hundreds of funky people. An ordinary locker room shower surface is probably rife with, at the least, some athlete’s foot and ringworm waiting to happen.

And while I couldn’t see myself rolling around in the germs at the gym while trying to get some loving, a recent survey found that quite a few gym dwellers are having sex in such facilities. About a quarter of them.

According to the UK’s Metro, Ann Summers, who surveyed 2,000 Brits, found that 25 percent of respondents admitted to having sex in their workout facility. More than half said they use the gym as a place to meet people (to hell with working out!), and 10 percent stated that they carry condoms in their gym bag to be protected and ready for whatever.

About 45 percent of women surveyed said they attract men while on the cross trainer machine, which tones and lifts the butt. And men prefer to hit the lateral pulldown machine to attract the honeys while working on their biceps and pecs.

Twenty percent of respondents said they’ve hooked up with a trainer, and more than 80 percent said they’ve made connections by using dating apps while in the gym.

In case you were wondering, 31 percent of those who admitted getting it in at the gym were gay while 49 percent of participants were straight. The other 20 percent identified as bisexual.

Again, this survey was taken across the pond (and it didn’t say where exactly people were scurrying off to in the gym for sex), so this may not be as common here (though, somehow, I have a feeling it is). But I can’t help but ask if you would ever be interested in being sexually spontaneous at the gym? Why or why not? Or, if you’re brave enough to answer, have you ever had sex in the gym?



Birchbox’s Latest Beauty Line Is All About Looking Your Best While Working Out

January 9th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Photo Credit: Birchbox

Photo Credit: Birchbox


For some, rocking a bare face to the gym for a workout is a necessity, but for others, there’s no comprising glam — even a smaller waist.

Well, for those of us who can’t help but to conceal a few dark circles or marks, groom our eyebrows to perfection before hitting the gym, and more, Birchbox has now got you covered — literally!

The monthly beauty box subscription has recently revealed its second makeup brand called Arrow. “We were inspired by the trend of athleisure in fashion, and felt that the same elements could apply to beauty—high-performance products that help you look your best, without trying too hard,” Birchbox co-founder and CEO Katia Beauchamp told Instyle.

The Arrow collection features several different products that are equally lightweight and long-wearing: cheek tint for a natural flush ($18), lip balm that flaunts a natural-looking shade according to your skin’s pH ($14), aluminium-free deodorant ($9), makeup bag ($12), and a gift set that contains all of the products above ($36). 

All of the aforementioned are now available on, with the beauty brand already in talks of expanding the line to include mascara, tinted serum, cleansing cloths, brow gel, and many other products.

So, what do you think ladies? Is makeup at the gym a no-go or now a must-have thanks to Birchbox?

How I Had To Jedi-Mind Trick My Way To Weight Loss

September 3rd, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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"Woman working out pf"


I love reading and seeing Brande’s weight loss progress. It encourages me so much that I always reach out to congratulate her and let her know how much it keeps me going full force with my weight loss pursuit.  But one day, when I hit her up on Twitter, she mentioned how she was hoping to see me put out my transformation pics one day as well.

That’s when I realized that… I didn’t have any.  And I was trying to figure out why.

This isn’t my first time in the weight loss rodeo.  During my freshman year of college, a life of late nights, early mornings, buffets, sedative studying habits, and fast food restaurants that delivered until 3am, I easily gained 30 pounds.  So during the summer of my junior year of college I decided to go full force in the gym and drop the weight.  During that time I always did the weekly weight loss photos, and compared them to see my progress.

But this time, while losing my baby weight, I didn’t do that.  What was so different this time?  That’s when I realized how I had to change my entire outlook on my weight loss attempts to stay consistent.

In past articles I addressed how I had a three week stamina problem when it came to working out.  I would go full force with the work out DVDs, weight lifting, and healthy eating, but at the beginning of the fourth week was when I would peter out.  I would just lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, waiting for the time that I would usually work out to pass.

I didn’t understand why I would continue to stop working out during the fourth week.  That was when I realized what my biggest problem was:  I was putting entirely too much pressure on myself and my weight loss.

During college, when I lost those 44 pounds, I initially started going to the gym once a day, five days a week.  But during the second month of my weight loss pursuits, I upped the ante, with two workouts a day, 7 days a week, and running a total of thirty miles a week.  I. Was. Intense.

On top of that, at night, I would do specialized targeted work outs to hit certain trouble zones.

It was effective, and I kept that routine up for a whole year, but I eventually burned out at the gym.   I got to the point that I couldn’t even step foot in it.

Fast forward to having a child, and once I finally felt strong enough to lose the weight, I found my mind back to College-Kendra, and I was obsessing over the work outs, and doing a second workout, and then running on my mother’s treadmill, planning what to eat, and what to avoid when I grocery shopped.  All that overthinking caused me to have a good start, but after three weeks, it was me, a couch, and Chili-Cheese Fritos, wondering:  “What happened?”

So this time, I stopped obsessing.  Not even obsessing, I kind of stopped thinking about weight loss.  I decided to turn it into something that was as mechanical as walking upstairs.  You know how it is, when you’re walking up the stairs, but if you think too hard about it, it immediately seems like the most arduous thing in the world?  That’s how I had to approach going to the gym.

I had to take the stigma (good and bad) out of working out.  I stopped getting on the scale, I stopped measuring myself, I stopped thinking:  “By next month I want to have lost [insert number] amount of pounds.”  I just stopped thinking about it.

Once that happened, everything else just sort of fell into place.  Instead of obsessing about what to eat, I just ate what I craved.  Ironically, my body stopped craving the unhealthy food I loved, and instead trying fad diets, I just listened to my body.

My mother finally convinced me to get on the scale, and I saw I was over 30 pounds lighter than the first time I weighed myself.

Even with that, I still don’t think too much of it.

I went to a mental place of living life; no planning, no obsessing, just living.  In fact, I hardly noticed that I was shopping smaller sizes until my mother pointed that out too.

Weight loss is different for everyone.  Sometimes it helps to be very conscientious of what you eat and how you work out.  But for me, tricking myself to not think about weight loss is what actually got me to stay focused on it.  Three months later, I’m still going to the gym.

It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for me. *Kendra shrug*


If Kendra Koger does find a before picture, she’ll probably post it on her twitter @kkoger.


Will You Look This Good at 62? Find Out How Many Times A Week You Should Work Out!

April 28th, 2015 - By jade
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In the series, One Bold Move, we profiled four popular bloggers in the categories of Hair, Makeup, Style, and Fitness. These bloggers discussed the one bold decision that placed their life on a completely different trajectory. For two of our most popular episodes, we are releasing never-before-seen footage with more great advice from excellent women. In this episode, mother and daughter duo Ellen and Lana Ector discuss their motivation for getting fit, why it’s important for black women to work out, and they share some great tips along the way.

To join their gym, purchase workout DVDs or workout gear visit their website.

Episode 1 – Curly Nikki 

Episode 2 – Missy Lynn 

Episode 3 – Black Girls Run!

Episode 5 – The Curvy Fashionista

Episode 6 – Series Extras

You Can Save A Lot On Your Gym Membership, But Most Gyms Are Hoping You Don’t Workout

January 6th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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If you vowed to join a gym and lose weight for your 2015 New Year’s resolution, here is some advice that could save you a few dollars when joining a gym.

First, play hard to get. There are a ton of gyms around to choose from, so when you go in and hear the sales pitch don’t act interested. In fact, walk away. The gym will most likely call or email you with a better deal, reports Business Insider.

Ask for the gym to let you forgo the initiation fee. Paying in advance for the entire year will also save you a few dollars.

If you’re a student, see if they have a special rate for you. And some will offer a military discount as well.

And don’t be in such a rush. Usually the spring and summer months have lower rates. If you don’t want to wait, Business Insider suggests you “sign up in the middle of the month, as for the remaining weeks free and have your membership start the following month.”

Lastly, if you can’t get any sort of discount from the gym, ask them for a few perks such as a personal trainer or massages for free.

Given the time of year, you’re probably hearing a lot about gym memberships these days. It’s a big business, with lots of people paying lots of money to gain access. And there is a new gym trend emerging, sending prices through the roof. But luckily there is a counter gym movement going on as well — gyms that cost just about $120 a year are also seeing an increase.

For example, the high-end CrossFit has gone from 13 affiliate gyms in 2005 to a whopping 10,000 today. In Manhattan, CrossFit will run you about $2,500 annually. “High-end gyms catering to individuals with intensity and ample disposable incomes are proliferating, particularly in urban markets. The infamous and fast-growing SoulCycle costs an eye-watering $34 a class,” reports New York magazine. If you worked out four times a week for a year, this would cost you an incredible $6,000 annually.

On the opposite end of the pricing spectrum, Planet Fitness has more than tripled its number of locations nationwide.  According to an industry report by IBISWorld, “From 2010 to 2014, many small, low-cost gyms with few amenities and month-by-month contracts have fared well. Poor economic conditions, coupled with many consumers continuing to be budget conscious over the period, have caused new trends to emerge.”

Most experts say to skip the middle-market gyms, where monthly fees were about $80 and drop-in fees about $10. Mainly because most gym goers at these gyms don’t go consistently enough to make the price worth their while. According to one study, gym goers went “so infrequently that 80 percent of the monthly members would have spent less if they’d just paid for dropping in. Only 1 in 10 or 20 went three times a week; about 1 in 4 people on a monthly or annual contract only went once a month,” reports New York.

If you skip from going to Planet Fitness, where you’re only shelling out $10 a month, it won’t be as much of a financial loss.

In fact, most gyms have built their business model around the fact that most people pay but don’t go. “Gyms have way more members than they can actually accommodate. Low-priced gyms are the most extreme example of this. Planet Fitness, which charges between $10 and $20 per month, has, on average, 6,500 members per gym. Most of its gyms can hold around 300 people. Planet Fitness can do this because it knows that members won’t show up,” reports NPR.

From less intimidating designs to annual contracts that make us feel better about making the commitment to go to the gyum (even if we don’t actually show up), health clubs have become experts on member behavior and use all that knowledge to get you to sign up. Even if showing up becomes the problem.

And when we finally realize that hey, we’re wasting money, the gym will offer an incentive to keep you. “Planet Fitness has bagel breakfasts once a month and pizza dinners. Those are its busiest times. It also has massage chairs. Other gyms have mixers and movie nights and spa treatments,” reports NPR. And get this, those who sign up but don’t go to the gym are actually helping keep te costs down for everyone. “People who don’t go are subsidizing the membership of people who do. So, if you don’t work out, you are making gyms affordable for everyone,” reports NPR.

So have you hit the gym yet in 2015?

He Says He Can’t See Any Wife Of His As A Pole Dancer, Should I Break Up With Him?

April 29th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Essence 

Dear Abiola,

For a long time, I felt out of touch with my body and myself. I hated my dark chocolate complexion, the way I looked and everything about myself. I even hated sex because I never thought anybody could think someone who looked like me was sexy.

Then my friend invited me to a pole fitness class two years ago. Everybody knows me to be conservative. Doing something like this isn’t “me!” I was reluctant but I went and it changed EVERYTHING! Now I feel sexy and beautiful. My body is fit and toned, I feel in control of myself and I love who I see in the mirror. My friends even say I move differently.

With my new attitude I met a new man. He is very successful and says that one day he wants me to be his wife. We’ve been dating for almost 2 months. The problem is that the thing that most turns me on to myself turns him off. He says he can’t see any wife of his as a pole dancer or “pole ho,” his words.

He knows that I work in a bank and I’m not a pole dancer; this is just the workout I prefer. He goes to the gym everyday so I don’t see the difference. No one sees me except the 7 or 8 other women in my class. I invited him to come see me dance. I said I would rent a private studio so he can see what I’m doing but he said no.

He said that I need to choose and if I’m going to be serious with him I need to find another way to work out ASAP. He feels that any woman who gets with him needs to uphold a certain image. I think the truth is he finds it a little threatening. He always wants to know who was there, what I did, etc. For the last couple of weeks, I had to lie and say I was doing zumba. Nothing against zumba but I really feel a healing connection with pole fitness.

Am I bugging? Should I just give up the dumb pole fitness classes for my man? Is pole dancing something shameful for a wife? Pole fitness is like my therapy. He doesn’t know that this sexy, new me that’s been turning him out in the bedroom is a benefit of my pole classes.

By the way, thank you so much for the advice you give. I have been reading your Intimacy Interventions for a long time — but never thought I would be writing in. I am too embarrassed to talk to anybody else about this. Help!



Read Abiola’s response at