Women are switching from cardio to weights at gym chains as they install fewer treadmills

As more women opt for weightlifting over cardio, one of Britain’s biggest gym chains has installed fewer treadmills.

John Treharne is the founder of The Gym Group which operates 230 gyms across the UK. He said that the company would dedicate more space for weightlifting due to the growing demand.

He said, “More women are now interested in free weight lifting.” “I believe you’ve noticed that kind of cultural shift.”

He said that women are increasingly interested in lifting weights as celebrities like Victoria Beckham and Adele tout its benefits.

Mr Treharne said: “There’s definitely a shift from the predominant [cardiovascular] gear. In a gym 10 years ago we had 35 treadmills. We also had a large proportion of cross-trainers.

The treadmill is the most popular piece of equipment in the gym. We don’t have the same number of machines as we used to. The free weights will be at least three times larger, and the functional training area should have been added.

The Gym Group announced Tuesday that revenues were up by 18.5pc for the first half.

The company also reduced its pre-tax losses, which were £7.2m for the first half of 2022 and £6.1m for this year.

The company opened two new gyms during the first half year. Plans are to open five more by the end 2023. Next year, at least 10 new gyms will be opened.

Mr Treharne stated that the company will consider sites belonging to the now-defunct Wilko discounter as it expands throughout the UK.

He said: “We have been very successful in the last 16 year’s conversion of existing buildings. In recent years, we have done a great deal of development in retail parks. Wilko is part of our assessment. We’ll be looking at every opportunity.