As a female business owner in a VERY male dominated industry, I will be the first to admit that one of the paths to success is to put everyone around me down, squash the competition, and keep telling you that Alaris Fitness is the best and the only real option for fitness in Santa Barbara.

But….that’s not the case and I’m not going to tell you we’re the only game in town. In fact, I have observed a really exciting shift in the local fitness industry – one that I’m extremely excited to be a part of.

You see, there are more and more gyms in town that are female owned and operated – we’re seeing strength centers, crossfit gyms, kettlebell gyms (raises hand and dances a little), functional fitness studios…everything and anything. Personally, I couldn’t be happier. I think a woman’s perspective of fitness is different than our male counter parts – we often have to work a lot harder to drop weight, increase strength, get faster, etc. – which gives us a totally different frame of reference from which we run our programs. This isn’t meant to bash male owners at all, but rather point out that fitness is not fitness regardless of gender, but in fact, our gender does play an important role in how we train, recover, eat, and repeat…and how perspective of that can be a positive influence on the fitness industry.

Personally, I believe that increasing the number of women in coaching and leadership roles in the fitness industry is going to change the overall fitness narrative – I think we will start to see a shift to wholistic training, a greater focus on PROPER recovery (because recovery is different from person to person), and a greater focus on community. So while there are more female gym owners to compete with, the overall benefit to our community is going to be wildly positive, so for that, I am incredibly grateful.

20 years ago, there would be a good chance that I wouldn’t have succeeded in opening a kettlebell gym because of my gender…kettlebells are “masculine” and it may not have worked as well as it’s working today. But progress is progress, and the horizon is bright and only getting brighter – I am excited to see more female strength and conditioning coaches, kettlebell coaches, and crossfit coaches entering the industry on a yearly basis. I am excited to see more female clients speak up about their fitness needs, and I am excited about this shift we’re seeing in the industry.

So today I salute all of Santa Barbara’s female gym owners – together, we’re creating a powerful future.

The Future of Fitness is Female…and it’s pretty fucking awesome.