Women’s only MissFit increases fitness and health while removing stigmas

Published 12:38 am Thursday, February 23, 2023

PORT NECHES — Intimidation. Insults. Comments from strangers. Embarrassment about body size. A lack of support. 

According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, these are some of the most-common reasons women gave for not wanting to join a gym. 

“I remember distinctly this guy walking up to me one day in the middle of my workout and saying, ‘you’d be so much prettier if you’d smile while you work out,’” said Linh Reynolds, head trainer and program director for MissFit Mid County. “And I really wanted to throw my dumbbell at him.”

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In 2021, MissFit opened in Port Neches and Beaumont. The women’s only gyms are tailored to help women of all ages reach their fitness goals and eliminate the reasons women feel uncomfortable in a co-ed environment. 

“Because it’s all women, we really encourage our members to think of this as a sisterhood,” Reynolds said. “Everyone remembers what day one felt like and how intimidating it is, and sometimes how frustrating it can be. Your mind knows how to do the exercise, but your body says, ‘nope.’ So having these groups of women who have the same agenda, your day one looks different than someone’s day 1,000. But it’s still the same experience, and everyone is rooting for each other.”

MissFit offers six 45-minute group classes each day, as well as one-on-one coaching. 

“One thing about our workouts is they are able to fit you at whatever level you are,” said Laney Luckie, head trainer and program director for MissFit Beaumont. “We have women of all ages. We have women of all backgrounds. We have a woman who used to be an Olympic athlete. And we have women who come to us in their mid-50s or even older than that and have never stepped foot in a gym. 

“So we really try to make it to where it is an environment where it doesn’t matter where you are in your fitness journey, but you can walk in, feel comfortable, feel empowered and feel encouraged by those around you.”

And a great advantage of group fitness, she added, is coaches teach everyone how to use the machines to eliminate the potential embarrassment from attempting. 

“The coaches are constantly pacing through the room, calling out people’s names with words of encouragement,” Luckie said. “But also if we see that you’re doing something that is not correct, then we go to fix it and make sure you’re not going to hurt yourself.”

While classes are done as a group, each individual exercise is tailored to the individual — scaled down for those who need a less-intense exercise and increased for those who require more. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are strength-focused classes; while Tuesdays and Thursdays are high-intensity. 

“Class starts right on time, and it’s led by a coach,” Reynolds said. “When class starts, the coach has a structured warm-up. Once the warm-up is done, there is an explanation and demonstration time, so members are encouraged to do shadow movements while the coach is demonstrating the workout. And then we put you through the workout, itself.”

MissFit also offers a Fit for Life program that provides unlimited class time as well as individual work with an accountability coach. 

“I think the direction people think of when they join a gym is, ‘I’m going to get skinnier,’” Reynolds said. “That’s great and it can sometimes be necessary. However, there are other things you get when you learn how to move your body — increased self-confidence, better sleep, some of our members have gotten off of expensive medications because they’ve gotten healthier.”

And, Luckie said, there’s an added benefit. 

“The impact that exercise and reasonably good nutrition will have on your mental health is huge,” she said. “And where we are as a country, as a society, as women — where we are with our mental health, we’re being completely over tasked. The impact that it can have on their mental health, to me, is better than being skinny any day.”

Both MissFit locations include locker rooms with showers, as well as a staffed children’s area that includes a window into the gym for a child to see mom or mom to check on the child. 

The 45-minute classes are at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. Each Saturday at 9 a.m., the gym hosts a free community-wide workout that is open to all ages and genders. 

“We’re worth it,” Reynolds said.

“And you are worth it to invest in yourself when it comes to your health,” Luckie added. 

Learn more at MissFitFitness.com.