A Cal State Fullerton student’s video about hosting all-women gym sessions went viral on TikTok and received thousands of views.
RareBreed Life gym located in Santa Ana provides sessions taught by third-year advertising major, exercise enthusiast and social media influencer, Skyler Gabat.
Gabat said she had the idea to introduce an all-women's gym session, but had no idea where she could set it up. On one occasion where she went to RareBreed for a massage, she met the owner and talked about their same desire to create a welcoming environment for women in the gym.
“I wanted to do an all-women's gym because as a woman, it's really hard to go to the gym and not feel comfortable, especially being around men,” Gabat said.
Skyler has promoted her sessions through her Instagram account @skyleryami.fit and her Tik Tok account @skylerayamee where she also posts videos with workout plans and her own fitness progress. With over 7,000 followers on her Instagram fitness account and about 23,200 followers on her personal account, she’s able to attract people’s attention to the all women’s gym session.
She said after promoting her sessions, she saw comments on her video of men claiming that there was a double standard, as an all-male gym might be considered exclusionary. Skyler said she doesn’t respond or listen to the negative comments but said she uses it as leverage to motivate herself.
Women have attended her sessions after promoting her gym sessions on her social media with hours ranging from morning to evening hours, Monday through Friday, except Wednesdays. Anessa Ikeda, an Irvine resident, said after watching Skyler’s video on TikTok, she decided to try out Skyler’s all-women gym session.
“It's in Santa Ana, I’m like ‘oh great, not too far from me, I'd love to check it out’,” Anessa Ikeda said. “And then after that, I sent that video to my roommate and soon after she sent me something on Instagram about her opening week and reserving a spot for the week.”
She said that she feels the sessions work well for beginners who may feel intimidated to go to the gym. She said being surrounded by women and the lack of unwanted male attention made her feel comfortable at the session.
Ikeda said the gym had a friendly ambiance to it when she first entered the gym, which is in a converted garage.
“It was unlike any gym I’ve gone to before,” Ikeda said.
Ikeda said Skyler provided different kinds of routines to workout from four to five types of exercises, including deadlifting and squats.
“So, I thought it was really helpful,” Ikeda said.
Ikeda said she attended the session with her roommate, 2020 Chapman University graduate Marissa Rimes. Rimes said although Skyler provides different workout regimes, women are also free to do their own exercises. She said that having the option to attend a workout session with only women is nice, especially if feeling uncomfortable in a regular gym can deter a person from going.
Rimes said she really enjoys that Skyler hosts themed days encouraging women to come in different workout gear depending on the day of the week.
“So, like some days she was like all black other days when your favorite gym outfit, like or other colors, you know, depending on the day, so that was kind of fun,” Rimes said.
Rimes said that she commends Skyler because she feels being a student while also being a workout coach and influencer is impressive.
As a coach for RareBreed, CEO of the gym Kevin Torres, who has been running the gym for three years, said since Skyler had introduced the all-women’s gym session a month ago, he’s seen a larger number of female followers on their Instagram page at @rarebreed_life.
Torres said that he wants women to attend the gym without having to feel intimidated by men and feel confident in doing their workout routines.