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Gyms target guys for single-sex classes

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As gym membership grows to new heights, club owners are offering single-sex classes to cater to men who don't feel comfortable working out in front of women, want to pay special attention to their backs and tight hips or may just prefer building camaraderie with the guys. (Marilyn Morrell/Courtesy of Pilates Body by Valentin)

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The men in an advanced Pilates class at Pilates Body by Valentin in Dublin, Calif. wear uniforms so that loose clothing does not impede exercises. Most men-only fitness classes take the workout seriously, either with uniforms or by keeping talking to an absolute minimum. (Marilyn Morrell/Courtesy of Pilates Body by Valentin)

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Lee Goss, 49, began taking Pilates classes almost four years ago. The former marathoner still can't touch his toes, but he has closed the gap from six inches to just about an inch since starting at Pilates Place in Lexington, Ky. (Joseph Thompson/Courtesy of Pilates Place)

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Instructors often have to modify exercises for men to accommodate their flexibility limitations. Many single-sex classes were started so instructors could monitor the altered positions better, rather than having men change moves themselves and risk getting hurt. (Melissa Korn/CNS)

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Although these days many coed or women's classes advertise dance-infused, choreographed Pilates classes, the fitness regimen was originally created by Joseph Pilates to help keep World War I soldiers in shape. Men are often shocked to find out how sore they can be after trying a few sessions of what they think is a "woman's exercise" themselves. (Marilyn Morrell/Courtesy of Pilates Body by Valentin)

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After years of letting them struggle in the back of coed Jazzercise classes, fitness centers are beginning to offer men their own single-sex classes.


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