With focused workouts and convenient locations, here’s why boutique fitness studios may be one of the fastest growing segments in the health club industry.
Boutique Fitness Studios: an alternative to conventional gyms
Some studies have shown boutique fitness studios to be the fastest-growing area of the US health club industry. With personalized attention and targeted workouts, it’s no wonder these “micro” studios have become popular ways for fitness buffs to work out. Boutique fitness studios are smaller than their standard gyms, which means they have more flexibility when choosing a location. For example, some former offices are being converted into these micro studios.
Of course, it’s not possible to cover a full range of fitness options within such a small area, but that’s not their goal. Instead, they often focus on specific training methods.
Spinning studios offer strong cardio workouts. Pilates, yoga, and barre studios offer stretching and toning. Crossfit and Orangetheory studios provide small group classes that offer a combination of cardio and weight training. Or maybe you prefer kickboxing or martial arts studios with their full body workouts? ESM offers a form of training that works with electrical impulses, if that’s more your style.
Given the specialized nature of these gyms, some people will join two or three. They could join a pilates studio for strengthening and toning, and then head to spin class to burn some calories.
People often choose boutique fitness studios because they offer close personal support. In big studios, trainers often have to look after a large number of people, so personal training often falls by the wayside. Individual personal training sessions can be quite expensive. In the micro studios, the staff ratio is normally considerably higher, so customers can have a more targeted workout.
Trainers can take more time to correct mistakes and push fitness enthusiasts to new peak performances. Even if you don’t have your own personal trainer, you can get individual attention and correction in group classes.
What’s the appeal?
Why are people so attracted to micro studios? First of all, they offer individual fitness within a small area, usually between 800 to 3500 square feet. The small space fosters very personal support. Even if you don’t have a personal trainer, the smaller number of clients means that the staff knows you, and keeps you accountable when you don’t show up for class.
Second, since boutique gyms don’t require as much square footage as a traditional gym, they’re often within walking distance or at least not far from home, which adds to the attraction. They can pop up almost anywhere, so potential customers don’t need to drive long distances to workout.
Many boutique gyms also foster a strong sense of community, both inside and outside the studio. Happy hours, outdoor excursions, and different community events make members feel like they belong to a unique community. Some may offer channels on the FamilyApp, where members of your gym can share fitness tips with each other.
Are Boutique Fitness Studios worth the extra money?
Despite the benefits, boutique fitness studios usually aren’t cheap. While conventional fitness studios may offer low-cost monthly memberships, depending on location, smaller boutique gyms could cost a hundred dollars or more each month. This can be an exclusive luxury that not everyone can afford.
On the bright side, most will offer some free classes or specials for new members, so be sure to look into those if you’re interested in trying a new workout. They’ll also have promotions to attract new members, so check for those, too.
Even with the higher price tag, if you’re looking for more accountability and newer challenges in your workouts, a boutique gym might be a great place to start. If a fancy gym helps you get in shape and improve your health, it could result in major health care savings in the future.