In 2015 we saw a steady increase in the number of memberships to both public and private gyms. This comes as no real shock when you consider that for the past 5 years the fitness industry worldwide has seen exponential growth. That begs the question though, can we expect to see the fitness industry continue to grow at this rapid pace? The simple answer would be “yes”, but many people have been asking “why?”. Let’s take a deeper look at why we can expect to see the fitness industry continue to grow, as well as what trends and advances seem to be driving this growth.
One simple truth stands out above all else currently, “fitness is in”. What this really means though is that the idea of fitness is in style currently. One out of five Americans are heading to the gym weekly or at least paying for a gym membership. Similarly, this is a trend that can be seen worldwide. More people are hitting the gym now (or at least could be) than ever before.
This is due in no small part to the fact that as a whole the current generation is more out of shape and overweight than any generation before, and they want to do something about it. This puts the fitness industry (which includes both gyms and focused weight loss centers) in a very good spot, whether their client’s want to focus on weight training as with previous generations, or rather if they want the “newest” aerobic exercise options. The common denominator is the fact that there is currently a huge appetite for exercise worldwide says Darren Singer of Build Yourself Fitness Toronto.
Changing the face of the “gym”
With this exponential growth we have seen more and more gyms popping up all around, from the high end Equinox chain offering an almost spa like environment, to the everyman’s gym Crunch offering little by the way of luxury. There seems to be something for everyone in the market currently. The “chain” gyms have something to fear moving forward though, and that is the “niche gyms”. Now when we say “niche gym” we are referring to the smaller independently owned and operated locations that are popping up left and right. Often times these smaller locations stick to one discipline, such as weight training or cross fit. What they all have in common though is success.
There is something about the smaller, more intimate gyms that have taken the fitness world by storm. In the past few years these types of locations have gone from a blip on the radar to serious threats for the “franchise gyms”. The more personalized class structure and the one on one attention that patrons receive at these gyms leads to something of a “cult following”. Their membership retention is the highest in the industry. Experts say this is likely because once you are involved in one of these gyms you become essentially part of the “team” or “family”. If you miss a class or session it is likely multiple members will reach out and pull you back into the fold. Whether this is good or bad remains to be seen but one thing is for certain the “niche gyms” are taking the market by storm.