6 Things People Want & Look for in a Fitness Studio

In a study by Mayo Clinic Proceedings, less than 3% of Americans meet the basic qualifications for a “healthy lifestyle.” In this situation a healthy lifestyle is classified by someone who works out for 150 minutes/ week with a body fat percentage under 20% for men and 30% for women. 

So there’s a lot of people for fitness studios and gyms to help. Especially since 45% of people say they are likely to invest in a gym membership of some kind within the next year. People want to increase their health levels; let’s take a look a what they’re looking for in a fitness studio:

Variety

In 2014, ClassPass existed in 2 cities and only had 200 studio partners. Today, though, it’s in 36 cities with more than 7,000 studios participating.

A huge part of this success is the fact that ClassPass provides access to tons of different workout styles for their customers. And people love variety, especially when it comes to the boutique scene.

New Yorkers alone take an average of 35 different workout classes per year. Giving people more options with group classes seems to have become a trend that people actively seek. This might include new dance classes like Zumba or hip hop, testing out a TRX/ HIIT class, etc.  

Early class availability

It’s already a well known fact that there’s a high demand for class workouts in the evening. People like heading to their fitness studio after work (5:30pm and later). But in another study, some people actually prefer the mornings.

In the U.S., the Southeast prefers working out at 6:00am. Early risers tend to want a workout before they start their work day. There’s several reasons to this:

  • Those who workout at 7am experience an average of 10% lower blood pressure throughout the rest of the day
  • It makes it easy to stick to a routine and holds them accountable first thing in the morning
  • This allows people to get more done at night once they’re done with work

And if you offer classes before 8am, another great attribute that people love is showers. This way, they can get ready at the studio after their class and then head straight to work.

Great Teachers

When choosing a class/ studio, 95% of people say the teacher is a crucial element. The instructor can make or break the class experience.

When recruiting your trainers, look for someone who will be loyal to your business, is positive and knowledgeable with the workout/ it’s history/ nutrition, and energizes the entire room.

Even after signing with a fitness studio, people still tend to choose which class times to attend based on not only convenience, but also who’s teaching that class.

We talk more about this in episode 028 of The GSD Show, “Finding & Keeping Top Young Talent for Your Fitness Studio.” You can watch or listen to that episode here:

Tribe/ Social Atmosphere

People love boutique fitness studios not only because of the niche, unique workout service that’s provided, but also because of the tribe that’s built around the studio and the undeniable social atmosphere.

People want a place where they can burn a ton of calories and get toned, but also nurture their social lives. And a huge part of that is how you express your fitness studio’s marketing message. People should hear about your business and instantly know what you do, why you do it, and what the experience is. Without this clarity, no one knows about your awesome tribe and atmosphere until they walk through your door.

Here’s a great example of a fitness business that designed their workout to fit this need. SWERVE founder, Eric Posner, created a cycling experience that thrives off of group camaraderie:

“I realized there was something these other cycling studios weren’t capturing, and that was this team concept, the camaraderie of going with a large group or a team. Cycling can be highly individualistic, which is something that these other boutiques were playing towards. So I came up with the idea of team cycling with my other two Co-Founders.” Posner

There’s several different ways you can create this social atmosphere/ tribe for your members:

  • Team-based workouts like what SWERVE has done
  • Exclusive Facebook group for your top customers
  • Events for your members like happy hour, charitable outings, etc.
  • Exclusive discounts for your members on clothing, etc.

Yoga

The number of Americans doing yoga has grown by 50% over the past 4 years – as of 2016, 36 million practice yoga alone. There’s no denying the growing demand for this workout.  

A lot of people also seek yoga during their “off” days for restorative purposes and mental clarity.

A great way to determine whether or not yoga would be a good addition to your business is to survey your top current members and ask if it’s something they’d like to include in their fitness regimen. And because of the high demand of yoga, it does really well in terms of marketing. Below you’ll see a case study of a yoga studio that got 475 leads in just 1 month:

Great music

71.3% of people prefer to listen to music while they workout. Boutique studios can seriously amp up the experience they provide their members from the music they play during class. Some studios have classes that specifically revolve around playlists like:

  • Throwback Jams (on Thursdays)
  • Live DJs in the studio
  • Hip Hop
  • Country (during Country Thunder)
  • 90’s Alternative Rock
  • And more.

If you want a few suggestions, Spotify just released their top performing workout playlists.

Again, it’s always a great idea to survey your current members and ask what songs they’d like to hear during class. This ensures that you meet everyone’s wants.

Let us know which of these you plan to incorporate, and any other features that have worked really well for your studio!

Mike Arce

Mike Arce is the CEO and founder of Loud Rumor, a lead generation company for fitness studios and independent gyms that supports their customers with sales training and techniques to grow and scale.

Mike has spoken for companies like Infusionsoft, the Better Business Bureau, ASBA, and Local First – all on the topic of Local Business Internet Marketing. He has a passion for local businesses and helping them grow. You can get fresh, updated tips from Mike here.