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8 Types of Fitness Studios to Open in 2021


Throughout the pandemic, there has been a clear shift in consumer mindset with regular physical activity being a part of a healthy lifestyle. Spending money on fitness has shifted from a luxury to a necessity for many households. Often, the cost of fitness has been a huge barrier in the accessibility of fitness to various demographics. But with the adoption of digital fitness and more cost-effective options, fitness is now more accessible than ever. Public health is a driving force behind the current surge in popularity in fitness.

In this article, we talk about why fitness is popular, why you should start your own studio, and eight types of fitness studios to open in 2021. 

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Why is Fitness Popular?

The fitness industry is a billion-dollar industry. Every year, fitness trends come and go. But one of the main shifts the industry is facing is that physical fitness is now much more multi-faceted. It’s a way to connect with friends, reduce stress, and improve your overall quality of life. 

Nowadays, more people are working out regularly. Whether it’s at home, in the park, or at the gym, the rise of health issues is pushing people towards fitness, healthy eating, and improving their health in general. Medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are major health problems in the US. There has been clear messaging that a severe case of COVID-19 is associated with being overweight, having underlying medical conditions, and smoking. 

No doubt, fitness has been in the limelight for the past few decades. With a focus on inclusivity and accessibility in the wellness world, it’s more important than ever for brands to cater to different ages, fitness levels, and demographics. 

Interestingly, with more people working from home than ever, people are adapting their workspace to include everyday fitness. You now have the potential to hit a wider home fitness audience and continue to diversify your streams of income. As businesses try to entice more employees back to the office, we will likely see the emergence of work gyms and fitness offerings as a way to invest in employee health long-term. 

The Fitness Founders Podcast has an interesting episode with Laurie McCartney, the President of Global Fitness and Wellness Solutions at Ascend Learning. She talks about developing your business for a changing fitness industry and the new opportunities on the horizon for businesses following the pandemic. 

2021 Update: Fitness Statistics You Need to Know 

In 2021, some of the top fitness industry trends look to be smarter virtual classes, being outside, remote personal trainers, and an increased focus on digital well-being and mindfulness. Over the next five years, the boutique fitness industry expects to add about 2,000 new studios around the world. 

At-home fitness equipment, personal training, and digital fitness will continue to grow this year. Finding a more creative way to get your offering into the home is a winning strategy for futureproofing your business and serving your membership base. 

The industry has fully embraced the world of virtual fitness with online training here to stay. Even as restrictions ease and more gyms open up, the virtual training model offers convenience and flexibility with the addition of expert guidance. 

As more and more fitness brands embrace a hybrid business model, digital fitness offerings are polished and high-quality. They drive value to members and cater to a growing home fitness audience. Digital fitness platforms started as a way to generate revenue in the face of gym closures and are now an essential part of running a fitness business in 2021 and into the future. 

To explore the topic of hybrid fitness, listen to Adam Zeitsiff, the President and CEO of Intelivideo on The Fitness Founder Podcast. He talks about how to create value for your members with an online offering and how to get ahead of the competition. 

Why You Should Open a Fitness Studio 

Despite the setback of gym closures and limited indoor capacity, the health and fitness industry is arguably one of the most promising sectors in a post-COVID world. Ultimately, health and wellness businesses don’t just offer a one-off product, they offer a lifestyle and access to a healthier life.

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Demand for Fitness is Growing 

Fitness centers and studios remain in demand because they provide a service bigger than fitness. You go to a fitness studio to build a healthy body, practice self-care, socialize, and reduce stress. Health is being seen as an investment now to live a better future. As a whole, the fitness industry experiences growth year on year. Starting a successful fitness studio involves many factors. Although it’s a highly competitive sector of the fitness industry as a whole, it’s clear that awareness and interest in a healthy lifestyle aren’t going anywhere. 

Members Willing to Pay a Premium Price 

Popular fitness studios can easily charge upwards of $25 per class. When you look at luxury fitness brands and niche studios, they tend to charge a higher price than your standard big-box gym. When boutique fitness studios become successful, they have a tendency to have a cult-like following. You can see this with the likes of SoulCycle, Peloton, and Orangetheory Fitness. Most fitness studios go above and beyond to find the best fitness instructors and talent in the business to create a unique experience for members.    

Be Your Own Boss 

If you have a passion for fitness and want to have control over your schedule and business, then being your own boss is a massive benefit. Running your own business is hugely challenging, but at the same time, very rewarding. Creating a concept and transitioning from an idea to a fully-fledged business is exciting. Starting your own fitness studio gives you the opportunity to enter the fitness market and build a profitable and successful business. 

Have a Passion for Fitness 

Often, one of the reasons that someone opens a fitness business is because of a true passion for movement. Perhaps you’re a yoga instructor and are ready to start your own practice, or you have created an innovative workout technique where opening a fitness studio seems like the logical next step. Although passion alone doesn’t guarantee you a successful fitness business, it can push you in the right direction. 

8 Types of Fitness Studios to Inspire Your Next Business Venture 

The fitness industry is vast with several sub-categories within a niche. In a highly competitive landscape, the best fitness brands niche down and know exactly who their target audience is. The benefit of so much competition within the fitness industry is that it’s given way to so much variety and niche options that do more than provide access to rows of treadmills. Fitness studios have the ability to focus on wellness and create personalized programs that can make a real impact on their students. Different types of fitness studios offer up various benefits as a business, let’s dive in. 

1. Yoga 

The global yoga market size is forecast to hit $66.2 billion by 2027. Typically, yoga practitioners are likely to spend $90 per month on yoga, attending classes two to three times a week. Yoga is a mind-body practice that has proven positive effects on mental and physical health. In the last few years, popularity has continued to surge with niche concepts popping up all over the world. With the implementation of more digital yoga tools, yoga is one of the most popular workouts at home. Yoga is a lifestyle and has the potential to be a huge opportunity in the fitness industry. 

2. HIIT 

Every year, HIIT workouts remain one of the top ways to exercise. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It’s an effective way to work out your whole body in the shortest amount of time possible that gets your heart rate up and combines aerobic and resistance training. Many fitness brands take the concept of HIIT training and put their own innovative spin on it. For example, Orangetheory Fitness integrates HIIT-based training into their routine alongside rowing, and strength training. The brand has taken the concept of HIIT training and transformed it into a cult workout that gets proven results. 

3. Strength Training 

Strength training may help to enhance your quality of life, protect your joints, build muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls. You can use a combination of free weights likes dumbbells and body weight exercises to improve range of motion and build muscular strength. Because of its popularity, strength training-based fitness studios are delving into this niche to serve a growing customer base. Top fitness studios like Fhitting Room, and Barry’s Bootcamp, all focus on elements of strength exercises to deliver a fun yet effective workout to build strength and lean muscle mass. 

4. Kickboxing 

Kickboxing is a full-body workout that engages all your muscle groups with a big focus on core strength and cardio. It can also improve flexibility, cardiovascular health, and balance. Kickboxing classes are increasingly popular with more people taking it up. Kickboxing studios are great for creating a sense of community amongst kickboxers. Rumble is a great example of a boxing-inspired fitness studio. The Rumble Boxing workout consists of a 10-round, 45-minute fight with skills, drills, and resistance training. With a mega-watt sound system, Rumble focuses on creating a fun and motivational environment for all abilities. 

5. Pilates and Barre 

Pilates is a whole-body workout that creates long and strong muscles. It really focuses on developing core strength. Barre is a ballet-inspired workout with elements of Pilates and yoga that is a low-impact workout technique to push the whole body using isometric movements. It usually involves a combination of barre work, props such as resistance bands, and balance exercises. Virtual Pilates and Barre classes continue to grow in popularity to fit any budget. If you can’t make it to the studio, brands such as Alo Moves, Barre3, and Daily Burn have daily online classes. 

6. Indoor Cycling 

If you look back a few years, large gyms would house indoor cycling and spin classes. Now, spin has developed into its own niche with a massive following. In an indoor biking studio, you will experience a carefully selected playlist, specific on-bike dance choreographies, and a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Some of the top indoor cycling studio brands are SoulCycle and Peloton. These brands have expanded into at-home cycling and al fresco spin classes. With outdoor silent disco sessions and upbeat classes, indoor cycling is a growing market and a popular form of aerobic exercise.  

7. Rowing 

Similar to indoor cycling, more and more people are looking to rowing as a way to stay fit. With online rowing classes, it’s more accessible than ever with brands like CityRowGo and Hydrow delivering a Peloton-like experience and encouraging more people to workout at home. Studios such as Sweat Fixx and Training Mate offer indoor rowing classes for a full-body sculpting session. 

8. Dance 

Dance fitness can incorporate a ton of different niches. With so many styles and varieties of dance, dance fitness classes are a popular and effective way to work out. Dance-centric classes, wellness events, and festivals are especially appealing to those who don’t like to head to the gym. They want a fun and social workout that doesn’t feel like a chore. A great example of a dance-centric event is Daybreaker. With a community of over 500,000, they host morning dance events all over the world to sweat and connect. The power of community in dance is strong and with the right concept and delivery, you could build a successful dance fitness studio. 

In Summary

The fitness industry is vast with several niches. When you define your niche, it can improve marketing results and allow you to have specialized knowledge for your clients. Whether you’re a dedicated yogi or love HIIT training, you can create a concept across various types of exercise. If you’re ready to be your own boss and take on the challenge of opening your own studio in 2021, the best place to start is to ensure that you have an in-demand niche. Some of the best fitness studios know exactly who they are and who their target audience is. It’s this understanding that has allowed them to create an incredible brand that their customers love. 

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"I think Glofox speaks to lots of different fitness businesses. I looked at a few options, but the Glofox positioning was more flexible. Without it the business wouldn't be scaleable”
Mehdi Elaichouni
Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

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