Americans have developed a taste for fancy gyms. Attendance at specialty gyms like SoulCycle, CrossFit, Pure Barre, Orangetheory, and countless others grew by 70% between 2012 and 2015, according to a recent report from the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). And high-end boutique fitness studios now make up 35% of the $25.8 billion fitness market.
Specialized classes in spinning, CrossFit or hot yoga can run anywhere between $20 and $40 per class, and monthly passes are significantly more expensive than memberships at no-frills alternatives. Yet boutique studios are thriving because they’ve figured out how to tap into a motivational strategy long noted by exercise scientists: feelings of community and belonging keep people coming back… their billions in revenue come from people who are actually showing up to exercise. As only 20% of Americans meet federal guidelines for physical activity, that is no small feat. Here’s how they manage to keep people coming back:
1. They make you feel like you’re getting more than a workout.
2. Their cult-like atmosphere makes you feel accountable.
Exercise researchers have found that people who are motivated primarily by intrinsic factors like enjoyment, not by extrinsic factors like physical appearance, are more likely to work out consistently. The “tribe” also notices when you have skipped workouts, making you accountable for your behavior.
3. They lavish personal attention on members
Members of traditional gyms are often left to their own devices, By contrast, boutique studios always offer their members direct instruction rather than leaving them to their own devices. Individualized attention and clear metrics of progress are the big differences between boutiques and budget gyms.
4. Fancy fitness is a status symbol
Of course, there’s a big barrier to this motivational bonanza: price. The people in the US who can afford to spend $34 on a spin class several times per week are often also the ones more likely exercise regularly. “Research shows that higher income level means a higher rate of exercise participation, particularly among racial minorities,” Dr. Wadsworth said. If the status symbol of 2004 was the Juicy Couture tracksuit, in 2016 it’s an updated athleisure look and a front row spot in spin class. New York City YMCAs offer spin, trampoline fitness, TRX, boot camp, and host of other specialty classes.
Read the full article… | Source: qz.com | Date posted: 3/17/2018