The fitness industry is one that is constantly evolving and ever changing. There will always be a program in the spotlight that is deemed the hottest new workout to aid in one’s quest to achieve the perfect body. However, most fitness trends tend to flame out after a few months. Over the past five years, boutique fitness studios have popped up in cities across the nation and their popularity has only surged. Boutique fitness studios are defying the fitness norms and have proved their capacity to stay relevant through sought-after classes and instructors.
For those who are unaware, boutique studios are companies that market trending workouts. Studios are usually the opposite of your typical gym, only offering classes that will focus solely on a specific workout. Spinning, pilates, yoga, dance classes, boxing, barre and strength training are all among the types of workouts companies will center their platform around.
Even if you haven’t been able to hit your nearest yoga or spinning studio, it’s likely you have seen major companies like Pure Barre, SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp and Crossfit across the Boston area. Bostonians are always scrambling for the next best and toughest way to workout and boutique studios are no exception.
Though people are constantly looking for ways to join the newest fitness trend bandwagon, other reasons such as the environment and the beginner-friendly mentality are among some of the draws of these boutique gyms and studios.
“I like that it is small and not super intimidating, like a gym where there is a ton of equipment that I may not know how to use,” said Anna Brett (CGS ’17).
All boutique studios have guided classes with instructors who are experts in their given fields. The instructors and staff are essential in creating the welcoming and personal atmosphere that keeps people coming back.
“I go to SoulCycle frequently and the instructors and staff are one of the reasons I love going,” said Brett. “I find that it tends to be more fun when you have familiar faces welcoming you, a community that backs you and an instructor who will push you to your best limits.”
Another positive aspect of boutique fitness is the fact that there are usually no membership fees. Instead, the pay-per-class business model is used. For students with busy schedules, committing and paying for a gym membership may not be worth it in the long run. With a monthly or yearly membership, chances are most will never even step foot in the gym.
“I had a gym membership for a year awhile back, but I found that I was really only going once a week and sometimes even less,” said Emma Johnson (CGS ’17).
This financial concept of pay-per-class models within boutique studios is hotly debated in the fitness world. The price of a boutique fitness class can run anywhere from about $15-$40 per class. Owners of gyms argue that a hefty price tag is a huge caveat in running an independent boutique studio and that it may not be worth it for a consumer to pay so much for a class that lasts about an hour.
Despite this, boutique fitness devotees find more pros to outweigh a heavy con.
“Paying for and reserving each class ahead of time makes me organize my schedule around the time I have booked a class,” said Brett. “It almost forces me to go.”
Gym-goer or not, boutique fitness has something to offer people of all athletic levels. You tailor it the way you want so that you take a class to see what all of the hype is about, get yourself moving, go with a group with friends or maybe even find your new favorite workout.