Image via Soul-Cycle.com
With the convenience of larger gyms comes the crowds and the noise. The alternative to the chain gym is now the boutique gym. Boutique gyms are meant to provide a more intimate experience for those in classes or relaxing there. They are also typically smaller than most gyms and can take less members. These boutique gyms are often more expensive as well, and they are geared toward fitness fanatics who want the best exercise experience.
Though it may seem like a niche audience that would participate in this new fad, but from 2013 to 2014 alone participation doubled to 42%. Since 2010 boutique hotels have been opening at a rate of 450%, and many are becoming incredibly popular. SoulCycle and the Bar Method have both boomed and are paving the way for others. Due to the small size of these boutique gyms they have the added benefit of being able to open just about anywhere. People typically only want to travel about ten minutes to a gym, and the convenience of the these smaller gyms will boost their popularity.
Boutique gyms can be found worldwide. From the Ceresio 7 in Milan to The Third Space in London and Impakt in Hong Kong, these gyms can be found everywhere. Of course, in America bigger cities like New York City and Los Angeles are home to hundreds of boutique gyms.
A unique aspect of boutique gyms that makes them so popular amongst gym enthusiasts, is that they often one or two forms of exercise or blend several into one. For instance SoulCycle, as the name suggests is all about the stationary bike or “spin.” Many boutique gyms emphasize mental health and wellness along with physical health and offer many kinds of yoga along with cardio workouts. Perhaps expected with the boutique gym experience, there often are luxury perks. At Clay in New York City, their concierge service will even reserve a lunch for you in the neighborhood.
For people who really enjoy and want to exercise in a more intimate environment with more experienced teachers there is the boutique gym. Their small size makes them convenient as they can squeeze in anywhere and make their presence known. Though boutique gyms may not replace larger chains of gyms, they are very much on the rise.