You and your girlfriends have traded in happy hours for SoulCycle and high-intensity barre sessions. Plus, ClassPass has gotten you totally addicted to a long list of other trendy workouts in local studios that make you feel like a million bucks. The boutique fitness industry is responsible for getting many of us off our butts and motivated to get in shape. But are these classes here to stay? We spoke with Daniel Sobhani — CEO of fitness app Freeletics — to get his take on what the boutique workout world will look like in the future.
“There are classes and products out there that are indeed providing the desired results of their audiences,” Sobhani says. “Ultimately, the results and how people feel are what it comes down to. The studios and trends that fail to provide a big payoff won’t make it in the fitness world of fierce competition.” It’s a good thing for consumers that the most effective workouts are rising to the top, as these uber-specific studios propel the boutique fitness trend. Sobhani also believes a unique sense of community has also played a significant role in the trend’s success.
Sobhani tells us that the amazing community each studio builds also gets people to keep going back to a specific studio or class. “These studios are niche, some offering specific benefits promised only through their classes. Most importantly, the successful studios motivate their students to return, whether the motivation stems from paying a hefty fee or loving the music played in each class.”
All of this sounds great, right? If our beloved boutique studios are offering us great workouts, awesome tunes, and a #fitfam that can motivate us to get out of bed each morning and feel the burn, then what could possibly be missing — and where could the industry go wrong?
THE FUTURE OF STUDIO CLASSES
According to Sobhani, one thing that many boutique studios are seriously lacking is an on-the-go component. As millennials continue to travel more for work and play, it may increasingly become a challenge for spinning studios, barre classes, and the like to accommodate their mobile needs.
“We know from our own [Freeletics] users that [an on-the-go option] is a key aspect to sticking to a workout routine — the ability to train anytime, anywhere, and to instantly find training partners, if need be,” Sobhani says. “People expect constant access to their favorite products or experiences, and these studios that may only exist in one neighborhood can’t provide that. We expect fitness products and gyms to provide options for maintaining workout schedules in spite of travel or relocation to another city.”
Sobhani also expects that the successful fitness businesses of the future will take a more holistic approach to health. Already, many studios and apps (including Freeletics) are beginning to offer integrated services related to fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, and more. “This means a larger focus on wellbeing — which includes the mind — by either explicitly adding meditation to a schedule, or subtly prioritizing mindfulness as an ultimate goal in the fitness regime,” Sobhani says.
If only the strongest among the boutique fitness industry are likely to survive these ongoing transitions in the business, how are we supposed to know when it’s time to jump ship and leave our precious classes behind? Sobhani advises that everyone stick to whatever workout regimen keeps them motivated and feeling their best. If the community aspect and catchy tunes at your fave boutique studio encourage you to stick with the program, then go for it! Thanks to technology, though, there’ll only be more opportunities in the future to reap these benefits in other ways.
“There are plenty of options outside of boutique fitness studios that are less expensive or even free,” Sobhani says. “If you’re on a budget, but are still looking for some sort of community wrapped around shared fitness goals, technology has provided us ways to find these groups without cost through Facebook, Meetup, or Freeletics.”
What do you think of the future of boutique fitness studios? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)