Instead of the large mega-clubs of tens of thousands of square feet catering to the widest possible audience, people are beginning to shift their exercise routine to smaller, specialised training studios. Whether it be spinning, yoga, boxing, cross-fit.. you name it, you can do it!
Going to the gym with friends is beginning to replace going to your local pub, and the younger generation are opting for a gym class followed by a protein shake instead.
To name a few, Soul Cycle, has just opened their first studio outside of America in Soho, 1REBEL meanwhile, offers a range of classes including boxing, spin classes and gruelling circuits combining treadmills and free weights and KOBOX specialises in boxing classes combined with nightclub music.
Anyone who is into health and fitness, or anyone with an Instagram account would have heard of the latest fitness community, F45. An Australian operation that is now a global concept with over six million members. The company has more than 1,500 studios around the world including 35 in the UK, three of which are in the City of London. They have become an Instagram sensation through posting images of F45’ers following completion of their gruelling ‘8-week challenge’ and it is safe to say, it works.
We wanted to join the hype, and 10 member of the Colliers team endured an early Monday morning HIIT class and, despite our fairly high level of fitness, it was hard.
Much to our surprise 6-packs were not visible immediately, however, walking up the stairs was a struggle until Thursday.
In a move to replace the often anonymous experience of working out in massive groups, the F45 training studios have smaller classes to foster camaraderie and support between members with classes changing each day to avoid any repetition. That’s a valuable commodity given the intensity of the some of the sessions.
“For years, fitness-lovers have had a stark choice: either pay hundreds of pounds a week for personal training sessions, or very little for an over-crowded traditional gym where no-one helps you, knows your name or cares about your results. The rise of the boutique sector reflects what was missing here: a mid-priced option which delivers amazing results as part of a semi-personalised model."
In this respect, F45 is to fitness as Uber is to transport. We both deliver the benefits of a personal service to the masses, for a fraction of the cost, using smart technology.
The boutique sector is also not just in the fitness business: we provide community, friendship, stress-relief, entertainment...even an opportunity to meet a partner! The often-unspoken benefits of team-training are as important as the workouts themselves.” Mike Harley, co-owner for F45 Vauxhall
With the flexibility and variety of options that comes with the boutique gym craze, and new gym concepts opening on a regular basis. F45 and number of other operators have a high demand to open new branches across London and in the City, thus increasing requirements for suitable ground floor and lower ground floor space.
Have we seen the end of standard gyms? Is the cross-trainer a thing of the past? Only time will tell, but it’s safe say being fit is definitely in fashion.