Over the years, I have watched as the world of fitness continues to evolve. Things are changing to meet the needs of the active client. Not gone, but becoming out-numbered are the typical big box gyms with a weight room with machines and free weights and studios for classes. Small group training and boutique gyms are growing in popularity as the fitness lover searches for more ways to be challenged and have their interest ignited.
For the past few years I have been a member of a women only facility. I have no problem working out alongside men, this gym is simply convenient for me. It is close to home and I can walk there. An all woman gym I notice suits the needs of women who like a socializing sisterhood, as well as for those who must only workout among women due to religious reasons. These ladies can wear shorts and tank tops freely, comfortable in the fact that only other ladies are among them. With the rise of Crossfit, Orange Theory, various Yoga classes and Soul Cycle studio, my gym has had to up the ante to keep the members engaged. They have added many small group classes, HIIT as well as Barre classes. My gym also has childcare. A very necessary feature for all the moms who want to workout or attend classes, and have the comfort of knowing their child is just a stones throw away and is in good hands. The classes at my gym have sustained my interest.
Small group training, such as Pickering Fit Boot camp and The Hourglass workout I find are perfect to keep you accountable. Members can go on the website and book in their sessions ahead of time. The idea of pay as you go can be much more financially enticing than a large upfront membership fee. These small group settings also have that family atmosphere among members.
My friends Patrice and Nadine joined a new state of the art gym (I like to call the resort) that opened last year. This gym has many amenities that my gym and many others lack. Two full Olympic Pools. One is outdoors for summer usage, surrounded by deck chairs under umbrellas and a health bar where you can buy a smoothie (or a five dollar water.) There is also a sauna and full spa. One feature that Patrice and Nadine love is the childcare, where you can also host a full birthday party for your little one, complete with fun-filled activities. Ahem, I have reached out to said gym to have the full member experience, but they did not reply to Trex to Tigress’ endless emails. But I digress…..
I recently read an article about boutique gyms opening up in the Toronto. One woman said she budgets specifically for specialized classes and is counting down the days to the official open of Soul Cycle on King Street West. (Lululemon and trendy fitness people area central). She said the loud music and magical energy of the instructors will keep her coming back for more. This lady admitted she becomes easily bored, so a regular gym is not the fit for her. A self-professed “fitness addict with ADD,” paying for a yearly membership to one facility would be useless to her. She would rather use her “fitness money” to suit her specific needs. These types of gyms are complete with their own water bottle with their logos and clothing boutiques. This probably pulls the members to buy their brand along with taking the classes.
With all the changes in the fitness industry, some are just fine with the basics. The garage type gym where the pull-up bar, bench and squat rack reign supreme. No fancy bells or whistles. Just good old-fashioned training. None of these gyms are better than the next. It all depends on the members. One thing is certain. There is definitely something for everyone.
What is your gym fit?