Fitness Industry Growth Explained

By July 23, 2019 No Comments

Fitness industry growth has been on the rise in recent years and isn’t expected to stop anytime soon. As the world has changed, so has the way that people exercise and manage their health. The changing demographics of the fitness industry have also shifted the types of workouts that individuals are actively seeking out and from this change the boutique fitness industry has boomed. Boutique fitness studios with specialized exercise classes have popped up all over the country and built themselves a following of dedicated fitness enthusiasts. There are many different popular fitness trends that have swept the nation in recent years and seem to be here to stay for the foreseeable future. So what has caused the fitness industry to grow? 

There many different social and economic factors that have contributed to the growth of the health and fitness industry. Boutique fitness, which was once a niche industry, has created a marketplace of class offerings that tap into various elements that individuals are looking for in their workouts, such as a sense of community, specialized instruction, and more exciting workouts. What has resulted from this innovative approach to the fitness industry? Massive growth has been a byproduct of this approach to the fitness industry and led to an increase in boutique fitness offerings across the country. Throughout history, the types of fitness exercises that have captivated mainstream attention to maintain a healthy lifestyle have changed in accordance with the social and economic norms of the times. If you’re curious about recent fitness industry growth, some of the most popular fitness crazes that fitness enthusiasts are enjoying at the moment, and the projected growth of the fitness industry in the future, then look no further. This guide will provide you with the introductory knowledge you’re looking for about where the fitness industry is currently, where it is headed in the future, and how you can capitalize on its growth by franchising with Rush Cycle.  

The Rise of the Fitness Industry 

While the fitness industry was once dominated by men working out in the gym to lift weights and emulate Arnold Schwarzenegger and women flocking to follow Jane Fonda’s aerobic workouts, the modern fitness industry looks decidedly different. Major gym and fitness chains began to become more common in the eighties and they appealed to both weight lifters and aerobic enthusiasts alike, but even then, fitness did not garner the mainstream focus that it does now. In the nineties and the early two thousands, interest in fitness began to expand and grow. With this growth, more gym locations and health clubs began to appear across the country. By 2016,  health club locations and memberships had grown from thirty-six thousand to fifty-seven million and the total revenue had boomed to the tune of a four hundred and fifty percent increase.1 

While the fitness industry continued to grow, what people were looking for out of their workout has continued to adapt and change. Boutique fitness studios have grown out of a niche in the fitness industry and are now a dominant force in the fitness market. Boutique fitness shies away from the lower-cost, untailored offerings of big box gym memberships and instead focuses on offering participants a highly tailored, unique fitness experience that has limited availability and requires a more significant financial commitment. Boutique fitness studios have adapted to the market and the younger generations that are now consuming goods. Boutique fitness fosters a sense of community, a more flexible approach to fitness that allows participants to purchase on a class basis rather than being locked into membership and associated contracts, and a fitness experience that bridges the gap between having a personal trainer and wandering aimlessly in a big box gym. The results have been noticeable and the growth massive. Out of the boutique fitness industry, many different types of fitness crazes have been born. Below we will walk you through some of the popular fitness crazes that have gained popularity over the years.2   

Popular Fitness Crazes 

If you’ve scrolled on your phone recently, you’ve likely been confronted with one or a few of the most popular fitness crazes of the moment. The rise of the fitness industry and changes in its offerings have resulted in the growth in popularity of many different types of specialized workouts. Below are a handful of popular fitness crazes you’ve likely heard of and wondered about. 


For the fitness enthusiast looking to bridge the gap between ballet and traditional exercise, barre workouts are a perfect fit. Barre exercise classes often range from forty-five minutes to an hour and focus on harnessing slow and steady movements to get results. These isometric, low impact movements may be slow and careful, but don’t be fooled, they are also difficult. Barre exercise classes often utilize a ballet barre to help facilitate movements, as well as other light equipment. A barre class will often work through different areas and muscle groups throughout the body to produce a total body experience that leaves participants feeling the burn and closer to the results they crave.3 


Among today’s many fitness trends is yoga, which has gained massive popularity throughout the years. There are many different types of yoga offerings so new practitioners can find a style of yoga that suits their fitness goals and current level of ability. With yoga, participants are encouraged to foster their mind and body connection, extending the exercise outside of just their physical body and into their mind. With the rise of social media and technology, yoga presents an opportunity for participants to log off from the interconnected world and turn their gaze inward while challenging themselves mentally and physically. While yoga is an ancient practice, its widespread popularity has continued to grow over time and expand to capitalize on the boutique fitness industry as dedicated yoga studios have popped up across the country.4 

High-Intensity Interval Training

Another fitness craze that has seen a spike in popularity in recent years is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT training sessions push participants to use the maximum effort possible for a short amount of time. HIIT workouts are designed to balance periods of maximum-effort work with low-intensity recovery periods. HIIT workouts are usually designed to be faster than other forms of exercise, often lasting between thirty and forty-five minutes. Interval training is intended to be intense, challenging, and to burn a significant amount of calories without a huge time commitment. For the time conscious fitness enthusiast, HIIT training sessions allow them to push their fitness to the next level within a short window of time.5


Another fitness craze sweeping the nation is cycling. Cycling workouts are high-intensity workouts designed to push the participants to challenge themselves in a fun and efficient workout. At Rush Cycle, our cycling classes are designed to be an effective and fun experience. With the lights dimmed down and the music pulsing, participants can bike to the beat with their fellow classmates as they push their mental and physical boundaries. Our instructor training program was developed over the course of years to make sure that our instructors can provide the individuals in their classes with the best class possible.6 

Designed to be a full-body, intense workout, our Rush Cycle studios inspire people to push themselves and give it their all for their time on the bike. The culture and atmosphere of our studios are welcoming and foster a unique synergy that keeps individuals coming back time and time again to a community of fitness enthusiasts that share a passion for fun and cycling. Part of the appeal of cycling classes are the metrics that can be provided to help participants continuously track their progress and challenge themselves to reach new personal bests. At Rush Cycle, we help individuals keep track of their personal statistics in our Rush Ride Dashboard so that they don’t have to. Whether individuals are looking to monitor calories burned, max ROM, total distance, class rank, or average watts, we have them covered. It’s easy to see why this fitness craze is one that’s here to stay.7 

Projected Growth for the Fitness Industry in the Future

Though the health and fitness industry is currently experiencing growth, you may be wondering if that growth will continue into the future. The fitness industry is expected to continue to grow, particularly as more of the younger generation are becoming primary consumers. With an increased emphasis on health and fitness, as well as the rise in wearable technologies that provide a minute-by-minute look at physical fitness, the younger generation is expected to continue to participate in and grow the fitness industry.8 

Where is the Fitness Industry Headed Next? 

If the fitness industry does continue to grow, where is it headed next? Current trends indicate that boutique fitness will experience continued growth because of the unique elements of their structure that appeal to Gen Z and Millenials.9 A report from the IHRSA states that traditional health club membership grew five percent between 2012 and 2015, while boutique studio membership grew seventy percent during the same timeframe, despite having a higher cost to join.10 With a smaller footprint than a traditional big box gym, boutique fitness studios generally range between eight hundred and thirty-five hundred square feet, which means that they have lower startup costs and can use their small size to their advantage to foster a tightly knit community and culture. 

With offerings ranging from a variety of different fitness disciplines, such as high-intensity interval training, pilates, boxing, boot camps, cycling, and more, boutique fitness studios have the perfect type of workout for every fitness enthusiast. In addition to these features, boutique fitness will also continue to grow because it is a distinct departure from the culture and experience of going to a big box gym. A boutique fitness class is much more personalized and tailored to provide direction, support, and encouragement every step of the way. 11Boutique expansion is expected to continue as boutique fitness studios expand their offerings across the country and into smaller towns, making specialized forms of fitness available to larger numbers of the population. In smaller markets, boutique fitness studios have endless opportunities for growth.12  

Rush Cycle’s Positioning for Continued Growth in the Industry

While the fitness industry is expected to continue growing as a whole, Rush Cycle is also positioned for continued growth in the boutique fitness industry. People are putting their health and fitness goals on their list of priorities and cycling studios are one of the most popular forms of boutique fitness available. Among other indoor cycling and fitness studios, Rush Cycle is one of the fastest growing cycling franchises in the country. Rush Cycle has twenty locations across the country with thirty more locations poised to open soon. Rush Cycle is positioned for major growth over the next several years as the health and fitness industry as a whole expands and consumers love of challenging and fun indoor cycling classes continue to thrive.13 

How You Can Capitalize on the Growth of the Fitness Industry with Rush Cycle

If you have noticed the growth of the fitness industry and are wondering how you can capitalize on its continued growth in the future, consider franchising with Rush Cycle. The opportunities are endless for individuals looking to become a fitness franchisee and indoor cycling is a profitable and interesting business possibility to consider. While opening a full-size gym can have hefty startup costs ranging at around half a million to several million dollars, in addition to significant time commitments to get the facility ready, opening a boutique studio can be a much more affordable option to consider. At Rush Cycle, you could become a fitness franchisee for an entry point cost of between $350,000 and $400,000. Not only is the initial financial commitment much lower than with a full-size gym, but it also allows you to begin your franchise with much less overhead cost starting out. If you’re interested in starting a fitness franchise with Rush Cycle, get in touch to start the conversation now.14 
















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