Boutique vs. Big Fitness: Tips for Choosing Your Ideal Workout
Evan Jensen and Christine Chen | My Body
Thousands of fitness-minded people are swarming boutique gyms for their workout, sometimes paying top dollar, instead of fighting for a treadmill at a big box fitness club. In our niche-driven society, many feel boutique workouts deliver the most for your money and your health, combined.
Ask Yourself: Are You Niche?
If you’re someone who knows exactly what you like, boutique might be the way to go. An estimated 58.5 million people in the United States use a health club or have a gym membership, and a growing number of those gym-goers are opting for a more specialized experience.
Boutique workout places offer customized programs and small, semi-private classes for things like cycling, yoga, CrossFit, high intensity interval training, parkour obstacle training, rock climbing, boot camps, and more. If you know you just want to do one thing, you have an increasing number of choices like Soul Cycle, Bar Method, Barry’s Bootcamp, and YogaWorks — one location, one type of workout or activity.
Get Greater Focus, Guidance and Motivation
Curious why there are so many boutique workout places are popping up? Here are three solid reasons:
- You’ll focus. Instructors specialize in a specific sport, activity or form of exercise, so you’ll likely improve quicker, allowing you to reap the benefits of your specific workout, sooner.
- You’ll receive focused guidance. Because someone’s watching you more closely, you’ll learn whether you’re doing things correctly and you won’t be left wondering (or wandering around the gym, for that matter).
- You’ll be motivated. Working out with people who share similar views on exercise and lifestyle, you’re likely to make friends and also show up to workout more often, because you like what you’re doing. Plus, studies show finding community leads to happiness.
Balance Your Bottom Line
Are you paying a lot of money and not using most of the facility? Would you go more if you paid for what you use and/or as you go?
The average big box gym membership costs about $55 a month, according to ClubIndustry.com, but a staggering 67 percent of people with a big box gym membership never go. If that sounds a little like your gym experience, maybe a boutique gym is for you.
Some boutique places have a higher monthly membership fee ($80–$100+) per month, and you’ll go as many times as you like. Others have you pay per session (often between $20–$40 per class). There are some boutique workouts that ask for both membership and class fees. Big gyms often ask you to pay a one-time joining fee, then, charge you per month or yearly.
Bottom line: ask a lot of questions and factor in how often you go and what you want to do. Whatever it costs to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, live longer and enjoy life more… it’s worth every penny.