In a recent report, Foursquare analyzed data from more than 50 million gym users from around the globe. The numbers show that, while the fitness industry is experiencing a prolonged period of growth, users are experimenting with which types of fitness works best for them.
According to the report, midmarket gyms like 24 Hour Fitness are enjoying 51 percent of this year’s user foot traffic, while high-end gyms such as Equinox are sitting at 11 percent. Planet Fitness, in a category by itself, has a hold on 24 percent.
Planet Fitness alone has more than 10 million members in the United States, and 1.2 million of those members have joined the gym so far this year. In a public statement, the company attributed their success to their model of providing “affordable, non-intimidating fitness.”
Mid-market gym chains dropped five percent over the course of the past year, while high-end chains grew seven percent. Meanwhile, specialty fitness chains like SoulCycle and Pure Barre grew 19 percent over the past year, taking three percent of total traffic this year.
Chief marketing officer Scott Breault of Pure Barre told MarketWatch, “Like many boutique fitness studios, 2016 was a challenging year for unique and first-time visits and Pure Barre was no different. “We’re all competing for a share of the consumer’s fitness wallet,” he said.
In an analsis of the data, MarketWatch suggested that while many people are attracted to the more intimate atmosphere of specialty fitness chains, where they can get more personal attention, others prefer the lower time commitment and casual approach of larger gyms.
According to a study by the Boston-based International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the fitness industry overall is showing marked growth, with revenue growing 3.6 percent last year and total membership rising from 45.3 million in 2009 to 57.3 million in 2016.