There’s another prevailing fitness argument that’s been reduced to old news as a counterpoint to the gym models described above. Content delivered by fitness talking heads dismissing the very cradle of fitness, the old school mid price gym model as forlorn, rudderless and doomed for extinction. In real time, nothing could be further from the truth.
Next the chains, one notch up in market segment, category, and price-point promise a juggernaut of passive income, a carefree lifestyle, and the prestige and ownership of their superior fitness brand. The developers have confided in me, first hand, that they’ve “kicked the tires” and shopped the chain franchise models and have resolutely said no thank you.
These new developers are not so poised (or inspired) to develop a luxury facility either, those elitist-gym-snobbery-models that resemble boutique hotels and say nothing about fitness, energy, or a fitness brand. (Reality Check Here)> The luxury gym brand is derivative design adopted from the hospitality industry. It’s defined as boutique design and celebrated by design intelligentsia as chill, sophisticated and oh so sexxy. So there you have it. Boutique design’s core ideology is chill and sexxy and as far as I can reason, chill and sexxy has nothing to do with a fitness experience. I would argue that a fitness experience must amplify energy and excitement and a unique brand, not a lounge vibe.
Finally their take on the new “pop-up” trends. Maybe it’s their entrepreneurial spirit that move them to reject the cycle-barr-bootcamp-crossfit-esque gym trends. Perhaps they like the game, the challenge, the climb, ownership if you will, in contrast to a templated gym model where authority rests with the all powerful “franchisor” Wizard of Fitness. Candidly, and just maybe, they’re life-savvy enough to know a trend when they see it. I do.
Secondly, they’re intimately connected with their members, not that the other models aren’t. It’s just that they’ve got skin in the game, there’s no hierarchy or pyramid fitness scheme that has their back.
Third…they deliver marketing, social, community outreach, and programming in an organic geo-specific stream demographically targeted and strategically scrutinized, they walk the walk.
Finally they promote, promote, promote, results in a fitness vernacular that reflects their own vision and business model and experience with the game. This is an interesting insight inferring that each developer delivers fitness service to their membership base in their own unique voice.
In summary, the independent gym developers are moving the fitness landscape along a new path. Applaud them all for they’re the new disruptive force emboldened by an ideology of wellness and health which has lost its way.
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