How much does boutique fitness cost & how much is membership at CLASS?
In terms of gym membership, classes and personal training, we have more choice nowadays about where to go, and how much to pay, then ever. This short article aims to explain the various pricing differences between membership gyms and boutique fitness studios and why people are willing to pay a bit more for the experience.
Historically we had two choices: join a gym for a low, recurring monthly payment, usually tied-in to contract of 6 months or one year, or hire a personal trainer. Clearly personal training comes with a premium price tag due to it being one-to-one (for more information about the costs of personal training read our article What Does Personal Training Cost?)
Budget gyms have raised the bar
Today we are spoiled for choice, budget gyms such as GymGroup, EasyGyms, Snap Fitness, PureGym and Anytime Fitness now have more flexible contracts, or no contracts at all, they are often open 24/7 and their monthly membership is often as cheap as the local leisure centre. Budget gyms have certainly raised the bar on their facilities too and while there may be no frills (for your money, usually less than £30 per month and even as low as £19 per month) you get access to current well-maintained equipment, lockers, clean changing rooms and showers.
Mid Tier Gyms on the decline
The perviously untouchable mid-tier gyms like Fitness First and Virgin Active are on the decline. These long-established industry giants, typically offer large gym floors with rows of cardio and resistance machines, free-weights, swimming pools, steam rooms and saunas. However, with 12-month contract memberships of £50-80 per month, they are losing market share to boutique disrupters such as Equinox, Gymbox, Barry’s Bootcamp and global franchises like Crossfit and F45. The price for these new up-market “chains” is eye-watering, with a single class at Barry’s costing £22 and monthly membership often crossing over the £200 mark (the joining fee alone for Equinox in London is £400). However, with Millennials dominating the market, who spend less on cigarettes and alcohol than their parents did, being fit and healthy is now a status symbol. Millennials may have less money, but they are looking for value and unique experiences, rather than just a bargain.
Independent Boutique Studios
The past few years has seen a new-comer onto the fitness scene, the small independent boutique studio. The small property sizes required for independent boutique studios (less than 2500sqft) have made it more achievable for independent owners to take leases and open their own boutique fitness businesses. They are responding to the demand for instructor-led group training with popular offerings including high-intensity interval training (HIIT), boxing, yoga, spin or functional training. While these new-comers can’t compete with their bigger siblings such as CrossFit, Barry’s Bootcamp or F45 on numbers, they certainly are competing on price. You can expect to pay £40-120 per month for membership of a small boutique gym or studio. But they will also usually have prices for single visits or a handful of visits for ultimate flexibility. It’s unusual for these small boutiques to tie you in to any long contract or joining fee and they will try to make your experience unique with added value such as complementary towels, toiletries and smoothies. Not to mention the small class sizes, instructor ratios, couture design and social aspect of boutique fitness.
CLASS Boutique Fitness, at Bath’s Riverside, opened in February 2019. Monthly membership is based on number of visits, starting at £37 to attend once a week, increasing to £97 for unlimited classes. There is no joining fee or contract, payments occur on a rolling monthly basis, or can pay-as-you-go (PAYG) with class rates starting at £11.95 when you buy a block of twenty.