In a new series of profiles, we’ve partnered with ClassPass to bring you insights into the trends, pain points and characteristics of some of the world’s most active boutique fitness markets.
Exploring everything from the top workouts to the most popular times to work out, in the first edition, ClassPass takes a look at one of its beloved cities down under: Sydney…….
The Sydney fitness market is continuing to grow in the two years ClassPass has had a presence there. With such beautiful weather for the majority of the year, boutique fitness owners face a unique challenge in acquiring customers to work out inside as opposed to doing outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking or running, on their own (especially in the summer). Check out the top trends we’re noticing in the market.
At a Glance: Sydney
TOP 3 WORKOUT GENRES
- Strength Training
Yoga, strength training and Pilates are the most popular boutique genres on ClassPass in Sydney. Over the past year, Pilates, in particular, has seen tremendous growth, growing 81% in the share of reservations taken by ClassPass members. With the addition of KX Pilates and barre studios that also offer Pilates, there’s been an increase in volume for ClassPass. But overall Pilates has just taken off in Sydney as one of the most popular workouts.
Even though yoga reservations have decreased in proportion to other genres by about 20% since last year, it continues to be the top genre on ClassPass — strength training has remained consistently popular as well, growing 5% in the past year.
TOP 3 NEIGHBORHOODS
- Sydney CBD (Central Business District)
- Surry Hills
Sydney’s Central Business District, or CBD, has seen significant growth in the past year, with an increase in the share of reservations in that neighbourhood of around 20%, with popular studios such as Scenic Cycle, CREW Boutique Rowing Studio and Barre Body growing a presence there. Other popular neighbourhoods include Surry Hills and Bondi, though their reservation levels in proportion to other neighbourhoods have dipped slightly since this time last year, by about 15% and 6% respectively.
TOP 3 WORKOUT TIMES
The most popular workout times for ClassPass members in Sydney are 6pm, 5pm, and 6am. This can vary just a bit by season, with 6am becoming more popular than 5pm during the December-February months, but overall these three times consistently see the most reservations through ClassPass.
Unique In-Studio Experiences
As mentioned previously, with such beautiful weather in Sydney and an overall gorgeous locale, Sydney studio owners must build a super unique in-studio experience to lure active members indoors. Spaces are often sleek and urban-feeling, with lush amenities and conveniences for members, such as BodyMindLife (shown below).
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In addition, many studios focus on providing the type of bespoke experience you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Humming Puppy, for instance, injects its yoga classes with a combination of humming frequencies designed to enhance and deepen the experience of the class, while W1LL (formerly known as Urban Yoga) broadcasts beautiful visuals of landscapes and scenery on a large screen in a dimly lit room to make the class experience truly immersive.
Community Focus and Local Feel
Aside from the traditional big box gyms, Sydney’s fitness scene lacks a corporate presence — you won’t find SoulCycle here just yet. As such, each studio tends to focus on creating a very genuine, localised community. All the top teachers are active on social media, as engaging with and establishing relationships with members is a priority for studios. BUF Girls does a great job of celebrating its community on social media, as seen below.
And while studios are beginning to focus more on expansion, it’s often to open an additional location in a different part of town as opposed to growing across regions, such as Dynamic Pilates, which features locations in CBD, Manly, Crow’s Nest and Glebe.
Events and Influencers
As in any region, marketing is key for studio owners to grow and build their community and business. In Sydney, a large part of marketing is focused on hosting events and engaging with health and fitness influencers.
Studios host events year-round that aren’t traditionally season-inspired, but rather celebrate milestones at the studio (such as an anniversary party), or just to have fun. Silent discos, glow-stick parties, and the like amp up the energy and excitement around what a studio has to offer.
Beyond these fun events, studios also host workshops or classes outdoors to continue to engage members year-round.
After Class is a blog managed by ClassPass, dedicated to offering powerful insights and data to studio and gym owners in the fitness industry. Learn more and subscribe today at afterclass.classpass.com.