Thomas Thatcher, 24 and a former Marine, had difficulty adjusting to civilian life.
After suffering a nervous breakdown and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder shortly after returning home, Thomas was desperate to find his way, so he did what he knew best, personal training. Not long after starting as a personal trainer Thomas discovered that his use of own body-weight exercises using oversized tires and pull up bars in his back yard was a more attractive exercise option to his millennial neighbors than training them on traditional workout machines and free weights.
Thatcher discovered that other Millennials also appreciated such workouts more than using weight-training machines that are found in many gyms. He started training others, and grew a business with group exercise regimens that align with millennial values of togetherness and social involvement.
According to MarketWatch magazine, millennials are moving in droves toward specialized, socially involved group training classes like cross-training, Pilates and yoga as opposed to Gen-Xers, who accept solo exercises using traditional workout methods like weight machines, free weights and the elliptical machine.
As a cohort, millennials are spending more on fitness programs that embody their personal values such as communal living, social involvement, and togetherness according to Jeff From, president of Millennial Marketing, a marketing consultancy that specializes in millennial trends.
Millenial Fitness Trends
Millennials are willing to spend more on fitness to get this specialized, own body-weight, social exercise experience than has any other generation that has come before as evidenced by a spend of over $112,000 on fitness over a lifetime as compared to only $98,440 on a public four year college education. This is partly attributed to less millennials getting college degrees, just 19%, compared to the previous Generation X who had a full 35% attendance and graduation from college, but also because millennials overall are one of the healthiest, most socially interested generations of our time according to a Forbes Magazine article published in 2016.
Open style gym workouts encourage millennials to switch activities every few minutes and incorporate a high level of cardio. These are the kind of work out experiences that millennials are looking for. And these activities need a lot of open space.
- Free Style Boxing
- Group Exercise
In a report in the Los Angeles Times, more millennials age 24-35 are turning away from exercising alone to wanting open-space gyms that allow for maximum social interaction because they want to participate in exercise activities where they can get a great workout and “get drained” using own bodyweight, build camaraderie with their friends, enhance their social circle and be encouraged by others along the way. In a study by the Association of Fitness Studios, Ronald D. White from the Los Angeles Times highlights,
“Boutique fitness studios have become the only growth segment in an otherwise stagnant gym industry”
As a result over the last 15 years there has been a mass exodus away from the traditional gym and toward boutique fitness studios like CrossFit, Crunch, group workouts, boot camps, Olympic lifting or barbell classes and multi-purpose gyms. Co-owner Bert Culha of Cycle House, a boutique fitness studio in Los Angeles states, “…this place has become part of their social activity.”
To create the experience millennials are looking for, gym owners should consider providing patrons with a lot of open space.
To do this, traditional, bulky, space taking machines should be re-evaluated and stored off site, outside or in a different area of the gym entirely. Of course any and all of these items must be stored in safe, sturdy and durable containers from time to time.
CAPTURING THE MILLENNIAL FITNESS TREND
To create the spaces and experiences millennials are looking for and capture this growing market segment, PODS can help.
It is ideally situated to be your partner. PODS logistics and storage services can help you convert your existing gym into the next generation of gym. PODS containers allow gym owners the freedom and flexibility to create unique and interesting space designs that can be specially tailored to millennials’ needs and preferences.
PODS storage units give gym owners the tools to provide a more open space allowing the free expression, harmony and fluidity that millennials are searching for. Because of the evolving space and social needs in fitness, PODS is strategically positioned to help gym owners rise to meet the demands of this dynamic and rapidly evolving fitness industry.