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51 Gym Membership Statistics: 2019/2020 Data, Trends & Predictions

by Arthur Zuckerman

While working out is one of those things you can do from the comforts of your own home, a more suitable environment may bring better results. For the price of a gym membership, you can have an opportunity to improve yourself, look, and feel better, and get out of the house and the computer desk. Modern gyms offer that chance, and they have several come-ons. According to gym membership statistics, they’re usually close to your place of work, they have far more and better equipment, and they are run by professionals, who can help individuals out with programs or personalized training.

Like that first time lifting weights, gym memberships carry a world of pain. Apart from the actual physical exertion, the downside, however, is its cost: monthly dues, annual membership fees, private trainer costs, and maybe even personal equipment/attire and energy bars and drinks. Staying fit isn’t cheap, but it does pay in the long run in terms of good health and an improved lifestyle.

In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most crucial statistics on the topic for you. From discussing membership costs down to the state of the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all the data you need to accurately gauge the pros and cons of having a gym membership.

gym membership statistics

Before 2020, the fitness industry is riding a wave of growth, reporting more and more people pursuing an active lifestyle. In fact, according to recent millennial trends, a good chunk of the millennial generation are interested in being more healthy. Innovations to traditional gym equipment have attracted even those who preferred to exercise equipment, and the allure of working out with peers also has an effect. Below are 51 gym membership statistics that you might find interesting.

Gym Membership Statistics

It all starts with a gym membership, a seemingly innocuous fee for taking charge of your life through exercise and regimen. Of course, if everybody followed through with their gym membership and went as frequently as they wanted, you’d see full gyms everywhere. Thankfully for business owners, the reality isn’t as near as the active membership totals.

  • According to IHRSA, the average length of membership is 4.9 years, with 51% being a member at their club for two to five years. Members aged 65 years and above -plus age group averaged 7.3 years membership, while the 18-24 age group averaged just 2.7 years.
  • Fitness isn’t just for the young at heart. All generations have been spotted doing their rounds at the local gym, although some are more than others. For starters, the demographics include 33% of Millennials, 24% of Gen Xers, and 22% of Baby Boomers. 14% of Gen Zers and 7% of the Silent Generation also have gym memberships.
  • More than one in five Americans (21.2%) belonged to a health club or studio in 2019, or a total of 64.2 million members aged 6 or older.
  • Even non-members are trying out fitness clubs. IHRSA reported that 24.3% of Americans surveyed used at least one health club or fitness studio in 2019.
  • Roughly two-thirds (67.3%) of Americans engage in fitness-related activities. This means there are more available people out there waiting for the right workout and the right offer.

Source: The Hustle: Gym Membership cost

Gym Attendance Statistics

The ironic thing about gym memberships is that, if all gym-goers will follow their regimen and visit their fitness center multiple times a week, these places will immediately suffer from overcrowding and a serious lack of available equipment. Read on find out about why people go to gyms and how often.

  • The annual attrition rate for the IHRSA health club is 28.6%.
  • In an article published by the Hustle in 2019, they reported that 63% of memberships go completely unused, and 82% of gym members go to the gym less than once per week. Moreover, 22% completely stop going six months into their membership, and 31% say they never would’ve paid had they known how little they’d use it.
  • Fitness club members who don’t participate in group exercises have a 56% higher chance of quitting and canceling their membership.
  • According to a 2018 Finder.com survey, 6.3% of Americans surveyed spent an estimated $1.8 billion on gym memberships but never used them.
  • From the same survey, 5.8% of those with gym memberships surveyed say they use their membership once a month, while 5.4% go less than once a month.

Gym Attendance: How Often People Use Their Gym Membership

Source: The Hustle: Gym Membership Costs

Created by CompareCamp.com

Data on Membership Costs

Between the average walk-in corner gym to the boutique studio that offers Pilates, the available types of gyms are as varied as the number of training methods. And with it, comes varying degrees of cost for memberships.

  • The average gym membership fee per month of popular fitness centers in the US are as follows $47 for 24-Hour Fitness, $39 for Anytime Fitness, $40 for Gold’s Gym, $30 for LA Fitness, $100 for Lifetime Fitness: $10 for Planet Fitness, and $50 for Snap Fitness.
  • IHRSA reported that 23% of fitness club members say they belong to more than one club.
  • Exclusivity pays off, as 90% of boutique studio members revealed they belong to more than one facility.

Membership Costs at Popular US Gyms

Average monthly fee per gym

Membership Costs at Popular US Gyms
Lifetime Fitness: $100

Lifetime Fitness

$100
Membership Costs at Popular US Gyms
Snap Fitness : $50

Snap Fitness

$50
Membership Costs at Popular US Gyms
24-Hour Fitness : $47

24-Hour Fitness

$47
Membership Costs at Popular US Gyms
Anytime Fitness: $39

Anytime Fitness

$39
Membership Costs at Popular US Gyms
Gold's Gym: $40

Gold's Gym

$40
Membership Costs at Popular US Gyms
LA Fitness: $30

LA Fitness

$30
Membership Costs at Popular US Gyms
Planet Fitness: $10

Planet Fitness

$10

Source: The Hustle: Gym Membership Cost

Created by CompareCamp.com

Fitness Club Industry Statistics

The fitness club industry, where gyms and fitness centers belong, seeks to capitalize on recent trends for self-improvement. It has evolved from a weight-based training with mechanical contraptions and fitness instructors on standby to a large industry that provides fitness through virtual experiences, group classes, and metrics-based training.

  • The US fitness club industry is worth over $38 billion in 2019 and is expected to increase by 2.6% in 2020 to $39 billion (pre-COVID estimates).
  • The growth rate between 2015 to 2020 of the US fitness industry is at 3.0%.
  • The total number of US employees for the industry in 2019 is 868,155 and projected to grow to 894,241 in 2020.
  • There were 107,840 US fitness industry establishments in 2019. This is predicted to grow to 110,909 in 2020 at a growth rate of 2.8%.
  • The annual growth rate of establishments in the US fitness industry is 3.2% between 2015-2020.
  • 2019 reported a fifth consecutive year of growth in membership for fitness clubs, while overall growth since 2010 was reported at 28%.

Source: Ibisworld

Gym Members Resolutions Statistics

We’ve heard it all before—gyms get an influx of members in January and an increase in membership cancellations by April. We’ve updated that famous nugget of information and added new, more insights to see gym goer behavior in more detail.

  • Per IHRSA, health clubs experience seasonal fluctuations in membership with reported increases in January (12.1%) in memberships due to the NY Resolution factor. The next rise in membership is June (9%) because of warmer weather and anticipating swimsuit season. The last spike happens in September (8.3%), in time to start over in autumn.
  • The increase in gym attendance across all groups begins by January 2, with a reported 4% increase in attendance by the second week of January.
  • Older age groups were seen to start working out on January 1 compared to younger people. There is a 55% increase in gym attendance for those aged 40 to 49, while a 65% increase was seen in the 50 to 59 age bracket. Younger people were assumed to be sleeping off their New Year’s festivities.
  • A FourSquare analysis between January 1 to February 8, 2018, shows that gym attendance grew by 6%. Ironically, visits to fast-food restaurants reported a 4.6% decline.
  • 50% of all new gym members quit going within six months of their annual membership.
  • An additional 8% of American men quit going within a year, while 14% of American women quit at the same time.

Gym Membership Attrition Rates

Source: Undersunfitness.com

Created by CompareCamp.com

Membership Gyms and Coronavirus Statistics

One of the hardest-hit industries because of the coronavirus outbreak, the fitness industry is expected to still reel from the effects beyond the lockdown, and even after the curve has been flattened. Hardcore members look forward to returning, but it could be a steep climb.

  • 68% of adults surveyed by The Morning Consult during the first week of April 2020 said that they are less likely to go to the gym after the coronavirus outbreak.
  • In a later survey (May 2020), Morning Consult reports that 70% of respondents who worked out at gyms before the coronavirus crisis has admitted to missing doing so. 25% said they don’t, while 5% have no opinion.
  • 72% of gym patrons say that the presence of hand sanitizer dispensers and wipes would make them feel more comfortable going back to the gym. Another 57% said temperature checks could also help them feel safe.
  • 67% also admitted that reducing gym capacity would make them feel safer.
  • 72% said they would go back to the gym and work out like before once it’s okay to do so.
  • Pilates studio chain Solidcore had to lay off 637 employees, or 98% of its workforce, due to the enforced closure of all Solidcore gyms on the East Coast during the coronavirus outbreak.

Source: Morning Consult, May 2020

Home Workout Statistics

Online classes have taken over the fitness industry, as evidenced by several clubs shifting their focus on gym-at-home clients. With gym attendance for the first half of the year virtually wiped out, many fitness centers are releasing YouTube video workouts to keep their clients connected.

  • A commercial gym membership can set you off $6,960, or $58/month for 10 years. This does not include the costs for commute time and personal trainers.
  • In contrast, the average cost of setting up a home gym is $1,330, or around $11.08/month for 10 years (excluding depreciation costs).
  • Some home fitness movements have profited from the outbreak. Peloton, known for its Wifi-enabled stationary bikes that connect to a trainer and fellow cyclists, has generated a lot of buzz among home gym enthusiasts. Peloton reported a 55% growth in stock price since its Sept 29 below-IPO price at $25.76/share. As of May 7, Peloton stock is trading at $44.12.
  • CNBC reported that during the period March to April 2020, the ecommerce purchase of sports and outdoor items, including gym and exercise equipment, experienced 131% growth compared to the same period in 2019. This does not include Amazon orders.
  • Peloton is selling its virtual bike at $2,245, not including the monthly membership cost of $39.
  • Soulcycle began accepting preorders for their stationary bike at $2,500, with five free classes. An annual membership that includes bike classes will set you back $40/month.
  • Gym equipment manufacturer Nautilus expects first-quarter net sales of $94 million in 2020. This is an 11% growth from the previous year, as more people began working out at home.

Source: Barrons.com

We Can Work It Out: The Future of Gyms

Given the need for self-improvement through fitness, the gym membership industry will make a comeback, but there’s a long road ahead. Apart from adjusting to the new normal, which may entail lesser members, more spaces in between, and a whole lot of disinfecting, they must reinvent themselves. The likes of Peleton, SoulCycle, and other companies that offer home instructional workouts provided a clue on how to conquer the new normal: if nobody can’t go to the gym, bring the gym to them.

 


References:

  1. Health Clubs Prospering As Revenue, Memberships Grow
  2. IHRSA: A decade of growth
  3. The Hustle: Gym Membership cost
  4. The 2019 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report
  5. IHRSA Why Health Club Retention requires a Technology Solution
  6. Unused Gym Memberships
  7. Health Clubs Prospering As Revenue, Memberships Grow
  8. Ibisworld Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs in the US Market Size 2003–2026
  9. Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs in the US Employment Statistics
  10. Ibisworld Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs in the US Number of Businesses 2003–2026
  11. The Rise and Fall of New Year’s Fitness Resolutions, in 5 Charts
  12. The Truth About the Corporate Gym Industry
  13. The Morning Consult
  14. Fitness Fanatics Are Eager to Work Out Again
  15. Solidcore lays off 98% of employees
  16. How Much Does a Home Gym Actually Cost in 2020?
  17. Peloton Stock Is Up 55% This Year
  18. Rakuten Intelligence: E-commerce 2020
  19. Peloton website
  20. Soulcycle website
  21. Nautilus expects higher sales as COVID-19 drives exercise equipment boom

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