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What do Millennials want in a gym?

What do Millennials want in a gym?

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®) on May 24, 2023 ā€” Updated on November 14, 2023

Understanding why Millennials go to the gym, and what Millennials look for in a gym is increasingly important for savvy gym owners who want to serve this market. Here’s how you can attract Millennials to your gym or fitness club.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
Jimmy Myers
Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

So, what exactly do Millennials want in a gym? As the largest generation in the workforce, Millennials have been shaping the fitness industry with their unique preferences and demands. They are looking for more than just a place to work out; they want a fitness experience that aligns with their values and lifestyle. Millennials are tech-savvy and expect their gym to be too. They want a gym that offers the latest technology, such as wearable fitness trackers, virtual reality workouts, and the best mobile fitness apps that track their progress.

This is where Exercise.com comes in as the best gym management software that caters to the needs of Millennials. With Exercise.com, gym owners can provide their members with a seamless digital experience that includes online booking, personalized workout plans, and virtual coaching. If you’re a gym owner looking to attract Millennials, it’s time to book a demo with Exercise.com and see how our software can help you meet their expectations.

Exercise.com is simply the best. We were using three or four different apps or softwares to do what we can now do all in one with the Exercise.com platform.
Brandon Stroupe
Founder and President, APEC Sports Performance

Book a demo now!

Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, are a generation that values health and wellness. With the rising trend of fitness and wellness, Millennials are becoming highly selective with the gyms they choose to frequent. They want a gym that aligns with their values and fits their busy lifestyles. This article explores the various elements that matter to a Millennial when it comes to gym selection.

Understanding Millennial Fitness Preferences

Before diving into the specific elements of a gym that matter to Millennials, it’s important to understand their fitness preferences. Unlike previous generations that focused solely on traditional gym equipment and exercises, Millennials are drawn to customized, personalized exercise routines.

Millennials are known for their love of technology and social media, and this extends to their fitness preferences as well. They seek out gyms that offer wearable technology, such as fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, and smartwatches, that can help them track their progress and stay motivated. Apps that allow them to log their workouts, track their nutrition, and connect with other gym-goers are also highly valued.

In addition to technology, Millennials place a high value on community and socializing. Group fitness classes are a popular choice for this generation, as they provide the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, build a supportive community, and increase accountability. From high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to yoga and Pilates, group fitness classes offer a variety of options to suit different interests and fitness levels.

But it’s not just about the group fitness classes themselves – Millennials also value the sense of community and belonging that comes with being a part of a gym. Gyms that prioritize community building, such as hosting social events, offering mentorship programs, and creating online forums where members can connect, can generate repeat business from Millennials.

Finally, Millennials place a high value on personalization and flexibility in their workout routines. They want to be able to customize and personalize their exercise regimes to suit their individual needs, schedules, and goals. This could mean having access to a variety of equipment and workout spaces, such as a dedicated yoga studio or a functional training area. It could also mean having the option to work out at any time of day or night, with 24-hour gym access or the ability to book classes on-demand.

Understanding Millennial fitness preferences is key for gyms looking to attract and retain this generation. By incorporating technology, community building, and personalization into their offerings, gyms can create a welcoming and engaging environment that appeals to Millennials’ unique fitness needs and goals.

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The Role of Gym Aesthetics and Design

Besides the integration of technology and personalization in workout routines, Millennial gym-goers are highly drawn to aesthetically pleasing and well-designed gym spaces. They want a gym that is not just functional but one that inspires them to come back day in and day out. The following are some of the things that make a gym aesthetically appealing to Millennials.

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Creating an Instagram-worthy space

Millennials are often passionate about sharing workout experiences on social media, particularly on Instagram. A gym that has an Instagram-worthy interior and design will attract these social media enthusiasts. The gym can increase their visibility by featuring clients’ posts on their Instagram stories or profiles, creating a free advertising channel. Dialing in your gym Instagram promotion strategy can pay dividends for well beyond the time invested.

Imagine walking into a gym with a vibrant and colorful mural on the walls, motivational quotes painted on the ceiling, and sleek and modern equipment. The gym-goer is immediately inspired to take pictures and share their experience with their followers. This is the power of an Instagram-worthy space.

Incorporating eco-friendly and sustainable elements

Millennials are increasingly aware of the environment and their impact on it. They want to frequent a gym that reduces its carbon footprint and has sustainable designs. Gyms that incorporate energy-efficient lighting, recyclable materials, and eco-friendly water systems can appeal to the environmentally-conscious Millennials.

Not only does an eco-friendly gym attract Millennials, but it also contributes to the overall health of the planet. Imagine working out in a gym that uses natural lighting, recycles its water, and has plants all around. The air quality is better, and the gym-goer feels good about their contribution to the environment.

Functional and efficient layout

The gym layout must be functional and convenient, making it easy for the gym-goer to navigate. It should also have various workout zones with easy access to equipment, weights, and machines. A well-designed gym makes the gym-goer’s experience seamless, ensures they return often, and can be shared with others.

When a gym has a functional layout, the gym-goer can easily navigate and find what they need. They can move from the cardio zone to the weightlifting zone without any trouble. The gym-goer also feels more comfortable and confident in their workout when they know where everything is. A well-designed gym can even inspire the gym-goer to try new exercises and machines they may not have considered before.

Overall, gym aesthetics and design play a crucial role in attracting and retaining Millennial gym-goers. A gym that is Instagram-worthy, eco-friendly, and functional will not only appeal to Millennials but also contribute to the overall health of the planet and the gym-goer’s experience.

Our overall experience with Exercise.com is a breeze. We love how easy it is to integrate this app with our current workflow while providing great fitness programs for our customers and save us time in the process.
Julie Ledbetter
Owner, Ledbetter Fitness

The Value of Wellness and Holistic Health

Millennials value their overall health and wellness, and they want their gym to prioritize it too. They often look for ways to supplement their exercise routine with wellness practices that nourish their mind and body.

It’s no secret that the daily stresses of life can take a toll on our mental health. Millennials are no exception, and they understand the importance of taking care of their minds just as much as their bodies. That’s why gyms can add meditation classes or offer space for stretching and relaxation to cater to the mindfulness needs of Millennials. By incorporating these practices into their fitness routine, Millennials can reduce stress and anxiety while improving their overall well-being.

Furthermore, incorporating mental health support mechanisms such as therapy, life coaching, or support groups can attract those seeking holistic health in their fitness journey. By offering these services, gyms can provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to work through their mental health challenges and improve their overall quality of life.

Nutritional guidance and meal planning

Nutrition is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. While exercise is essential, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. To truly achieve optimal health and wellness, one must also focus on proper nutrition. Gyms can offer meal planning, nutritional advice, or have in-house nutritionists to provide advice on how to choose the best foods to fuel workouts properly.

By offering these services, gyms can help Millennials take the guesswork out of healthy eating. With busy schedules, it can be challenging to find the time to plan and prepare healthy meals. Having access to nutritional guidance and meal planning services can make healthy eating more manageable and sustainable in the long run.

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Recovery and relaxation amenities

Recovery and relaxation amenities such as hydrotherapy pools, steam rooms, and saunas can attract Millennials who prioritize wellness and relaxation as much as they do their fitness routine. After a challenging workout, these amenities can provide a much-needed break for the body and mind.

Hydrotherapy pools, for example, can help reduce muscle soreness and improve circulation. Steam rooms and saunas can help with detoxification and relaxation. By offering these amenities, gyms can provide a relaxing and rejuvenating environment to unwind post-workout.

In conclusion, Millennials are looking for more than just a place to exercise. They want a gym that prioritizes their overall health and wellness. By incorporating mindfulness and mental health support, nutritional guidance and meal planning, and recovery and relaxation amenities, gyms can attract and retain Millennials who value a holistic approach to fitness.

Affordability and Membership Options

Millennials are often cost-sensitive and value flexibility in their financial commitments. Gym-goers seek affordable gyms that offer flexibility in membership options. The following are some elements of affordability and membership flexibility that gyms should provide to attract this market segment.

Flexible pricing and membership plans

Gyms should offer various membership models that cater to Millennials’ needs and financial abilities. This includes monthly plans where a gym-goer can join without sign-up fees or long-term commitments. It could also include membership tiers that provide unlimited gym access or one-day passes for those who infrequently workout.

Another option for flexible pricing and membership plans is to offer discounts for students or young professionals who are just starting their careers. This can help them afford gym memberships while also providing a source of income for the gym. Additionally, gyms could offer family memberships or group discounts for friends who join together, making it more affordable for everyone.

Discounts and partnerships with local businesses

Millennials value discounts and offers. Gyms can partner with local businesses to provide discounts for their services, personal trainers, or events. For example, a gym could partner with a healthy meal delivery service to offer discounts on meal plans for gym members. This not only helps to attract more members to the gym but also provides added value to the membership. Try out different gym event ideas and gym challenge ideas to find something that resonates with the Millennials in your community.

Gyms can also offer discounts for long-term memberships or bundle packages that include various services. For example, a gym could offer a package that includes personal training sessions, group classes, and access to a sauna or steam room. This type of package provides added value to the membership and can help to retain members over the long term.

The rise of boutique fitness studios

The rise of boutique fitness studios offers an affordable alternative to large gyms. These studios offer personalized workout experiences that cater to smaller groups of people making them ideal for those who want a community feel without going to large gyms. The intimate, niche studios also provide a unique ambiance that appeals to Millennials, making them an excellent option for those who prefer small, boutique-style gym facilities.

Boutique fitness studios often specialize in a particular type of workout, such as yoga, Pilates, or boxing. This specialization allows them to create a unique and engaging workout experience for their members. Additionally, many boutique studios offer introductory packages or trial memberships, making it easy for Millennials to try out different types of workouts before committing to a long-term membership.

In conclusion, gyms that offer affordable and flexible membership options, discounts and partnerships with local businesses, and boutique-style workout experiences are well-positioned to attract Millennials. By providing added value to their memberships and creating a sense of community, gyms can build a loyal customer base and thrive in today’s competitive fitness industry.

What amenities do Millennials want in a gym?

Millennials want a gym that offers a variety of amenities, including free Wi-Fi, group fitness classes, and state-of-the-art equipment. They also appreciate gyms that have a social atmosphere and offer healthy food options. Utilize the best group fitness class management software to run a tech-centric offering that will allow mobile-first digital native Millennials to feel right at home.

How important is technology in a gym for Millennials?

Technology is very important to Millennials when it comes to their gym experience. They want gyms that offer mobile apps, wearable technology integration, and virtual training options. They also appreciate gyms that have digital displays and interactive equipment. Finding a solution for the best gym TV workouts software can be worth exploring. Also, be sure to explore the best gym mobile apps software to get a custom-branded fitness app that Millennials can use to log workouts, book sessions, buy packages, and more.

What kind of atmosphere do Millennials want in a gym?

Millennials want a gym that has a social and welcoming atmosphere. They appreciate gyms that have a sense of community and offer opportunities to connect with other members. They also prefer gyms that have a modern and trendy design.

Do Millennials prefer boutique gyms or big-box gyms?

Millennials tend to prefer boutique gyms over big-box gyms. They appreciate the personalized experience and unique offerings that boutique gyms provide. However, they also appreciate the convenience and affordability of big-box gyms.

Why do Millennials go to the gym?

Millennials value health and wellness, considering it an essential part of their lifestyle. They frequent gyms not just for fitness, but also for mental well-being, stress management, and social interaction. Many Millennials are attracted to structured workout routines, such as group classes, which offer both a sense of community and guidance from a fitness professional. Additionally, they are also drawn to gyms that incorporate technology into their offerings, such as apps for booking classes or tracking progress.

What are Gen Z gym habits?

Gen Z, like Millennials, places a high value on health and wellness. However, they tend to be even more technology-focused. They are more likely to use fitness apps and enjoy gamified workout experiences. Gen Z gym-goers often look for flexible workout options and are more likely to participate in a variety of activities from weightlifting to yoga to HIIT classes. They’re also more likely to be influenced by social media trends and influencers, seeking to replicate the workouts or fitness routines they see online.

How do you attract younger generations to the gym?

To attract younger generations to the gym, it’s important to create a tech-friendly environment as they are often reliant on digital solutions for convenience and personalized experiences. Offering flexible memberships, a variety of classes, and diverse workout options can also appeal to their preferences. Utilizing social media platforms and influencer partnerships can help in marketing efforts to reach this audience. Moreover, fostering a community-like environment can contribute to their sense of belonging and make the gym more appealing.

What are the fitness trends for Millennials?

Fitness trends among Millennials include high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, group classes, and wearables that track their fitness progress. They are also more inclined towards boutique fitness studios that offer specialized classes and a sense of community. Wellness-related activities such as meditation and mindfulness practices are also popular among Millennials. Moreover, with a preference for experiences over material goods, fitness events or challenges that create a unique, engaging experience are a big hit with this generation.

Reaching Millennials with your gym

Choosing a gym is a personal decision that must align with an individual’s needs and goals. Millennials prioritize personalization, community, aesthetics, holistic health, and affordability when selecting a gym space. To attract and retain this market segment, gyms must provide personalized workout experience, flexible membership options, and aesthetically pleasing designs that align with their lifestyle.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
Jimmy Myers
Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

Ready to get started with the best gym software to set up an awesome gym that will help you serve Millennials and achieve your financial goals? Get a demo now!

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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