Budget gyms muscling in


UK budget gym numbers are rising.

Budget gyms

The emergence of budget gyms has revolutionised the industry. They could make up 30% of the market by 2020.

There’s no contract, meaning it’s only £20 wasted if you quit on week 2, rather than £400.

A lot of them are in prime central locations. And some are even 24 hours. I mean, who doesn’t want to bench press at 2 am?

Technology keeps them cheap: fingerprints for access cuts out receptionists. And each location usually hosts up to 3x the members that a midmarket operator does. Some even lack electric powered treadmills.

Technology has also incentivised users: cheap wearable technology have made consumers more health conscious.


People either want the cheap outlet or the “health club” option.

Look at the premium players: Virgin Active has disposed of gyms to focus on its higher end portfolio and David Lloyd has invested in a refurbishment programme. They’re both focusing on giving people an experience.

Consequently, the guys in the middle are predicted to struggle.

And this isn’t just a British thing

In Europe, budget chain Basic-Fit is set to open 100 outlets.

In China, cheap gym pods are popping up, where an app is used to gain access.

And in America, with retail outlets closing, rents are dropping. This has allowed budget gym chains to rapidly expand.

Although in India

Whilst the fitness industry is growing, gym membership is low. Apparently, Indians are finding it difficult to keep themselves motivated.



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