Pilates is Booming, Again

Life Time

Riding trends in mindful movement and low-impact exercise, Pilates is having a resurgence — especially among guys.

  • Equinox: 47% more men are attending mat-based Pilates than in 2019.
  • Life Time: 25% of Pilates participants are now men, up from 16% in 2017.
  • Mindbody: Classes combining resistance training with yoga/Pilates grew 471% YoY.

Old school. Developed by physical trainer Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, the Pilates method spawned an entire industry, including certifications, equipment, studios, and more.

Rising and falling like most fitness modalities, the workout hit a wall in 2015, dubbed the Pilatespocalypse. But now, Pilates is on the upswing once again.

Studios. Leading the way, Club Pilates counts 800+ locations on four continents. Scaling up, [solidcore] has 95+ US locations with a near-term goal of 250 studios.

Expanding from Australia/New Zealand to the UK en route to North America, Melbourne-based STRONG Pilates blends reformer Pilates, HIIT, and rowing into one workout.

Catering to celebs, the ultra-premium offering from Forma Pilates made a splash with referral-only classes between $75–500 per session.

Connected equipment. Giving Pilates reformers the Peloton treatment, Flexia raised $4M last year, Frame added $5M led by 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, and LIT Method’s hybrid rower/reformer garnered an investment from Jay-Z’s fund.

A growing category, Reform RX, ONYX, somato, and Skōp are also bringing connected Pilates into the home.

Fitness creators. OG trainer/influencer Cassey Ho turned Blogilates into a fitness empire, complete with gym equipment sold in Target and her POPFLEX activewear line. Following a similar playbook, Melissa Wood-Tepperberg has built a cult following around the Pilates-inspired MWH platform — amassing 100K+ subscribers paying $9.99/month.

Looking ahead: Whether it’s Bala’s Bangles, CorePower Yoga’s new strength class, or TB12’s “pliability” programming, Pilates is already everywhere. As more consumers turn to recovery- and longevity-enhancing workouts, brands that can make Pilates their own will outperform the competition.

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