Strength workouts are gaining ground with operators and fitness seekers.
The latest: A joint report from Mindbody and ClassPass revealed the rise of strength-style classes:
- Strength classes were the most reserved class type in 2022, holding the top spot from 2021.
- Total strength training bookings were up 94% from 2021.
Digging deeper, “Sculpt” classes—a subset of strength, Pilates, or yoga classes—were the fastest-growing workout of 2022, jumping a massive 471%.
What it means: Led by younger generations who turn to the weights over the cardio equipment, strength training is increasingly seen as key to overall wellness, heart health, and longevity.
In response, brands across the fitness industry are bulking up:
- In 2021, Orangetheory debuted a weights-only class called Lift 45.
- In October, World Gym announced a strength-only boutique club called World Gym Legacy.
- In November, Strength-driven interval training concept MADabolic signed multi-unit deals in Philadelphia and Denver, reaching 90 total studios open or in development.
- In 2023, Crunch Fitness will add four new strength-centered HIIT classes (two including barbells) to its programming.
Outside of classes, exercisers are piecing together their own routines with the help of digital fitness. According to obé fitness co-CEOs Ashley Mills and Mark Mullett, those users are streaming its strength-based workouts in the gym:
“They’re seeking programming to utilize more expansive studio space or guidance on certain types of equipment with our classes that embrace heavier weights.”
Looking ahead: For every person taking up strength training this year, there are three times as many inactive Americans who didn’t pick up a weight. It’ll take a collective effort from boutique studios, gyms, personal trainers, and apps to drive further interest in resistance training… and to teach it responsibly.