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The HIIT Revolution? Fitness Modality Tapped for Serious Growth

The HIIT Revolution? Fitness Modality Tapped for Serious Growth

Yoga, Pilates and Barre currently dominate the boutique fitness market but HIIT is projected to gain ground by 2029

Those in the yoga, Pilates and Barre business have reason to celebrate as the leading modalities in boutique fitness, but high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is shaping up to be quite a lucrative opportunity in the near future, according to a new report

The demand for personalized fitness experiences, specialized training and a sense of community is propelling the boutique fitness industry to a projected global market value of $54.81 billion by 2029, up from $34.3 billion in 2o23, per Research and Markets.

More than ever, fitness consumers are looking for curated, exclusive experiences that are an escape from the mundane — and they have discovered it in boutique fitness.

Kings of the Hill: Yoga, Pilates & Barre

Boutique fitness franchises cover many categories from cycling to weight lifting, but yoga, Pilates and Barre have emerged as the clear market leaders in 2024, according to Research and Markets.

YogaSix, an Xponential Fitness-branded global yoga franchise, recently opened its 200th studio. A modern take on the ancient practice, YogaSix creates an environment with mood lighting and upbeat music and offers members heated and non-heated classes. CorePower Yoga, another dominant franchise, currently counts over 200 locations.

Pilates continues to be red hot coast-to-coast. Xponential Fitness is the leader in the space with 1,000 Club Pilates studios and counting, but the competition is growing. JetSet Pilates, a Miami-based brand, is expanding rapidly across the U.S. and internationally. F45 Training has also tapped into the Pilates trend, launching Vaura Pilates in New York City’s Upper East Side with plans to open more studios soon.

credit: JetSet Pilates

As for Barre, the Ballet-inspired strength-based workout that promises toned results has developed a loyal base of devotees across the globe. Barre3, a boutique fitness franchisor that’s been in the Pilates game for 15 years, recently acquired The Barre Code, a Midwest Barre brand that upped its global footprint to 185 studios.

The Case for HIIT

While yoga, Pilates and Barre may currently hold the highest share of the boutique fitness market, the market report touts HIIT to become the fastest-growing boutique fitness modality over the next five years. This is due to HIIT’s appeal to time-conscious fitness consumers who want results in the least amount of time.

“HIIT appeals to time-conscious individuals seeking maximum fitness gains in minimal time, making it a perfect fit for boutique settings that prioritize quality over quantity,” the report comments.

Leading boutique fitness players are already placing their bets, gearing up for a HIIT surge. Barry’s, synonymous with high-intensity interval training, is eyeing massive growth by 2030. This includes plans to expand into less-populated and non-coastal cities in the U.S., where boutique fitness hasn’t always been popular.

“Based on the whitespace proof we have in the market now, I could see us reaching 200 U.S. locations in the next five years or so,” Barry’s CEO Joey Gonzalez told ATN last summer.

credit: Barry’s

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Barry’s will also be aggressive on the international expansion front. The boutique fitness brand announced additional studio locations in Israel, Bahrain, Barcelona, and Egypt. It’s also developing new territories in the Middle East, including the UAE, which has three operating studios, Qatar, Kuwait and Lebanon. 

The Communal Appeal of Boutique Fitness

Regardless of the modality, the report suggests boutique fitness in general is well-positioned for growth. Factors include rising concerns about obesity and chronic disease and a “growing appetite” for personalized and exclusive fitness experiences, both of which are prompting consumers to invest in boutique fitness memberships.

Influencer culture and social media are also playing a key role in the interest in all things boutique, with TikTok users sharing transformational ‘before and after’ videos of their sculpted and toned results from Pilates or Barre or discussing the stress-reducing or posture-improving benefits of their yoga practice.  

The increased interest in specialized fitness experiences could also boil down to another reason: for newcomers or those returning to a fitness routine abandoned years ago, a gym may present itself as an intimidating environment with little opportunity to connect, unfamiliar machines and little guidance.

In contrast, a boutique fitness class offers structure and reliability, with a set time, a focus on one particular modality and an instructor guiding the entire experience. Boutique fitness studios tend to be mindful of the various fitness and ability levels of class participants, providing an inclusive atmosphere. For example, Solidcore, the popular Pilates-inspired brand, recently debuted a starter class aimed at teaching beginners the ropes.

Many boutique fitness studios are also striving to deliver more than just calorie-burning workouts; they are driving community by chatting with new members before class, encouraging conversation among frequent attendees and first-timers or hosting special events. 

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