The annual survey of subscription exercise service ClassPass shows how routines have changed since the onset of the pandemic.
ClassPass has utilized its membership base and its network of more than 30,000 fitness clubs and studios around the globe — which the service makes available for a monthly flat fee — to conduct an annual survey of trends and routines among their workout buffs. Predictably and obviously, COVID-19 had a sizable impact on popular fitness class types and which people will attend in-person.
ClassPass did not make all the data from its 2020 Fitness Trends and Wellness Predictions available, so we just have cherry-picked insights from its “ClassPassers” and the studios, gyms, spas and other wellness businesses that offer classes via the service. Throughout the pandemic, ClassPass has been helping to usher their classes online.
This is fortunate, as 81 percent of ClassPass customers reported they worked out using digital options. ClassPass’ 2019 report doesn’t have a statistic for a comparison of popular fitness class types, but the pandemic and resultant closures of fitness spaces created a boom in online fitness. Also, half of users took a class streamed from a distant location. According to ClassPass, the most popular fitness class types within digital workouts ranked were yoga, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), Pilates, barre, dance, stretching and boxing.
As for in-person workouts, the top styles were HIIT, indoor cycling, reformer Pilates, vinyasa yoga, boot camp, boxing and hot yoga. Some of those tellingly include specialty equipment or environments or an intensity that make them challenging to recreate at home.
ClassPass labelled indoor cycling and reformer Pilates — a variation of Pilates done with a specialized reformer machine — as “underperforming genres” that increased their shares of the in-person market by 26 and 16 percent, respectively. Probably, their rise has to do with the depletion of other genres in the in-person market.
For both at-home workouts and those done in a typical gym, the movers were HIIT and Pilates, according to ClassPass; HITT’s share of all workouts increased by 26 percent and Pilates’ share by 16 percent.
Studios that partnered with ClassPass also adjusted by moving classes outdoors where risk of COVID-19 spread is diminished. There was a whopping 400 percent increase in the number of outdoor classes offered by ClassPass studios this year. Eighty percent of members surveyed said they were willing to attend outdoor classes.
As for the rest of the results, it was a grab bag of tidbits: There was a 19-percent increase in members accessing meditation classes. A quarter of professionals surveyed are exercising more now, most of them using the time that was once eaten up by commuting. Lunchtime workouts saw a 67-percent increase in popularity, as customers could easily break from their work-from-home routines. In fact, noon was the most popular time for weekday workouts, a change from 2019 in which 5:30 p.m., immediately after work, was most common.
Nick Keppler is a freelance journalist, writer and editor. He enjoys writing the difficult stories, the ones that make him pore over studies, talk about subjects that make people uncomfortable, and explain concepts that have taken years to develop. Nick has written extensively about psychology, healthcare, and public policy for national publications and for those locally- based in Pittsburgh. In addition to Athletech News, Nick has written for The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Vice, Slate, Reuters, CityLab, Men’s Health, The Gizmodo Media Group, The Financial Times, Mental Floss, The Village Voice and AlterNet. His journalistic heroes include Jon Ronson, Jon Krakauer and Norah Vincent.