Gym use surges, driven by Gen Z

Girls exercising


  • Abu Dhabi
  • Al Ain
  • Al Khobar
  • Dubai
  • Jeddah
  • RAK
  • Riyadh
  • Sharjah
Please select city

Have you been spending excessive time at the gym recently, waiting for an available squat rack? Or perhaps you frequently find yourself in line for your preferred treadmill—the one with the best TV viewing spot?

A new report suggests you’re not alone.

ABC Fitness's inaugural Q1 Wellness Watch Report indicates that traditional gym check-ins during the first quarter of 2024 increased by 60% from 2023.

Fitness studios and boutiques also experienced a 22% rise in check-ins compared to the same period last year.

"People worldwide are acknowledging the significance of fitness for their physical and mental well-being, and now we see more individuals recognizing the social benefits as well," Bill Davis, CEO of ABC Fitness, stated in a press release about the report.

Check-in data is typically robust in the first quarter each year, as fitness goals often top new year's resolution lists.

However, the report reveals that the fitness industry has not only rebounded but has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, during which gyms closed and at-home workouts surged.

In the U.S. alone, there were 184 million gym check-ins, nearly double the figures seen before the pandemic.

The report combines findings from third-party U.S. consumer research with data from ABC Fitness's platforms—ABC Ignite, ABC Glofox, ABC Evo, and ABC Trainerize—which, according to the company, "provides a comprehensive view of fitness trends across all industry sectors."

ABC Fitness notes that the insights from the Q1 Wellness Watch reflect global trends, drawing data from 40 million members and 30,000 fitness businesses between January and March 2024, across over 100 countries.

Below are additional notable insights from the report.

Young People Prioritize Wellness

ABC Fitness indicates that Gen Z is particularly invested in their physical and mental health.

Twenty-nine percent of new gym members are Gen Z, and 38% of Gen Z respondents frequent traditional health clubs.

Gen Z is more inclined to seek out personal trainers or coaches (38%) compared to the general population (29%), with ABC Trainerize witnessing a 78% increase in new personal training clients year-over-year.

They also show higher participation in recreational sports and small group training. However, the majority of Gen Z respondents (68%) prefer to work out independently.

Gen Z respondents report typically spending between $21 and $69 monthly on their dues.

Additionally, over half of the Gen Z participants (56%) monitor their workouts using wearables like Apple Watches, Fitbits, or other fitness trackers, according to the report.

"Gen Z is more digitally connected than almost any other generation," fitness coach Kai Karttunen mentioned in the report. "App-based workouts, gamified challenges, and personalized data are all effective ways to engage this audience."

Gyms Have Become the New ‘Third Place’ for Many

Working out and going to the gym have become integral parts of many people's routines, offering a way to seek community.

The report emphasizes that connecting with friends through wellness and fitness has helped gyms become a popular "third place:" a location people visit outside of work, school, and home to find community.

"The fitness industry is now positioned to assist more people in more ways than ever before, as fitness businesses become significant drivers of community," said Davis.

Regardless of how gyms are being used, memberships and usage continue to rise, demonstrating how individuals are prioritizing their health and wellness.

"Global utilization has increased nearly 90% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Now, there’s a shift in focus towards overall well-being," Davis mentioned in the report.

"Fitness businesses should acknowledge the growing demand for their services and the increased importance of healthy living in the average consumer's life."

Source: finance

The opinions shared in the GymNation blog articles are solely those of the respective authors and may not represent the perspectives of GymNation or any member of the GymNation team.