Boutique gyms offer more than exercise

In recent years, boutique gyms like yoga, Zumba cross-fit and cycling have become sort of a phenomenon in the fitness world

Boutique gyms are cropping up around the country.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Exercise is an essential part of staying healthy, and many people do so by joining a gym. But there’s a new wave of workout facilities popping up around the country and right here in the Valley.

In recent years, boutique gyms like yoga, Zumba, cross-fit and cycling have become sort of a phenomenon in the fitness world. It’s a different approach to working out instead of the traditional gym. Many say it’s more than just getting in shape that keeps them coming back; it’s the community they feel with others.

The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association says more than 2,300 boutique gyms have opened since 2015. The facilities are smaller and more exclusive than regular gyms. Pure Barre Youngstown is one place that focuses on specialized training.

“People have found friends. It’s become a second home. They feel comfortable here. They feel welcome, and it is a great supportive environment,” said Noelle Domer, instructor.

Cathi Friend has been a member of Pure Barre Youngstown for a year and a half. She says it’s a way to stay active but she has also forged a bond with other people.

“It’s also just a good opportunity for me to get out. I am retired, so it’s really a good thing to come meet with a group of other women and sometimes men and exercise together,” Friend said.

Body Temple Fitness is a treadmill studio in Youngstown. There, the small classes mean more attention from the instructor and more opportunities to build that bond.

“There’s just something about group fitness where you just don’t get it when you are by yourself. When you are in a group setting, you are going to always push yourself harder,” said Katie Glatzer, owner of Body Temple Fitness.

Boutique gyms are more intimate and trendy, which tends to mean a bigger price tag. Shannon Roberts has done the traditional gym workout for years. For her, she says the experience she gets is worth every penny.

“That bond with those people is just amazing. It makes you get up. Everybody cheers each other on. There is every walk of life here. It doesn’t matter if you are athletic or not. We all just encourage each other,” Roberts said.

Boutique gyms are the fastest-growing part of the $22 billion health club industry in the U.S.

The average price locally for a boutique gym membership ranges from about $75 to $100 per month.

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