As an industry we can’t afford to ignore boutiques – 42% of the 54 million members of health and fitness facilities in the United States use fitness boutiques, and they now have 21% total market share of the $22 billion dollar US fitness market (and climbing)1.
Why are cycling boutiques having such success and how can they charge up to USD $34 for a 45-minute class?
Cycling boutiques create inspiring studios that people want to be in – spaces that inspire them to push hard and enjoy their overall workout experience. These spaces look and feel good both inside and out.
Top design tips for a highly motivating studio:
- Layout and spacing
One design factor is non-negotiable – all participants must have a clear and unobstructed view of the instructor. A good capacity benchmark for a high performing cycling studio is one bike per 1.5m2 of studio space. For example, if your studio is 100m2 then full capacity is approximately 66 bikes. For live classes the instructor bike should be on a small stage. Ideally the stage should be 15-20cm high and wide enough to fit two or three bikes for multiple instructors.
The quality of the bike significantly affects the member experience. After all it’s the primary piece of equipment they use. Investment in this area pays off as members have been known to cancel memberships over the quality of a club’s indoor cycling bikes. A quality bike will last at least five years if well maintained. Bikes with ANT+ sensors (a wireless network protocol) built-in for performance tracking and competition are desirable.
- Décor, lighting and blinds
Great décor and lighting work together to create the overall studio experience. Carpets, colors, wall graphics, marketing materials, patterns and shapes can all be used to create a great sense of energy and movement. Attention to detail matters. In a darkened room décor won’t always as visible so use great lighting to create an environment that draws people in. Stage lighting will amplify the energy of the darkened room, while colored lighting is great for creating mood.
- Great sound system
The positioning of sound absorbing treatments has a huge bearing on the effectiveness of the acoustic properties. Incorrect placement can reveal and accentuate unwanted sounds. Creating amazing workout experiences relies on a great sound system capable of pumping high volume. Aim for nightclub quality sound so members can clearly hear the instructor and be totally immersed in the music.
- Air conditioning and ventilation
Fitness studios should have an average temperature of 18-20°C. The humidity level should be between 40% and 60%. Air-conditioning which can be set to automatically compensate for environmental changes (such as a packed class in the middle of the day) is ideal.