Millennials in the Gym: The Rise of Group Fitness Classes

Millennials in the Gym

Contrary to popular assumptions, Millennials (Generation Y) do not just spend their entire days with eyes glued to a smartphone screen. They are no strangers to fitness, and the majority of them get in one form or another.

Still, they do not seek the traditional gym experience. Their affinity for community and technology is engraved into their philosophy, which spills over to the gym floor, together with sweat. They are reimagining body aesthetics and are fueled by different goals than ripped beasts that used to rule fitness arenas.

Outside the box

According to some estimates, millennials are the most common gym-goers. One thing that cannot be said about them, though, is that they engage in typical sweat fests as their predecessors. They are not killing it in the gym as much as they are killing the conventional picture we associate with gyms. Aside from getting into shape, they are on the lookout for adventure and excitement.

Cultural Revolution

That is why many of them forgo traditional memberships and do not use gyms as often as Gen-Xers. They are always community-orientated, and this reflects on the rising popularity of Zumba, Pilates, dance classes, and Yoga. Millennials dominate these classes disproportionately, and some of these activities take place even outside the gym, in boutique studio classes, running clubs, online streaming services, or even outdoors.

You can often recognize millennials by their appearance. They always keep glasses on, purchase quality gym shoes and clothing, and cling to their shakers. An aspiration to subvert the very gender binary has, among other things, fostered a distinctive relationship to their bodies. Their gym culture is now a favorable climate for a more natural-looking, “sexy nerds” to flourish.

Of course, some members are fond of solo workout, but even then, they have a companion, this time in form of mobile devices and apps. Their thirst for tech marvels of our age is a well-known distinctive characteristic. Millennials use health and fitness apps twice as much as much as other groups and account for nearly one-third of all users. So, when they break a sweat alone, the results can be well spread over the social media realm.

Driving forces

There is more than bragging to it: Comparing achievements can increase motivation and engagement, acting as a motivation booster. Furthermore, millennials give more weight to healthy living than being ripped. Namely, nearly half of those who visit gym state that their main drive is to do something that is good for them, not to accomplish a specific fitness goal. Their mindset is infused into fitness practices and echoes a pursuit for a meaningful and fulfilling experience.

A new face of fitness

Consequently, a new cohort of gym members prefer body weight exercises and bodyweight training and are less inclined to spend eternity pumping iron. They are focused on a body at large, and embrace a holistic mindset, making an effort to facilitate broader lifestyle changes. In a sense, what takes place is the enrichment and refining of the workout. Hence, the whole gym culture is taking a turn and arriving to the frontier of the brave new fitness world. There, a murmur of the merry camaraderie is the most reverberating sound, not the howl of a lone predator.

Millennials are changing the face of the fitness landscape. They outnumber any other generation on the treadmill, and they certainly like to find strength in numbers. In terms of participation in community-style activities, they tower over all other groups. There is less of “pumping and juicing” and more “mingling and sharing” among these people.

You could say that millennials want to become a part of something that goes beyond the gym walls and represents a broader social movement, a cultural shift, a new way of living.

About the Author: Sophia Smith is Australian based fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger. She is very passionate about organic beauty products, yoga and healthy lifestyle. Sophia writes mostly in beauty and lifestyle related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is regular contributor at High Style Life and Ripped. You can find out more about her writing following her on FacebookTwitter, and Google +.

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