Boutique studios are evolving beyond fitness.
For context: Pursuing holistic wellness, more consumers are seeking out integrated services that boost physical, mental, and emotional health.
As big-box gyms reshape their spaces with dedicated recovery areas and stress-relieving classes, brands like Remedy Place and Restore are scaling health-optimizing wellness spas.
Meanwhile, most boutique fitness franchises are hard-pressed to offer services beyond the physical aspect, often built around a single exercise style.
The latest: Ambition, a multi-modality boutique fitness concept created by [solidcore] founder Anne Mahlum, secured $5M to support launch and expansion.
Through strength, conditioning, athletic-style yoga, and recovery classes—plus regular in-studio educational and mental fitness programming—Ambition’s offering aims to deliver a more holistic experience. According to Mahlum, it’s currently an unfulfilled gap:
“We feel there is a need in the market right now for a new premium brand to offer multiple fitness modalities under one roof and to provide sophisticated programming and educational tools on how to be your most optimized self to achieve all your goals.”
Four NYC studio locations are under development, with the first expected to open in February 2023.
More than moving. While boutique operator Xponential Fitness has spent a decade building a portfolio of complementary fitness concepts, others are forming their business around emerging needs in longevity, movement health, relational fitness, and more.
- Tom Brady’s TB12 combines athletic training with massage, corrective exercises, and lifestyle coaching.
- Myodetox studios merge physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments with personal training and massage.
- Peoplehood, a “relational fitness” studio from the creators of SoulCycle, targets emotional health through breathwork, active listening, and stretching.
- Barry’s relaunched RIDE, a cycling and strength mashup, and has trained its instructors in “mental health first aid” as it expands content for mental wellness.
Takeaway: While boutique fitness is on track for a bounce-back year, operators that can evolve their businesses to align with the changing definition of wellness stand to gain with the younger generations who define it.