Health and beauty is a cornerstone of boutique gyms.

What Are Boutique Gyms?

by Jillian O'Keeffe

Some gyms are massive buildings that try to provide lots of different exercise options for customers, from swimming to spin classes to a weight room. Boutique gyms are the opposite, and focus on one specific area of fitness. They tend to be small and more exclusive than regular gyms, with a cachet to membership and a less anonymous feel to the workout.


Boutique gyms tend to offer small exercise classes, and one of the benefits of a small class is that the instructor and the rest of the gym staff can get to know the participants better. The personal knowledge helps the gym staff to recommend specific workouts that benefit the customer most, and the small classes can foster a friendlier, more community-like atmosphere in the group than might otherwise be the case in a large, anonymous group. Private classes may also be on offer in the gym for people who prefer one-on-one training.


As boutique gyms specialize in a specific area of fitness, their trainers or instructors may be very knowledgeable about their area, and some gyms even have celebrity trainers. The workouts vary widely between gyms, so customers may have to visit more than one boutique gym if they want to get more variety in their weekly exercise regimen. Some gyms focus on cycling classes, whereas others have their own weight machine routines. Some offer dance-based classes such as ballet barre or cheerleading-based classes, and others provide classes that are a fusion of various skills such as kickboxing and yoga.

Additional Services

Along with the workouts, some boutique gyms offer services to complement the benefits of the workout. For example, a nutritionist may be on hand to help with healthy eating to complement the exercise, and a psychologist can help to break bad habits and improve mental well-being. But these extra services, along with the exclusivity of the small classes and expert trainers, can make boutique gyms more expensive to join than regular gyms.


Boutique gyms are similar to boutique fashion shops, as the exercises they offer tend to be driven by trend. For example, some boutique gyms focus on spinning classes, dance classes mixed with fitness routines or even cheerleading-based fitness. The desirable trendiness of the classes provides more opportunity for the gym business to branch into selling fitness clothes that are a status symbol and that also embody the healthy fit lifestyle of the woman who partakes in the boutique classes.

About the Author

Jillian O'Keeffe has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears in regional Irish newspapers including "The Connacht Tribune" and the "Sentinel." O'Keeffe has a Master of Arts in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from University College Cork.

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