The Surge in Physical Fitness: Why Gyms are Experiencing Unprecedented Growth

April 15, 2024

The old saying "a healthy body leads to a healthy mind" is proving to be more relevant than ever, particularly in how it translates to a flourishing bottom line for the fitness industry. In 2023, the UK fitness sector has seen its market value soar to record heights.

But what's driving this remarkable growth? It's a confluence of factors: the restored freedoms following the Covid pandemic, an unprecedented variety of gym and fitness class options, and a shift in public attitudes towards the importance of health and fitness. We'll delve into how these factors are synergising to propel the industry forward.

The Decline of Home Workouts
The pandemic saw a spike in home fitness regimes, but recent years have marked a significant decline. As people resume office work and social activities, equipment like Peloton bikes are often underused. Gyms offer far more equipment than the average homeowner could purchase or house, providing not only tools for physical health but also a community for motivation and social interaction. The lifting of lockdown restrictions has reignited a passion for utilising public spaces, contributing to a resurgence in gym attendance.

The Vital Role of Gyms in Our Portfolio
Our experience backs this trend: Total Fitness, which operates gyms across Northern England and has been in business for over three decades, is planning further expansions. We supported their growth with a £6.5 million loan aimed at restructuring debt and preparing for future development, ensuring they are equipped to meet the burgeoning demand for accessible, large-scale fitness facilities.

Post-Covid Health Awareness
The pandemic placed unprecedented focus on health, linking it inseparably to fitness. This has permanently altered many people's approach to regular exercise. The ease of using dumbbells at home or taking socially distanced walks has transitioned to a preference for the advanced equipment available in gyms, making fitness a staple in people's routines post-pandemic.

The Popularity of Boutique Gyms and Specialised Fitness Classes
There's a fitness class for every sport imaginable, offered in unique, well-equipped venues. From boutique spin classes and boxing to Reformer Pilates, these specialised offerings are growing rapidly. The boutique fitness studio market, which was valued at £49.3 billion in 2021, is expected to climb to £66.2 billion by 2026.

Among the premier boutique gyms is Third Space in London, known for its luxurious health clubs and A-list clientele. We've partnered with Searchlight Capital Partners to facilitate Third Space's expansion with an £88.5 million loan, supporting its ambitious growth trajectory.

Opportunities Abound in the Fitness Industry
From large gyms to niche classes, the fitness industry is booming, and the growing public interest in health investment presents numerous expansion opportunities for businesses. If you are a fitness business seeking growth, we can offer specialised financial support to help you scale effectively.

Join an industry which is growing, year by year.