Boutique fitness studios harden bodies with personalized approach
By Dorene Internicola
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boutique studios that offer a more personal approach to fitness and a softer ambience than big box gyms are a growing part of the $22.4 billion U.S. industry.
IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association that is the trade association of the fitness industry, noted in its 2014 Health Club Consumer Report that personalized fitness studios, or boutiques, captured 21 percent of the market in 2013, which rose from $21.8 billion in 2012.
ModelFIT, a New York boutique studio co-founded by a trainer of supermodels that offers bulk-free fitness to clients on and off the runway, is an example of the customized fitness trend.
Despite the leggy lure of its name, fitness experts say the ModelFit workouts, which incorporate a mix of Pilates, yoga, balance, movement and stability training are based in science and suitable for all body types of women and the occasional man.
”We’re not pushing you to kill yourself at gym,” said co-owner Vanessa Packer, of the studio that does not feature the pounding music and sweaty culture that characterize many gyms.
Justin Gelband, a trainer and the director of the fitness classes at the studio has been dubbed “The Model Whisperer” for his work with Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated models.
The fitness routines and exercises at the studio target small muscles that go unnoticed and unused. Workouts typically employ tools such as bodyweight, medicine balls, Pilates discs, and circuit training.
“Using those muscles lengthens, tones, and leans out the body, sort of sculpting it,” Packer explained. Continued...