While the options are now abundant, that doesn’t mean your dollars are – and the problem for many young professionals is that fitness classes can make a major dent in the wallet at a time when surviving (let alone living) in Toronto isn’t exactly a breezy walk in the park. Group classes – whether yoga, pilates, boxing, or spinning – can set you back $20-$35 a pop, putting them out of the budget for many.
Why exactly are fitness classes so expensive? I asked some Toronto fitness facility owners to weigh in.
Joanna Magik, Co-founder of UNDRCARD:
“The boutique studio pricing model reflects the investment in the facilities, the program, and the people to create that exhilarating, highly addictive fitness experience. The entertainment-based studio design and amenities are beautiful to make our guests feel well cared for. The sound system and light show are comparable to a mid-sized nightclub. Lastly, and most importantly, our instructors deliver fresh weekly programming (new music and new movements) to continually elevate and motivate our guests.”
Amber Joliat, Creator of MISFITSTUDIO:
“We recently raised our prices, which was a huge decision to make, especially since we hadn’t had a price increase in ten years – the entire time the studio has been open. We have the best of the best teachers in the city of Toronto; each one completes our unique MISFITMETHOD movement teacher training that sets them up to be teachers. We constantly create and develop new classes to offer a wide variety of movement for our community, which requires updated equipment – new reformers, trampolines, bosu balls, and weights. Then, there’s the therapy offered. A class at MISFITSTUDIO is truly an experience and nourishment for your mind, body, and soul. I believe a MISFIT class is therapy for most, and where can you get a therapy session for under $25?”
Julie Harrish, Co-Founder of 6IX Cycle:
“Group fitness classes are offered at a higher price point than your average gym because they are exactly that…not your average box gym. At 6IX Cycle, we create a community for each one of our members that aims to go above and beyond offering ‘just’ a spin class. From top-notch, well-trained instructors, to towel service and amenities, community partnerships, complimentary run and outdoor cycle clubs, post-spin coffee and donuts (and even Friday night social events), we make sure our members come with a sweat, but they leave with much more.”
Founders of Loft Cycle Club:
“The price of a fitness class is based on the overall experience. The experience is a combination of very qualified instructors, the highest quality equipment, fresh and modern facilities, easy-to-use software and more. If any of these elements is missing, the entire experience changes. Studio owners invest heavily in training teams and quality control over everything from front desk staff to the facilities. Many users of boutique fitness choose to take fitness classes 3-4 times per week. Group fitness is the next best thing to personal training and the quality of instructors exceeds those at a big box gym. Participants receive instruction, training, corrections, and direction to ensure a safe and effective workout comparable to a personal trainer, but at a fraction of the cost. Working out in a group setting has been proven to promote motivation and commitment to physical fitness. Group classes also push people beyond what they would do on their own. We see the joy people feel when they finish a spin class or a body sculpting class; which is something very valuable.”
While Toronto’s boutique studios may be pricey, so is the cost to operate them, especially if a five-star experience is what they are offering. Savvy users of boutique fitness should take advantage of buying large packages at studios that they love and frequent; the larger the packages, the better the savings. Most studios also offer specials or savings on occasion – watch for them.
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