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One in four fitness club members would pay more for single-sex gyms

One in four fitness club members would pay more for single-sex gyms
June 23, 2015

While Australians are spending an average of more than $70 a month on gym memberships, new research shows that many would be willing to pay even more to work out in single sex environments.

Consumer research and ratings company Canstar Blue surveyed over 1,000 gym members across the country and found that one in four would be happy paying a premium to use a single-sex gym.

Men (25%) liked the idea almost as much as women (27%).

Canstar Blue Head and Group Strategy Manager Megan Doyle, said consumers are now looking for more than just barbells and mirrors, as single-sex gyms become more and more popular.

Doyle explained “for some gym-goers, a positive, friendly atmosphere is more important than the equipment and facilities on offer.

“Most adults head to the gym to improve their fitness or lose weight, but they also want to enjoy themselves and socialise with likeminded people. And for many it seems, that means working out in the company or other men, or other women only.

“In the past there has been a perception that more women feel uncomfortable exercising in front of men, but these findings suggest that a lot of men would prefer a single-sex gym, too. “If you’re paying more than $70 a month for your membership, it’s important to feel at ease in your surroundings - otherwise you might end up wasting your money.”

The survey found adults in their 30s (36%) were the most likely to favour a single-sex gym, compared to just 3% of those in their 60s.

More than half of survey respondents (54%) said they don’t go to the gym as much as they thought they would when they joined. The majority of those cited a lack of time as the reason, but 13% said they don’t like working out in front of other people and 12% said the general atmosphere of their gym was a turn-off.

A further 14% said they feel intimidated by other gym-users, particularly those aged 18-24 (22%).

Doyle added “we received several complaints about loud, repetitive music, noisy groups and general sleaziness.

“Some people clearly feel uncomfortable working out in front of others, especially when surrounded by men flexing their muscles in front of mirrors!

“Opening hours are also a major bugbear, as is the cleanliness of the gym and changing rooms. And of course, many people simply bemoan the amount they pay for their membership, and the lack of flexibility that comes with it.”

Spending an average of $72 per month, the majority of Australians (61%) are drawn to the gym between three and five times per week. Just 5% go every day, while 12% work out once a week or less.

While the amount of time Australian spend at the gym is consistent across all Australian varies little between the states, the amount Australians  pay for our membership does, with survey respondents in Western Australia reporting the highest average cost at $84, and Queenslanders the least ($60).

Men ($74) were found to be paying slightly more than women ($71).

In terms of expectations, the Canstar Blue survey found that almost half (49%) of respondents said they joined a gym to improve their fitness, while 29% were looking to lose weight and 11% wanted to increase their strength. But whatever their motivation for joining, a significant 76% agreed their gym membership had helped them achieve their goals.

Top image courtesy of Anytime Fitness.

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