Consumer Fitness Trends in 2021: Gym Goers

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Gym culture was heavily affected by COVID-19 and the 2020 lockdowns. Because of restrictions and social distancing guidelines, many people opted for at-home workouts over their favorite in-person classes or personal training sessions at gyms.

To understand consumer fitness trends in 2021, we analyzed the personas of consumers identified as ‘Gym Goers’ and ranked all 50 states as well as Washington D.C. in order of prevalence. If a state had a higher percentage of residents fitting the ‘Gym Goers’ persona, we gave it a higher rank on the list. We also compared each state’s rank in 2021 to see exactly how ‘Gym Goers’ in each state have changed since 2019.

Consumer Fitness Trends by State in 2021

The states with the highest percentage of gym goers this year are South Carolina (+14%), New Jersey (+13%), Virginia (+13%), and Arizona (+13%). It’s no surprise to see that Virginia is one of the highest ranked states, considering that Arlington, VA, was named the fittest city in America. In addition to this, the other states that came out on top also loosened their coronavirus restrictions faster than most, which means that gyms were able to draw in workout enthusiasts sooner.

California (+7%), Washington D.C. (+7%), and Alaska (+5%) have the lowest percentage of gym goers in 2021. Out of all the states in the U.S., Alaska has the second to least number of health clubs according to 2019 data, with just 89 health clubs in the entire state. This may contribute to its spot at the bottom of the list. For Washington D.C., it’s possible that much of the population hasn’t moved back from the suburbs after so many people moved away during the pandemic. California’s shift in ranking may be due to coronavirus restrictions that were still in place for the state for much of 2021.

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Ranking Consumer Fitness Trends by State

The states with the lowest percentage of gym goers in 2021 are Washington D.C. and California and yet, they ranked #1 and #2 respectively in 2019. Perhaps many people are still opting to work out at home to avoid the financial costs associated with gym memberships and personal training. Which states have the most gym goers this year? Residents of South Carolina, Arizona, and Virginia are more likely to be gym goers in 2021 compared to 2019. The ranks of New Jersey, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Florida did not change much, so these states remained near the top of the list. This could be due to people finding stress relief in fitness, or newer gym goers who are interested in continuing their lockdown fitness routines in person at a gym instead of from their living rooms.

Predicting Consumer Fitness Trends

Based on our data, an increase of gym goers has been slow in some places. However, current consumer fitness trends are pointing toward a positive outcome that includes hybrid workout options. According to a recent report by McKinsey, more than 60% of Americans who frequently workout said they will prefer a mix of working out at home and at a gym in the future. It can be expected that the percentage of gym goers will continue to grow, especially in South Carolina and Virginia.

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