American gym memberships grew in 2021, but they were still far behind 2019 levels, according to the new 2022 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report. In 2021, 66.5 million people were active members of U.S. gyms, health clubs, studios, or similar facilities, down 9 million from 2019. Gym member sessions totaled 4.5 billion in 2021, which was a 41.6% increase from the COVID lockdown year of 2020. However, this was only 68% of the pre-COVID levels of 2019. “This year’s report paints a stark picture, outlining how the health and fitness industry remains popular, engages customers, and provides demonstrable value and benefits for physical and mental health, but at the same time we also see that our industry has only reached about two-thirds of pre-COVID levels,” said IHRSA President and CEO Liz Clark.
A few other takeaways from the 2022 Health Club Consumer Report, which was based on 18,000 online interviews:
🔸 As in 2019, the three most popular pieces of equipment at gyms are treadmills, resistance machines, and free weights.
🔸 Also as in 2019, the top three health club activities remained the same. Ranked in order: yoga, high-intensity interval training (HITT), swimming.
🔸 Like America itself, the racial makeup of American gyms is becoming more diverse. In particular, Hispanic gym members have more than doubled (4.2 million to 8.6 million) since 2010.
🔸 41% of American consumers pay less than $25 per month to access a fitness facility.