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The UK Top Workouts Of 2020

ClassPass, the world’s leading fitness and wellness membership and a global provider of corporate wellness benefits, has released their annual data-driven trends report.

Having the most robust database in the world of fitness, wellness and beauty search behaviour, insights have been compiled from 30,000 boutique studios, gyms, spas and wellness partners across 30 countries. 

This year’s report focuses on the impact of the pandemic on fitness, wellness and beauty, the trends that have emerged post-lockdown and where these industries are headed in 2021.

The data is broken out into the following categories:

  • Top Workouts of 2020 – Digital 
  • Top Workouts of 2020 – Studio Fitness
  • Most Popular Days and Times to Sweat
  • How Your City Is Working Out
  • Social Trends in Fitness
  • Beauty and Wellness Trends During COVID-19
  • The Future of Fitness: 2021 Trend Forecasting

UK TOP WORKOUTS OF 2020 – DIGITAL WINNERS

As 95% of studios around the world closed their physical spaces, ClassPass helped 5,000 top studios to add livestream and on-demand workouts, and 81% of ClassPass customers reported that they worked out using digital options. Here’s how they got their sweat on:

Top digital workouts of 2020: 

  1. Yoga
  2. HIIT
  3. Pilates
  4. Strength Training
  5. Barre
  6. Dance
  7. Stretching*
  8. Boxing

Lockdown winners:

  • Yoga is the lockdown winner and increased in popularity by 25% as members called for ways to manage pandemic stress. Yoga was also the most popular workout for someone taking their first livestream class.
  • HIIT’s share of all workouts increased by 26% and Pilates’ share of all workouts increased by 16%.
  • *Restorative fitness is also very popular in 2020. Meditation and Stretching both rank in the top 10 on-demand activities booked through ClassPass.
  • At home classes that require less equipment are more popular. Classes that require bodyweight only pulled in double the number of bookings as classes that require equipment. 
  • When you find a strength training workout you love, you’ll repeat it. Strength training is the on-demand workout most likely to be replayed.

Fitness travel is in:

  • More than half of members have tuned in for classes taught in other cities.
  • UK fitness fans are likely to “travel” to NYC and Amsterdam.
  • North America fitness fans are likely to “travel” to London, Sydney and Amsterdam.
  • APAC fitness fans are likely to “travel” to NYC, London and Los Angeles.

UK Top Workouts Of 2020 – STUDIO FITNESS

It has been an extremely tough year for studios, with many being forced to close for months, and some having a second round of lockdowns. However, the global data has been promising: people return to class when they feel safe and able to do so.

Top in-person workouts of 2020 as studios have reopened: 

  1. HIIT
  2. Indoor Cycling
  3. Reformer Pilates
  4. Vinyasa Yoga
  5. Bootcamp
  6. Circuit Training
  7. TRX
  8. Hot Yoga

Additional insights:

  • Members are booking equipment-heavy classes such as HIIT, Cycling, Pilates and Boxing classes. It’s likely that many members will continue with some combination of digital workouts, but rely on studio classes for the workouts that are tough to do at home.
  • Since studios have been able to reopen, two underperforming genres during lockdowns have climbed back to the top: Indoor Cycling bookings have increased by 30% and Reformer Pilates bookings have increased by 18%.
  • There was a 400% increase in the number of outdoor classes being offered by studios this year as many closed studios moved outside, taking advantage of fresh air and room to socially distance. 4 in 5 surveyed members reported a willingness to attend these classes, and we anticipate this will be a lasting trend into 2021.
  • Transparent safety information is a key factor in the decision to return to studios, according to more than half of ClassPass members. To help, ClassPass added a feature that allows members to preview the specific safety and sanitation precautions of every studio, from distanced bikes to contactless check-in. 

MOST POPULAR DAYS AND TIMES TO SWEAT

Most Popular Time To Take a Weekday Class: 12pm

For the first time ever, lunchtime is the most popular time to workout.

Most Popular Time On Weekends To Take a Class: 10am

Most Popular Times For Professionals on a Company-Sponsored Plan: 8am-3pm
Professionals are now much more likely to take a lunch class instead of an after work class. 89% of professionals say they feel more productive during the work day after exercising. 

Most Popular Day Of The Week To Work Out: Wednesday

Workouts used to be stacked earlier in the week. Due to limited end-of-week happy hours and more time spent at home, there is less of a rush to get workouts done before the weekend.

HOW YOUR UK CITY IS WORKING OUT

Sunshine Lovers

Most likely to do an outdoor workout: Edinburgh, Scotland

At-Home Hustlers 

Most likely to stream an on-demand workout: London, UK

London has been one of the most difficult cities for fitness studios with new lockdowns and restrictions, but fitness fans have stayed active, tuning in regularly for class from home!

Digital Jetsetters

Most likely to take a digital class streaming from another city: Reading, UK

Early Birds

Most likely to book any class (in-person or digital) at 7:30 A.M. or earlier: Manchester, England

Lunchtime Warriors

Most likely to book any class between 11 A.M. and 1 P.M: Bristol, England

Night Owls

Most likely to book any class at 8 P.M. or later: Dublin, Ireland

Wildcards

Most likely to book any class at the last-minute: Brighton, England

FITNESS HAS STAYED SOCIAL, EVEN WHEN SOCIALLY DISTANT

Fitness fans have gotten creative with distant happy hours and remote meetups, inviting friends and colleagues to join them in a class. 

  • Most popular digital workout to take with friends based in other cities: HIIT 
  • Digital happy hour – most common time to take a digital class with friends: 12pm
  • Most popular time to meet up at a studio with friends: 6pm
  • Most popular studio workout to meet friends at as restrictions lift: Cycling
  • Most popular workout to take with a colleague: Strength Training

HOW BEAUTY AND WELLNESS HAS SHIFTED

ClassPass offers members access to more than 5,000 beauty and wellness venues. During the pandemic, ClassPass also added mobile beauty services including at-home haircuts, blowouts and manicures. While most venues did have to close their doors, in many regions, these businesses have been able to reopen and people are going back. Here’s the trends we are spotting:

  • There was a post-election spike in wellness and beauty: In the three days following the election results announcement in the US, beauty and wellness appointments soared by 25% as people looked for ways to relax and manage post-election stress. The most booked activities in the days following the election were massages (shoulder tension was at all time high!), facials (acne stress is real) and nails (nervous nail biting)
  • Massage is the most popular wellness activity since spas have reopened. The most popular types are deep tissue, swedish and thai massage.
  • Manicures and pedicures are the most popular post-lockdown beauty bookings. Facials, blowouts and haircuts also remain popular.
  • Haircuts are in demand – its share of total beauty reservations has increased by 82% since lockdown (likely due to a need for many people to get a six-month overdue haircut, or repair a haircut a roommate attempted during quarantine!)
  • There is a 19% increase in members accessing Meditation classes. 
  • 74% of subscribers who opted to restart billing have been to a beauty salon in the last month, with 1-in-4 going multiple times.
  • Most popular day to book a beauty activity: Sunday (You’ve got to look good for your Zoom meetings, or in the case of a massage, ward off those Sunday scaries)
  • Most popular time to invest in self-care: 6pm on weekdays, 11am on weekends (The spa is an after work treat!)

THE FUTURE OF FITNESS: 2021 TREND FORECASTING

Heading into 2021, here’s a few trends on the rise:

Taking A Crunch Break For Lunch Break:

  • For the first time ever, 12pm is the most popular time to work out during the week. 
  • Lunchtime workouts have seen a 67% increase in popularity. This shift can largely be attributed to a rise in remote work, and the ease of no-shower required virtual meetings. Even as people have returned to studios, the 12pm weekday time slot for in-person classes is more popular now than it was before lockdowns. 
  • Bristol, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Manchester and Brighton have all leaned into this trend, becoming this year’s Lunchtime Warriors, or the cities more likely to book a lunchtime class.

Fitness Travel Is In, No Passport Required:  

  • With digital options, you are no longer limited to your geographical location, so it’s the perfect chance to take a dance class with a friend across the country or revisit a studio you loved on vacation. More than half of members are chiming in regularly for classes taught from other cities.
  • New York and Los Angeles studios are getting the most attention from international members. Fitness fans based in cities such as London and Singapore are eager to try top US studios.
  • Members already based in North America are most likely to take a class streamed from London (UK), Sydney (Australia) or Amsterdam (Netherlands).

Open Air Gyms Are a Breath of Fresh Air:

  • Outdoor workouts first emerged in Europe and have continued to grow in demand throughout the US. 4 in 5 surveyed ClassPass members are willing to try outdoor classes — ClassPass has added a search for “Outdoors” classes to support this trend and the number of outdoor class options has increased by 400% in 2020.
  • Many studios are getting creative with outdoor classes including using beautiful city backdrops for class. One studio in Amsterdam even rented out an underutilized wedding venue! Los Angeles is the most likely city to book an outdoor class in the US. Edinburgh is the most likely city to book an outdoor class in the UK..
  • For members who feel more comfortable with 1:1 instead of group workouts, ClassPass has also added personal training options through a new partnership with Fyt.

Corporate Wellness Benefits Have Become a Must-Have for Companies:

  • 25% of professionals are exercising more now than at the start of COVID-19, with 1 in 5 using their previous commute time to exercise
  • 4 in 5 professionals say fitness activities have been crucial to establishing a new work-from-home routine. 96% of professionals say they feel more motivated and less stressed after exercising, with 89% of professionals saying they feel more productive during the work day after exercising.
  • 3 in 5 professionals who have participated in a team workout report feeling more connected to their team afterwards. Teams are most likely to book a private HIIT or yoga class to stay engaged and workout together, and hundreds of private classes have been booked.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, ClassPass has offered remote fitness benefits to one million employees across companies of all sizes. The interest from companies is continuing to grow, and we expect fitness and wellness benefits to be more important than ever in attracting and retaining talent.

People Will Head Back To Studios Once They Feel Safe

  • 92% of professionals hope to return to fitness studios and gyms in 2021, with 40% planning to return exclusively to in-studio workouts when they feel safe to do so (source: Nov 2020 study of 2,185 professionals from 19 countries)
  • After attending their first indoor class since the start of the pandemic, 89% of subscribers responded they would go back as or more frequently to future classes.
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