At ClassPass, our team works with the top studios in dozens of cities around the world to understand the ongoing trends, pain points, and characteristics that make our 42 markets unique. Now, we want to share some of those insights with you, our readers.

In the next edition of our series of market profiles, we take a look at Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia fitness market is on the rise, with corporate studios moving into the city and wellness brands, such as juice shops and Just Salad, popping up in the city’s most popular neighborhoods. Check out the top trends we’re noticing in the market below.

At a Glance: Philadelphia

Top Workout Genres

  1. Strength Training
  2. Cycling
  3. Yoga

Strength training, cycling and yoga are consistently the most popular workout genres on ClassPass year over year. Strength training in particular is on the rise, up 17% in the share of reservations in that genre on ClassPass compared to this time last year. Cycling, although the second most popular genre, is slightly down by 3% in their share of reservations. Alternatively, yoga also experienced growth, up 9% in their share of reservations compared to this time last year.

Top Neighborhoods

  1. Rittenhouse Square
  2. Center City
  3. Bryn Mawr

This likely comes as no surprise, but Rittenhouse Square and Center City are the most popular fitness neighborhoods in the city and see the most ClassPass reservations. Bryn Mawr, the third-ranked neighborhood on CP, has experienced growth in the past year, with a 17% increase in the share of reservations attended in that neighborhood compared to this time last year.

Top Workout Times

  1. 6PM
  2. 5PM
  3. 9AM

The most popular workout times in Philadelphia remain consistent throughout the year and don’t tend to vary by season. Be sure to offer classes at 6pm and 5pm as well as 9am to accommodate the variety of users coming through your door, whether they’re working professionals, college students, or stay-at-home moms.

For more of the trends we’re noticing take hold in the market, read on:

Eager for Expansion

Philadelphia, like many other markets in the US, has seen a boutique fitness surge in recent years. Over the past year, a number of corporate brands have taken up residence in the city, with SoulCycle, barre3, SLT and Corepower Yoga all establishing presence in the market. As such, local studios are also eager to expand. Many studios are in the process of opening additional locations or looking to grow their current space to accommodate the increased interest in boutique fitness.

While Rittenhouse Square and Center City continue to be the most popular neighborhoods in the city for fitness, with the highest share of reservations on ClassPass taken in those two spots, the Bryn Mawr area has seen a 17% increase in the share of reservations attended in that neighborhood compared to the same time last year. Over the coming months, expect to see more boutique studios expanding into the suburbs on the Main Line to reach even more customers.

A City Dominated by Yoga and Strength Training

Philadelphia is primarily dominated by yoga studios, with 128 studios dedicated to yoga on ClassPass (out of 200 total). As such, it’s important for yoga studio owners to make their business stand out, to communicate what makes their brand unique and different from other yoga offerings in the market. And while yoga has the largest presence in the city, strength training tends to be the most popular genre on ClassPass and continues to be on the rise. The strength training genre grew 17% in the proportion of reservations on ClassPass compared to this time last year and shows no signs of slowing down. ClassPass user favorites include RippedPHL and Unite Fitness.

Younger Demographic on ClassPass

The Philadelphia ClassPass user base does tend to skew a little younger than other cities, with a large number of college students in the area. As such, Philadelphia studios could consider accommodating this user base that tends to have a more flexible schedule with classes during the day or at slightly-off peak times, such as 10am or 4pm. Community or donation-based classes are also a great opportunity to bring in more users who may be on limited budgets, while also building community. This social media-savvy younger generation may also be more likely to share their experience in class on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to encourage this sharing in your studio. Here are some tips on how to boost social sharing (and therefore brand awareness) in-studio.

Influenced by Trendsetting NYC

While New York City is often the first place for new trends to hit the fitness and wellness scene, Philadelphia is only a train ride away, so it’s no surprise to find the city following suit. With the rise of boutique fitness in the area, additional wellness businesses from NYC are also on the rise in Philly. Juice shops and fast casual salad bars such as Just Salad are popping up in Rittenhouse Square and Center City to meet the demand of fit (hungry) people before or after class. It’s a great opportunity for studios in the area to consider partnering with one of those brands, perhaps to co-host an event or offer a giveaway/raffle, or at least advertising in those spaces to boost traffic.