ClassPass Comeback Report: Fitness and Beauty Trends 2021

In the six months since we released our annual trends report, many of the 40,000 gyms, fitness studios and spas in the ClassPass network have been able to reopen. So we looked at the data to better understand how our at-home workouts have shifted, the experiences people are returning to in-person, and how we expect the rest of the year to shape up as vaccinations continue around the world. At the time of this special Comeback Report, 93% of surveyed US ClassPass members report that they are fully or partially vaccinated.

The data is broken out into the following categories:

  • Fitness and Wellness Experiences We Are Booking Right Now
  • The 5 Reasons People Are Returning to IRL Experiences
  • Trends To Expect: June 2021 and Beyond

Fitness and wellness experiences we are booking right now

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This data reviews all reservations made from April 2021 – June 2021. 9 of the 10 most-booked experiences are in-person classes and appointments.

These are the top 10 classes and appointments we’re getting back to:

(all fitness classes and appointments are in-studio or outdoors unless noted)

  1. Strength Training 
  2. Yoga 
  3. Indoor Cycling 
  4. Pilates 
  5. Barre 
  6. Boxing 
  7. Gym Time
  8. Massage
  9. Livestream Yoga
  10. Running

These are the top wellness activities we’re booking:

  1. Massage
  2. Sauna
  3. Cryotherapy

These are the top beauty appointments as we get ready to see people again:

  1. Pedicure
  2. Manicure
  3. Facial

The top five reasons people are returning to IRL experiences

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ClassPass surveyed our members in June 2021 to better understand the motivation that drives people back to in-person experiences. Here’s the things we most missed about in-person classes and the reasons we’re going back, according the members surveyed:

Better access to equipment

Since it can be hard to fit a Pilates reformer in a studio apartment, two-thirds of people say access to equipment is one of the main reasons they are heading back to class.

Four of the top five fitness genres with the highest recent reservation volumes use equipment that is typically not found in home gyms.

Feeling good physically and mentally

60% of people say in-person classes and appointments are better for their mental health than an at-home digital routine – and let’s face it, after a tough year, self-care is now more important than ever.

Pushing ourselves to achieve more

81% of people say they push themselves harder in class than they do on their own – which makes sense considering there’s not a tempting couch or needy pet nearby. 

Receiving guidance from instructors

74% of people prefer to have an instructor’s direction and encouragement when working out. Shoutout to our faves!

Greater accountability

67% of people say in-studio classes make it easier to work out regularly and keep up a routine – and ClassPass makes it easy to pencil it in.

Trends to expect in 2021 and beyond

Here’s how our behavior has shifted since studios and spas have reopened and the trends we should expect for the second half of 2021:

IRL experiences are back and here to stay

Nine of the current top 10 experiences getting booked on ClassPass are for in-person classes and appointments.

Once we go back to in-person experiences, we keep going back. Among users who have returned to class, average usage is 10% higher than it was before the pandemic.

Vaccination required classes are in

Studios such as Rumble and [solidcore] are starting to offer vaccination-required classes. These classes typically require proof of vaccination at the door, but no mask during class. 

A ClassPass survey shows 69% of members would prefer returning to classes that require a vaccine, and 18% plan to only return to studios with vaccination requirements. 59% of respondents would prefer to remove their mask in class once vaccinated.

The after work class is back on our calendars

5:30 p.m. has just made a comeback as the time we are most likely to break a sweat; earlier during the pandemic we saw lunchtime workouts score the #1 spot.

Lunchtime workouts are still popular (12pm is the second most popular class time), but we are finally venturing out and using an end of day workout as the perfect way to create separation from our email, take a deep breath and kickbox our way through some workday frustrations.

Yoga is growing a loyal following

Livestream yoga is the only digital class type in the top 10 most booked classes and appointments.

In-studio yoga has climbed to the second most popular class type since studios have reopened. It’s likely that the at-home yoga spike produced some new students, and that both new and seasoned yogis are excited to practice with a community again.

People new to ClassPass are most likely to book a yoga class first.

Outdoor classes continue to boom in popularity

The outdoor trend first started as a way for studios to offer classes while their indoor spaces were closed. Since May 2020, there has been a 917% increase in the number of studios offering outdoor classes.

Outdoor classes continue to grow in popularity — May 2021 saw the most outdoor reservations in a single month ever on ClassPass.

Self-care tops our list of needs

For the first time ever, massage is one of the top 10 reservation types on ClassPass.

In many cities such as NYC, one-third of ClassPass credits are now being spent on wellness and beauty services including massages, facials, manicures, haircuts and more.

Weekend glow-ups are officially back on the books

Friday is now the most popular day to make a beauty or wellness appointment. We are back to booking blowouts and manicures before the weekend, wanting to feel our best for seeing friends and family for the first time in over a year! 

Vaxed and waxed is not just an Instagram hashtag — searches for wax services are up 700%+ compared to June 2020.

We crave new experiences beyond our homes

Around the world, discovery of new experiences is on the rise. In the past month, ClassPass usage increased by more than 100% in the US and tripled in the UK. (data is from May 1, 2021 to June 10, 2021).

Strength training is the most-booked class type as people return to studios and look for classes with gear they may not have had access to at home. Digital classes have dropped significantly in the rankings — only Livestream Yoga remains in the top 10.

We are again getting social — there has been a 64% increase in people inviting their friends to class since the start of the year (January 2021), and May saw the highest volume of people inviting friends to class since pre-shutdown.