The evolution of the species

From the Fitness Boutique to the Functional Boutique

Before we get into the world of the Functional Boutique, let’s define the concept of the Fitness Boutique or the Boutique Gym.

The Fitness Boutiques represent a new way (although not too new as they’ve been open in the United States for more than 10 years) to propose a workout space. This concept differs from the classic gym with a large space that offers its clients 10 or so diversified workouts (the idea of offering a little bit of everything), and instead proposes one, high quality workout option.

The Fitness Boutique, contrary to the gym, is characterized by its small spaces and compact dimensions, in which the main element is the concept of specialization.

The evolution of the species

Specialization versus the generalist approach

According to Susan Freeman, specialization is the main quality that allows businesses to become important in niche markets and this definition perfectly describes and confirms the success of the fitness boutique methods in the world of training.

“It doesn’t matter what or who we’re talking about, from movies to chiropractors to books to financial consultants, clients want specialization.”

S. Freeman

This craving for specialization extends to the world of fitness and is one of the main driving forces to the attractiveness and growth of Fitness Boutiques.

People don’t want to go to a stereotypical place that everyone knows like the classic gym such as the Globo Gym, where every personal need is met with the “everything for everyone” response, or complete generalization that doesn’t sum up to anything good for the clients.

Weight room, cardio room, the room for various group activities, all pushed by aggressive marketing and cheap prices. An offer that’s considered too ordinary or even outdated for clients that are staying informed and looking for something new.

The emotional experience of the client makes the difference

Fitness Boutiques are gyms (even if it would be better to avoid using this word as it brings to mind the idea of a wellness center) with small dimensions in which a precise exercise is practiced. The quality standards are very high and results are obtained by putting the client at the center of the training and paying attention to their emotional world, not just their performance.

The paradigm shift between Globo Gyms and Boutiques can be explained as the transition from renting a space in which the client can find everything they might need to stay in shape – even if they’re not sure what they need – to a dedicated service to reach ones’ personal goals through a specific discipline, calibrated for them.

         The traditional gym proposes a menu with pre-packaged meals that are given out based on the presumed flavor preferences of the client. In the Functional Boutiques, the exclusive and high quality ingredients are used to cook a buffet that focuses on the experience of the moment: unique, non-repeatable, and integrated into the psychophysical characteristics of the person.

The evolution of the species

Functional Boutique: not just softs lights, DJing and loud music.

The Functional Boutique represents a decline in the Boutique Gym, focusing on a specialized activity represented by functional training.

The typical dimensions of the training room is anywhere from 90 to 500 mq, meanwhile the other spaces not dedicated to training are reduced as much as possible. In these particular times of urgency and regulations, structures that have direct access to outdoor zones, public or private, have certainly had an advantage.

The specialization element is made from the natural simplicity of the training method and the main strengths of these wellness Boutiques are:

·        The rigorous and competent application of the principles of functional training;

·        Group work (not to be intended as the many versions of group exercise, but with the idea to create a true union of people that enjoy being together and helping each other work out);

·        An economic proposal that’s different from traditional annual memberships.

·        An integrated working method in which marketing, hospitality, sales and training are designed to be the best experience that the client can have.

In conclusion, below is a quote from a book in which the term Functional Boutique appears for the first time:

The evolution of the species

“If you want to be efficient, you have to create a method that doesn’t depend on people. You need a procedure that integrates sales, marketing, organization and service provision activities to be implemented with systematic criteria in view of one of the most important business goals: to create a profit in an ethical and ecological way.”

From the book Trifit System – Piccola struttura, grandi profitti.
La rivoluzione nel fitness

Francesco Perticari



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