Boutique gyms packing in members

Boutique gyms packing in members
Niche market: Grit is a no-frills, bare-bones fitness facility that is among the newest to join Singapore's burgeoning boutique gym scene.

The workout at local gym Grit begins even before you set foot inside: It is an 80-step climb to the fitness facility, located on the highest floor of a shophouse in North Canal Road.

Inside, training equipment like kettlebells and battle ropes occupy part of the small, bare-bones space - also the training ground for its "warriors".

The gym, which opened in May, conducts classes based on a training system from the United States called Training For Warriors.

Each class is capped at four people, said co-trainer Allan Ng, so everyone can expect "individual attention".

"Fitness is not about smashing yourself during a workout, but about improving your life in some way," he explained.

"And because this is different for everyone, it's important that we take care of even the smallest details during a person's workout, and make sure it suits his or her particular abilities and needs."

Like several other gyms here, Grit is part of a trend that has landed in Singapore: Small, specialised and intimate fitness centres that forgo cookie-cutter programmes and services.

And this niche market - comprising centres that offer anything from high-intensity interval training to Power Plate classes - looks set to grow.

A My Paper check with six boutique gyms found that all are seeing membership numbers climb, with some even doubling those from a year before.

"These days, people want personalised service and to feel part of a community," said Brad Robinson, chief executive of Ritual, known for its "in and out in 30 minutes" model.

"It's simply not possible to feel like anyone even knows you exist when you share a space with thousands of other members (in a big gym)."

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