7 Cold, Hard Truths About Gyms in 2023: Data Doesn’t Lie

A closeup image of the word "truth" chiseled into marble.

As we put the “State of the Industry” report together this year, it became clear that a few things are very important to gym owners.

I’ll share those highlights below, with reference to the guide—which you can get here. Check out my key points but be sure to dig through all 66 pages yourself to find the info that will help you grow your gym.

We publish this guide every year to arm you with real information. I want you to have information to help you make decisions about your gym so you don’t have to act on questionable claims from online “experts.”

Data shows us what’s really happening in the gym world. Without data, everyone is guessing.

7 Data-Backed Truths About the Fitness Industry

1. Expenses are going up a lot—and revenues aren’t.

Check out Page 39 for a comparison of gym expenses in 2022 and 2023, and review Page 21 for revenue data. Don’t skip Page 22, where we show the average Two-Brain gym revenue for comparison.

2. Staff are being paid more—but owners aren’t.

Check out Page 45 for a breakdown of how many staff members the average gym has, what the average pay per class is and what the highest-paid staff member makes on average. Then flip to Page 47 to see what owners are making compared to last year (it’s about the same—except for Two-Brain gyms, where owners take home at least $800 more every month).

3. Gyms are less dependent on group coaching revenue than ever.

Check out page 35 to see where they’re making more money.

4. Gym owners are getting smarter when it comes to group coaching offerings.

In 2023, gyms are offering fewer classes with more people in them. Check out pages 23, 24 and 25 to see how many classes the average gym offers now, as well as how many clients are attending those classes on average. Then turn to Page 26 for a very deep analysis.

5. Gym owners are doing more personal training.

They’re also doing less nutrition coaching and kids coaching. Turn to Page 35 to see the revenue trends related to supplements, kids classes, nutrition coaching, online coaching, uncoached access and everything else.

6. The average gym still has around 159 members.

Build your business model around 150 people first; at 150 members, the owner should be able to earn $100,000 per year and pay a full-time staff person. Hit those targets, then think about scaling to 200, 250, etc. See Page 8 for the full breakdown.

7. Global trends are emerging.

On Page 59, I’ve laid out the trends in the data from a “lifeguard-chair view.” For example, gyms in Eastern Europe and Spain are enjoying the “early adopter” wave for CrossFit and HIIT that we saw in North America around 2015 and Western Europe around 2019. In other areas, commoditization is ringing alarm bells—gyms in Australia, New Zealand and the Western U.S. are seeing low-priced group training enter the market through trusted brands such as Nike. Luckily, the solutions to all the problems are in the data.

Take Action!

What do you do with this knowledge? That’s up to you. It’s your gym.

But you should do something with it.

As Jim Rohn wrote, “‘Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.”

Two-Brain will never force a business model on you or tell you there’s only one way to do things and be successful. On Wednesday, I’ll share how mentors use data to make decisions, and then you’ll know how to do it, too.

Click here to get the full “State of the Industry” guide.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.