Gym statistics: members, equipment, and cancellations.

Gym statistics: members, equipment, and cancellations.

Learn about gym members and the most popular exercises at the gym.

Have you ever wondered who goes to the gym, what the most popular gym equipment and classes are, and why people cancel their memberships? Learn the answers to these questions and more below.

About gym members: who goes, why, and how often

Statistics about gym members

More than 45 million Americans belong to a gym or health club.

  • 23 million men belong to a gym.
  • 22 million women belong to a gym.
  • The largest group of gym members (by age) are adults ages 25 to 54.
  • The average age of gym members is about 40 years old.
Reasons people join a gym

More than half of members join a gym or health club to:

  • Feel better about themselves
  • Look better
  • Lose weight

Other reasons people join a gym are to maintain their strength, build muscle, maintain their weight, and/or stay in shape.

Average gym visits
  • Most members (85%) go to the gym at least six times a year.
  • On average, members go to the gym twice a week.

Most popular exercises, equipment, and classes

Most popular forms of exercise

The four most popular types of exercise at the gym are:

Most popular gym equipment

The two most popular pieces of exercise equipment are:

  • Treadmills
  • Strength raining machines

This isn’t surprising, since the most popular forms of exercise are walking and weight lifting. Elliptical trainers, free weights, and ab machines are also popular pieces of exercise equipment. (Ab machines and sit-ups will not give you a flat stomach.)

Most popular group exercise classes

The four most popular group exercise classes are:

Why people don’t go, cancel membership, or never join

Biggest barriers to going to the gym

The most common reasons people give for not going to the gym (whether they’re current or past members) are:

  • They’re too tired
  • Because of work obligations
  • Due to family obligations
  • They don’t have anyone to go with
  • It’s too expensive
  • They don’t have time
  • The gym isn’t convenient
Why people cancel their gym membership

The top three reasons people cancel their memberships are:

  • It’s too expensive.
  • They could exercise somewhere else for free.
  • They weren’t using their membership.

Other reasons people cancel their memberships include moving (the gym was no longer convenient), the gym being too crowded, or feeling out of place.

Reasons people don’t join a gym in the first place

More than half of the people who don’t belong to a gym say it’s too expensive. Other common reasons people give for not joining a gym are:

  • They exercise somewhere else for free.
  • They participate in another type of exercise (outside the gym).
  • They would feel out of place.
  • They don’t exercise.
  • They don’t have time.
  • The gym isn’t convenient.
IHRSA Trend Report: Second Quarter 2012 Executive Summary.
IHRSA Profiles of Success: The Annual Industry Data Survey of the Health and Fitness Club Industry, compiled in 2010 by The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association and Industry Insights, Inc.

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