20+ Types of Gyms (Guide for Gym Owner With Examples)

Are you planning to start your own gym, but you don’t know what type of business will bring the most money and personal satisfaction? We present a list of 20 types of fitness places. You will surely find something for yourself. 

This article is addressed not only to future gym owners. Also stay with us if you want to check which type of gym is best for you. If you are a person who trains or wants to start training.

A Guide for Aspiring Gym Owners

Global Industry Value

The global fitness and gym industry is valued at $96.7 billion as of 2023, and it’s projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5%, reaching $125.23 billion by 2030​ (Ninjaquest)​​ (FitGrow)​.

  • Gym Business: Research the fitness industry and your target market. Develop a solid business plan outlining goals, services, and financial projections.
  • Gyms typically require: Adequate space, quality equipment, knowledgeable staff, and effective marketing strategies.
  • Gym Management Software: Invest in software for streamlined operations, including membership management, scheduling, billing, and reporting.

WodGuru is a recommended club management system.

You get an unlimited trial! Register your account and see how WodGuru can help you run your club.

  • Marketing and Promotion: Utilize social media, email marketing, and local advertising to attract and retain members.
  • Customer Experience: Focus on exceptional service and creating a welcoming environment. Offer personalized programs and listen to member feedback for continuous improvement.

20+ Types of Gyms & Their Characteristics

Welcome to a comprehensive guide on different gym types! It will help you navigate your fitness journey! From traditional gyms to specialized fitness centers, we’ll explore various options tailored to specific goals and preferences. 

1. The most common gyms 

Traditional gyms offer a variety of cardio and strength training equipment, usually with a large floor space for free weights and machines. 

In this kind of fitness place you will usually experience group fitness classes. 

Typical gym’s equipment are, among others:

  • Treadmills
  • Dumbbells
  • Stationary bicycles
  • Benches
A typical gym with varied equipment

2. Small Gyms

Fitness Studios, smaller than fitness centers, are specialized facilities focusing on specific activities like:

  • Group fitness classes
  • Personal training
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Zumba
  • Dance classes 

Small and cozy gym with only two-three pieces of certain type of machinery.

Some clients prefer cozy studios to larger fitness centers. What they appreciate is that they are friends with the owner and trainers and have personal contact.

3. CrossFit Gyms

This kind of gym emphasizes high-intensity functional movements and strength training. Those classes are often conducted in a group setting. 

A crossfit gym participant.

Traditionally crossfit gym is more often associated with offers for men. Perhaps because of the cult of strength and masculinity, which is strongly emphasized here. However, it happens more and more often that women also take part in CrossFit.

4. Boutique Gyms: Focused and Personalized Fitness

A boutique gym is a quite prestigious fitness studio, offering specialized classes. There will be personal training, cycling, barre, or HIIT, often with a strong community focus. 

Boutique gyms are not the cheapest ones, but they find their clientele thanks to a personal approach and high standards.

Personal training session in a boutique gym.

5. Powerlifting Gyms

This kind of fitness place focuses on heavy lifting and strength training. There is specialized equipment on the premises, like squat racks and deadlift platforms.

Lifting weights is one of typical exercises in powerlifting gyms.

6. Bodybuilding Gyms

Equipped for serious muscle building, featuring extensive free weights, resistance machines, and often posing areas. 

This is the type of gym for the customers whose one of fitness goals is making their shape.

Bodybuilding session

Many bodybuilding gyms offer personal training services and coaching from experienced trainers or coaches who specialize in strength and muscle building techniques, providing guidance on proper form, workout programming, and nutrition.

7. Boxing Gyms

This kind of gym centers on boxing training. Their offer includes heavy bags, speed bags, boxing rings, and often offers sparring sessions.

Many boxing gyms have a dedicated area with strength training equipment such as weights, resistance bands, and conditioning tools like battle ropes and agility ladders to complement boxing training and enhance overall fitness.

Boxing gym participant

In addition to boxing-specific training, boxing gyms may offer cardio-focused workouts such as skipping rope, shadowboxing, and circuit training to improve endurance, speed, and cardiovascular health.

8. Martial arts studios

There are many popular styles of martial arts:

  • Grappling or Ground-Fighting Martial Arts
  • Striking or Stand-up Martial Arts Styles
  • Low-impact or Meditative Styles
  • Weapon use Martial Arts Styles
  • Hybrid Fighting Styles
  • More Non-classified Styles

… and therefore, many types of martial arts studios.

Martial arts school

For now, probably the most popular kind of fitness place connected with martial arts is an MMA Gym. Mixed martial arts facilities offer training in disciplines such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling, and boxing.

9. Functional Training Gym

A functional training gym focuses on exercises that improve everyday movements and overall functional fitness. They offer a variety of functional equipment and workouts tailored to enhance strength, mobility, stability, and coordination. 

A woman practicing body balance.

With personalized training options and group fitness classes, these gyms emphasize real-life applications and holistic fitness to help individuals achieve better health and performance in daily activities.

The equipment used is: kettlebells, resistance bands, and medicine balls. 

10. Women-Only Gyms

Here we have a safe and inclusive space, designed specifically for women. In its offer you’ll find a comfortable and supportive environment. 

The equipment and level of physical exercise are meant to meet women’s fitness goals and their mental needs.

Women only gyms are a good example of a mix between fitness, health and wellness industry.

Women’s training sessions in specialized studios for ladies.

11. Senior Fitness Gyms

Serve to older adults, with equipment and programs designed for low-impact, safe exercise. Their certified trainers must understand the unique challenges and considerations of aging bodies. 

It offers tailored exercise programs, equipment, and classes designed to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and overall health in seniors. 

Senior gym

What matters here is the focus on promoting independence, mobility, and quality of life. It happens through safe and effective exercise routines tailored to seniors’ abilities and goals.

12. 24-hour Access Membership Gyms

What is the best idea for people working on shifts? A gym which is open around the clock, providing flexibility for members to work out anytime that suits their schedule. 

Easy access to a 24-hour gym thanks to good gym management software.

What can help here a lot is a good gym management software, which enables:

13. Community Recreation Center

It is a multi-purpose facility often run by local governments, offering gym equipment, swimming pools, sports courts, and classes. 

Community basketball court

Outdoor fitness parks can be a part of a community recreation center too. It is a place for children and adults, for more and less advanced ones.

14. Corporate Gyms

Located within workplaces, offering employees convenient access to fitness facilities and wellness programs.

A corporate gym offering a small break from office work.

15. Small Group and Personal Training Gyms

Focuses on one-on-one or small group training sessions, often with personalized fitness plans and close supervision. 

This kind of gym offers one-to-one, the most effective, personal training sessions.

A personal training with individual approach

As a personal trainer or training with such a specialist, do not forget about a training app. It makes life easier, saves time and is a great motivation to be consistent.

16. Hotel Gym

Located within hotels, typically offering a range of basic cardio and strength equipment for travelers. 

It may not have the highest quality equipment or a diverse offer. But tourists who stay in the hotel for a while willingly take advantage of this opportunity for physical activity.

Small gym in a hotel and a spa area.

17. Outdoor Gyms

Facilities located in parks or outdoor spaces, featuring equipment designed for weather resistance and outdoor use. 

Outdoor gym

Physical fitness as part of a walk is a very good idea when people do not have a real professional gym near their place of residence.

18. Climbing Gyms

Climbing gyms specialize in indoor climbing activities. Their offer may contain bouldering, top-rope climbing, and lead climbing walls.

Rock climbing gyms often feature a variety of routes and challenges suitable for climbers of all skill levels. They provide a safe and controlled environment for practicing climbing techniques and building strength and endurance. 

In addition to climbing walls, rock climbing gyms may offer training areas, equipment rentals, and instructional classes led by experienced climbers.

Climbing wall

19. Aquatic Gyms

Their offer centers around swimming and water-based fitness. You can find there pools for lap swimming, water aerobics sessions, and other aquatic exercises. 

Aquatic gym offering relaxing classes and nice souvenir photos.

20. Yoga and Pilates Studios

If you want to offer mindful movement to your students, take a look at how yoga studios work. Perhaps it’s a good idea to combine a yoga and pilates studio if there are none nearby. 

In these times of constant rush and not listening to the body’s needs, such an offer is worth its weight in gold.

If you feel this kind of fitness place would be a perfect idea for your business, check how much it costs to open a yoga studio and How Much Does a Yoga Studio Owner Make in 2024 (Yoga Studio Owner Salary).

A member of a yoga studio

21. Dance Studios: Fitness Through Dance

Whether it’s ballet, hip-hop, jazz, salsa, or contemporary dance. Each class offers a full-body workout that improves cardiovascular health, flexibility, coordination, and muscle tone. 

Dance studios create a supportive and inclusive environment where individuals can express themselves creatively. At the same time getting fit and having fun. 

Experienced instructors lead energetic and motivating classes. Dance studios inspire participants to embrace movement, rhythm, and self-expression. They are essential components of a healthy lifestyle.

Dance studio classes

What are some new types of gyms?

These modern gyms are new concepts of fitness. They meet various fitness interests and preferences, offering innovative ways to stay active and healthy.

Virtual boxing gym
  • HIIT Studios: Specializing in high-intensity interval training for quick, intense workouts.
  • Recovery Centers: Focused on techniques like cryotherapy and compression therapy for faster recovery.
  • VR Fitness Centers: Using virtual reality for immersive and engaging workout experiences.
  • Tech-Driven Gyms: with advanced technology for smart equipment, virtual training, and personalized workouts.

Are you a future gym owner or a future gym member?

If you are a future gym owner…If you are a future gym member…
Check what the average start-up costs of different types of gyms are.Choose the best type of gym that suits your lifestyle.
Choose the type of gym where you don’t only manage, but can work yourself. According to your skills, certificates, interests and experience. Take into account your physical limitations. Not everybody must train in martial arts or advanced gymnastics, right?
What is the best gym to start to make a lot of money?Check what the factors of a good gym are. 
Find a proper location according to market research.Find a fitness place near your house. 
Write a detailed gym business plan to avoid surprises.Choose a gym which uses good gym management software. It will save you time and make contact and payments easier.


What are the different types of gyms?

Main types of gyms are:

  1. Commercial Gyms
  2. Boutique Studios
  3. Functional Training Gyms
  4. Bodybuilding Gyms
  5. Boxing Gyms
  6. CrossFit Gyms
  7. Climbing Gyms
  8. Senior Fitness Gyms
  9. Women-Only Gyms
  10. Recovery Centers
  11. VR Fitness Centers
  12. Outdoor Gyms
  13. Tech-Driven Gyms
  14. Dance Studios

What types of gyms are there?

There are many types of gyms to meet a wide range of individual fitness goals and preferences, offering various ways to stay active and healthy. The most general division is between: 

  • fitness centers, chain gyms, big franchises,
  • small gyms, personal training studios, boutique studios,
  • specialized fitness places, like crossfit gyms, pole dance studios, martial arts schools,
  • new types of gyms, among others, using virtual reality.

Which gym type is the best for me?

Choose the sports type which attracts you somehow. Nor everybody likes martial arts (too aggressive…? ) or yoga (boring…?). Take into account your physical limitations. Take up a sport that will help your health and not destroy it. For example, don’t go to artistic gymnastics classes if you have a problem with your spine. Try yoga and pilates then.

Why do people go to private gyms?

People choose private gyms for personalized experiences, specialized equipment, comfort, privacy, community, and flexible scheduling. These gyms offer tailored workouts, high-quality facilities, and a sense of exclusivity that aligns with individual preferences and goals.

Key Takeaways

  • There are many kinds of gyms, according to different kinds of sports and other physical activities.
  • If you are an aspiring gym owner, choose a type of business according to your skills, certifications, interests and experience.
  • If you are a gym member-to-be, choose a gym which will help you relax, grow both mentally and physically, and is close to your place of residence. 
  • The best gyms use gym management software to save time and money and make life easier. 

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