Monday, June 30, 2008

Where the Money is in Exercise

I guess any reader of this blog is aware of my fascination with yoga. True, it's regarded as an expensive sport - but I would say is that it's worth every penny and every minute.

Still, I thought a touch point on what "expensive" really means would be worthwhile:

At upscale but mainstream yoga studios - Sacred Movement, Yogaworks - a single class (usually an hour and a half, with between 10 and 60 people in the class - kinda depends on the teacher and the time of day) costs $20. But a monthly unlimited class membership (which for me means about 20 classes per month) is about $125 per month, or for me, about $6.50 per class. Couple that with beautiful wood floored yoga rooms, nice amenities, but most important of all, truly world class teachers (I'm talking here in L.A.), and it doesn't seem that bad.

Now a friend recently told me about the new fad up in Brentwood. Burn 60. 60 minutes of interval training - meaning 15 minutes on a treadmill, alternating with 15 minutes of core, strength, and stretching exercises.

Number of students in the class - 30, and you need to reserve in advance because they're so full.

Cost per class - $26 for a single one hour class, down to $19 if you buy a package of 30 classes ($570 for the package). Yikes. And however extensive the expertise of their teachers, I'm pretty sure it doesn't compare to the experience and expertise of good yoga instructors.

Well, I'm not surprised. Yoga is time consuming and the reality is that people with money often have less time. If you want to make money as a sports enterprise, shorter, more intense, boot camp type classes (Curves and Burn 60) are definitely the way to go. Of course you'll counter with the example of gym membership at $40 a month. True, but most people need a good class to get a truly thorough workout, and that human touch (preferably a quick, 45 to 60 minute human touch) may ultimately be what you're paying for.


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