The third gym in the Oude Ebbingestraat in Groningen will soon open its doors. The rise of the gym is unstoppable.
The newcomer is located in the building where delivery service Gorillas was until recently and is located next to the Train More and Push & Pull gyms. The three gyms occupy six former shop buildings.
There are a lot of gyms in and around the city center: there is also a Train More in the former post office on Munnekeholm, Basic-Fit is located on the Vismarkt and Westerhaven, Sportief90 on the Eendrachtskade and right opposite ProFit Gym opened about a year and a half ago. . It is just a small selection from the enormous range. For example, Basic-Fit still has three gyms in Groningen and more and more personal trainers are starting their own gym.
‘4 million Dutch people go to the gym every week’
And there is no end to it anytime soon. “We are working on even more gyms that want to establish themselves in and around the city center,” says business broker Igor Feenstra, who has heard that in this case supply creates demand. He remembers the Plaza Sportiva gym, which opened its doors at the Euroborg in 2006. “A gym of 5,000 square meters: is not possible, does not exist, the city cannot handle that, everyone thought. Look how many gyms have been added since then. And I don’t see them leaving either.”
Real estate advisor Wiebe Jongsma of OC Bedrijfsmakelaars also sees more and more gyms popping up. “It is a trend, just like the many barbershops and catering establishments. The gym is very much alive, young and old are busy with healthy eating and living. And what is striking is that the personal trainer falls under the heading of social facilities: it is difficult to fit into an industrial estate, but it is possible in the city center. Retail is having a hard time and the gym appears to be a welcome alternative.”
And quite a few people go there. “The number of fitness practitioners is enormous. 4 million Dutch people go to fitness every week,” says sports researcher Paul Hover of the Mulier Institute. “It has been growing since the 80s or 90s and there is no saturation yet. It is a sport that is accessible all day long, you can go alone or in a group, it is about fitness and strength. It is meaningful for public health.”
The personal trainer is also on the rise, says Hover. Personal trainer Joeri Zwart can talk about that. He opened his gym in the Vechtstraat a year ago, where he and a team of 10 colleagues train 350 people. There is still growth, which is why he is moving to a larger building where he can grow to 550 athletes.
‘The Instagram generation pays more attention to a fit body’
He explains the growth in the number of gyms as follows: “Health is hip and social media shows people who look fantastic. Increased prosperity makes it easier for people to turn to a personal trainer. That’s no longer something you have to live in Los Angeles for.”
According to Hover, more young people have been going to the gym in recent years. “The Instagram generation pays more attention to health and working on a fit body.”
Nys (19 and International Business student) and his roommate Philine (19 and Medicine student) enter Train More in the Oude Ebbingestraat. He goes at least twice a week, she goes four or five times. “I want to stay fit and look fit,” says Philine. “The nice thing about the gym is that I can go where I have time.”
‘But what do you want in a city with 60,000 students?’
Neighbor Harry Meijer from Handyman parts store hears that a third gym is coming to his street. “Then it will be a complete mess in terms of cycling,” he says. “I think three gyms are a lot, but what do you want in a city with 60,000 students?”
Eric Bos of the Groningen City Club also calls it a dilemma that the gym takes the place of shops and catering. “But yes, it is not forbidden and it is better than Gorillas. I think any building that is filled with something other than retail or catering is a shame, because visitors to the city do not come there for a gym. It’s not inspiring.”