The Philippines ranks #13 as the most health-conscious country on the planet. The nation of 7,640 islands almost obsessively searched Google for healthy eating trends and exercise tips.
But does that mean the streets of Manilla are lined with fitness clubs? Or that all 109.6 million Filipinos eat, breathe, and sleep the gym rat lifestyle?
Spoiler alert: Not even close. While the Philippines’ fitness market is picking up steam and surging at a record pace, it still lags far behind other countries.
Check out these seven statistics about the Philippines’ booming fitness service industry!
Table of Contents
- Philippines’ Fitness Industry Continues to Grow
- The Fitness Industry Driven By Female Customers
- COVID-19 Impacts on Gym Memberships and the Fitness Industry
Philippines’ Fitness Industry Continues to Grow
- The Philippines added fitness centers at a CAGR of 7% between 2013 and 2018.
- Experts predict the fitness market revenue in the Philippines will soar at an 8% CAGR between 2018 and 2023.
- From 2018 to 2023, the number of gym memberships in the Philippines is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11% or higher.
Gyms, Memberships, & the Philippines
As gyms continue to pop up in busier metro hubs like Metro Manila and Quezon City, more Filipinos than ever are joining the fitness club craze.
But the stats also reveal the most (and least) likely faces at Filipino gyms.
The 45–54 age group is also more likely to join a neighborhood gym over a chain.
Income influences who exercise the most, too. A surprising 61% of middle-income earners — those pulling in ₱43,828–₱76,669 or $852–$1,491 per month — didn’t exercise regularly.
What Are the Most Popular Gyms In the Philippines?
Just as the U.S. has Retro Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and Planet Fitness, the Philippines has its own line-up of popular gym chains.
Four of the most popular Filipino fitness club brands include:
With over 130 branches across the Philippines, Anytime Fitness is one of the most widely available gyms in the Pearl of the Orient Sea — accounting for 21%* of gym memberships.
The 5,000-club global network is known for its vast equipment options, 24/7 unlimited gym access, and tight-knit community atmosphere.
AF clubs offer everything from squat racks and BOSU balls to one-on-one personal training and free group classes. Memberships start at about ₱2,500 per month (or $48.63).
Pound for Pound Fitness
Pound for Pound Fitness ranks #2 as the most popular gym in the Philippines, attracting 19% of Filipino gym members with its discounted ₱1,000 per month fee (equivalent to $19.45).
While not much is known about the gym chain, we do know that it holds a bold presence in Metro Manila. Members enjoy perks like Muay Thai classes and affordable personal training.
Hailing as the “best” gym in the 25–34-year-old crowd, the Fitness First franchise boasts a user base of nearly 13% of all Filipino gym members between its 14+ branches.
The ₱1,990 monthly membership fee ($36.96) includes perks like unlimited HIIT classes, high-end spin, free weight set-ups, and state-of-the-art swimming pools (at select clubs).
Our final top-ranked fitness dynasty in the Philippines holds distant ties to the Mecca of Bodybuilding and doubles as the bodybuilder’s paradise — Gold’s Gym.
It’s not quite as popular in the Philippines, with about 25 local branches and just 5% of all gym subscriptions. But Gold’s deep-rooted history makes it worth the ₱3,800 monthly fee ($74).
The clubs host Rapid Fit circuit classes, sports conditioning sessions, and sprawling resistance training sections for those ready to get buff.
* We pulled these membership rates from a 1,000-person poll of Filipinos visiting the gym consistently before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Actual attendance rates may vary.
The Fitness Industry Driven By Female Customers
- The surge in newly opened fitness centers in the Philippines came from higher demand from females.
- The number of females using fitness services (i.e., fitness classes or gym memberships) is projected to grow by a CAGR of 13% from 2019 to 2023.
Why Are Women In the Philippines Driving the Fitness Industry?
That’s not 100% clear right now. But we do know that 82% of Filipinas exercise to lose weight, while just one in ten trains to build muscle (also known as “hypertrophy”).
Despite the female-linked industry upswing, women in the Philippines are not more active than men. In fact, half of the women-led inactive lives — compared to just 30% of Filipino men.
Male university students were also more likely to have high physical activity levels than their female classmates (44.91% vs. 30.67%).
But Filipinas may be driving fitness industry growth because of:
Availability of Female-Only Gyms
Curves — yes, that ‘90s fad — is still gaining traction in the Philippines as a lady-friendly fitness club with a comfortable, low-pressure, feminine atmosphere, similar to what you might find in boutique fitness studios.
With traditional resistance machines, one-on-one coaching, and relaxing yoga classes, women’s gyms like Curves redefine fitness and break gender-based training stereotypes.
More Female-Friendly Classes
Filipino gyms now offer an even wider selection of group classes that draw female crowds. That includes Zumba, yoga, spin or cycling, dance, kickboxing, and CrossFit.
Women that don’t like breaking a sweat on the treadmill or lifting heavy dumbbells enjoy alternative ways to stay active and be healthy — the #1 reason men and women exercise.
Rising Obesity Rates
Although the national obesity rate in the Philippines is absurdly low, the rate is still steadily climbing. Between 1995 and 2015, the number of obese Filipinas jumped from 3.4% to 8.7%.
Women in the Philippines are more likely to be overweight and obese than men, shedding even more light on why Filipinas are turning to local fitness clubs as exercise outlets.
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COVID-19 Impacts on Gym Memberships and the Fitness Industry
- The online workout trend in the Philippines more than doubled during the pandemic, jumping from 35% to 77%.
- A 2021 survey of 1,000 Filipino gym-goers revealed that 29% planned to register for a gym despite the COVID-19 crisis.
Why Filipinos Do & Don’t Exercise: Pre-COVID-19
The COVID pandemic leveled just about every industry across the globe. But before COVID-19 ravaged the Philippines and redefined “normal,” what motivated Filipinos to exercise?
Here’s how opinions on fitness varied between Filipino youth and adults:
In Youth (15–21)
A 2010 survey of Filipino youth revealed weight management (18%), strength and endurance (11%), and physical appearance (10%) as the top three inspirations to stay active.
The poll also peeled back the curtain on the favorite ways Filipino youth stay fit. Boys enjoyed running, jogging, and basketball, while girls preferred running, walking, and jogging.
However, there’s a disturbing “catch.” Out of 146 countries studied, the Philippines is one of four where more than 90% of youths aged 11–17 didn’t get enough exercise (93.4% to be exact).
While active Filipinos label “health and fitness” as their top reasons to exercise, we also know why some avoid the gym and training altogether.
In 2016, the top excuses for not exercising were a lack of time due to careers (57%) and a two-way tie between no motivation to train (47%) and modern life “distractions” (technology).
All in all, approximately 57% of Filipino adults are slacking on exercise.
How COVID-19 Changed Gym Culture In the Philippines
COVID-19 was an unexpected snag in the once rapidly expanding Filipino fitness industry.
In fact, two-thirds of adults in the Philippines were admittedly less active two years into the pandemic, which is particularly problematic since many respondents were older adults.
And, those who switched to home workouts during lockdown felt less satisfied by their workouts, often blaming a lack of equipment (50%) and little motivation (48%).
Yet, those who continued visiting in-person fitness clubs during the pandemic also saw gyms in a new light, judging a gym’s quality based on:
- Monthly membership fees (21.59%), with most preferring <$20/month
- Proper ventilation and airflow (17.56%) to avoid breathing in COVID-19 particles
- Service (16.59%) like VIP and premium services
- Access to a trainer (14.63%), preferably one-on-one training
Despite these changing mindsets, adults in the Philippines continued visiting gyms during the pandemic, though many facilities reduced their capacity to 50% for safety.
There’s not much data out there about the Filipino arm of the fitness service industry.
However, it’s clear that obesity is a growing concern, and more adults in the Philippines see the value in registering for gym memberships and getting active.
If time, finances, or motivation are your biggest training barriers:
- Walk to your destinations instead of driving or taking public transportation.
- Buy used fitness equipment (or borrow from friends).
- Dedicate any spare time — even a few minutes — to walking, calisthenics exercises like push-ups or burpees, or chores around the house.
- Jog, run, or bike (if you have one) outdoors.
- Play sports outside with friends or relatives, or spend time with your pets outdoors.
Getting active and staying fit doesn’t have to cost a dime, nor does it require 150 minutes of “free time” per week. Any little bit counts!
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