The Low-Cost Fitness Trend Has Arrived in Latin America

Over the last few years, low-cost gyms and other fitness-based establishments have been cropping up all over the globe. But while places like the United States have enjoyed a number of opportunities to take control of one’s health in a cost-effective way, other places, such as Latin America, haven’t been quite so lucky – until now.

Until recently, going to a gym of any kind was seen as something that only “upper class” people in Latin America did. This was due, not only to a lack of gym locations in many areas, but also because of high membership fees and other costs as well.

To be clear: this has been a slow journey, but it’s also one that has been a long time coming. Research has indicated that while the first low-cost gyms began to appear in Mexico around 2007, the trend wouldn’t reach Colombia until 2015. Now, that trend is picking up steam in the best possible way, and it has organizations like Smart Fit to thank.

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Riding the Low Cost Wave to Fitness

Smart Fit was founded by Edgard Corona, who still owns it to this day. Thanks to its increasing presence in Latin America, it is the fourth largest business of its type in the world. As of 2022, there were more than 1,200 Smart Fit locations in the region, with more than 3.7 million registered customers. Diogo Corona is the current COO.

Smart Fit began life in 2008 after Edgard Corona observed the major differences between the gym market in the United States and that of Latin America. In Brazil in particular, there were only two main options at the time: Someone could go to the most expensive gyms in the region or the cheapest. There was no middle ground – no affordable way for everyday people to enjoy fitness. That is exactly the gap that he and his colleagues worked to fill.

All it takes is one look at the benefits that the low-cost model brings with it to see why it has become so popular so quickly. Not only is the price for monthly membership fees far more manageable for most people, but the business model also affords the opportunity for more locations as well. People don’t have to drive significant amounts of time just to get to a gym that may not have what they need. They can get the experience they’re after in a far more flexible way.

Budget memberships at these locations typically include access to the gym itself, along with other necessary fitness equipment. Some also offer not only fitness programs but also access to personal trainers and other types of perks and special features.

Overall, it’s always a positive thing when people start taking their health and wellness seriously. In years past, it was difficult for people in Latin America and places like Brazil to do this in any type of appreciable way. Thankfully, the low-cost trend has finally arrived, and organizations like Smart Fit are there every step of the way. 

Click here to learn more about Smart Fit