These lifestyle gyms aren’t competing with Ozempic, they’re embracing it

You might think that a class of drugs that have been proven to help users lose weight 15% to 20% of your body weight can put the fitness industry on top. But some gyms are embracing these slimming drugs. And surprisingly, a new Morgan Stanley analyst report released this month suggests these gyms are making the right move.

Ozempic, Wegovy and Zepbound are all GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) agonists, a type of drug that helps regulate blood sugar levels and suppresses users’ appetite. These drugs were first approved to treat type 2 diabetes, but have since been approved for weight loss and in the last year demand for these drugs has skyrocketed.

Morgan Stanley analysts now forecast the global market for these drugs to reach $105 billion by 2030, up from a previous projection of $77 billion. The investment bank also expects GLP-1 adoption to reach about 31.5 million people in the United States, about 9% of the nations population, by 2035.

Some food executives have previously expressed concern about the financial implications of these weight-loss drugs and their growing popularity.

Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen, CEO of Novo Nordisk, maker of Ozempic and Wegovysaid in February that food company CEOs are calling him for advice regarding popular treatments.

A couple of CEOs of, say, food companies have been calling me, Jorgensen told Bloomberg. They are afraid of it.

While the fears of these food CEOs may be justified, survey data has suggested that users who take these drugs do reduce your spending at restaurants Executives in the gym and fitness industry may have nothing to worry about.

It should never be a bad thing for the fitness industry to have a large population of people getting into better shape, said Michael Crandall, a personal trainer at E by Equinox in Hudson Yards who piloted and developed the luxury gyms. . Ozempic Protocol. The natural progression of weight loss is better fitness.

Weight loss drug users exercise and go to the gym more

Last June, a Morgan Stanley survey of GLP-1 users found that the percentage of respondents who said they worked out weekly increased from 35% to 77% once they started GLP-1 treatment .

While the exact driver is unclear from the survey, perhaps as patients lose weight, they feel more physically capable and mentally motivated to exercise to increase the benefits they’re seeing from weight-loss medications, they write the analysts in the report.

A more recent survey by the investment bank found that users of these drugs not only exercise more, but also join the gym.

Of the approximately 300 GLP-1 users that Morgan Stanley surveyed this February, 50% are members of a gym. About 70% of them joined a gym in the last 12 months, the same time period that most started with a GLP-1.

Equinox, Life Time Fitness and Xponential Fitness are betting on GLP-1

Several luxury and lifestyle gyms have launched programs in recent months that target people who do or want to do a GLP-1.

Crandall said he started noticing people talking about these drugs last fall, but it wasn’t until January that he really noticed an increase in customers starting to ask more questions about them. At the same time, he also saw that a growing number of new customers he was bringing on board were already on a GLP-1.

And so this year, Equinox began educating its top-level trainers on how best to coach clients on these medications in terms of both exercise and nutrition.

However, Equinox is not alone in investing in programs for drug users to lose weight.

Life Time Fitness debuted its MIORA Longevity and performance program in November at a Minneapolis location and online. Through MIORA, members can get a health assessment that includes a blood draw and then receive personalized health recommendations, including advice on exercise and nutrition, hormone therapy, and prescriptions for GPL-1 agonists.

And Xponential Fitness, the parent company of boutique brands like Pure Barre, Rumble and RowHouse acquired the chain of weight loss clinics Lindora in Decemberwhich offers prescriptions for weight loss medications.

Gyms could be the solution to GLP-1-related muscle loss

When someone takes this drug, they will have fewer cravings, so they will eat less food, Crandall said. He added that, along with weight loss, this could lead to a decrease in bone density and lean muscle mass.

Drug manufacturers have noticed this phenomenon and are working to develop it new generation drugs that treat this side effect.

In the meantime, programs like Equinox’s could be part of the solution.

Crandall said one of the biggest parts of Equinox’s program is trying to get people to eat enough healthy protein to pair with their physical activity now, so they’re not hungry for it.

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