Gym-goers: Most of us know one, a fair few us are one. Indeed, our latest data suggest that 12% describe themselves as ‘gym goers’. But what is it that sets fitness fanatics apart from the population at large?

Using YouGov Profiles I have assessed the motivations and mentality of people who are gym members. While naturally the group is a varied bunch – ranging from those who rigidly adhere to “leg day” to those who pop along after work a couple of days a week – our data shows that as a group they are a distinct breed – more driven and disciplined than the rest of the population.

When it comes to their careers, gym-goers are ambitious and focussed on what they want to achieve, prioritising hitting their work goals. While making time for exercise is obviously key to this group, half (51%) are willing to sacrifice their spare time in order to get ahead at work (compared to 40% of the population as a whole). Furthermore, four in ten (38%) are more motived by their own career progression than money (against 29% of the British public).


Tied to this, fitness fanatics tend to be assertive in the workplace, applying their will to situations and colleagues. Over seven in ten (74%) say they don’t like being told what to do, while 39% believe they can usually get people to see an issue their way (compared to 33% of the public).

Furthermore, they are more likely to have a streak of steel in them, 35% don’t being ruthless to get where they want. In terms of specific personality traits, approaching a fifth (17%) of gym-goers describe themselves as ‘independent’ (as against 12%), while 15% believe they are ‘strong-willed’ (vs. 12%).

What does this mean for brands?

Allied to being driven in their careers, fitness fanatics are also more likely to be a disciplined group – and this matters to any brands looking to target them. Regular gym-goers focus on a particular product they want to buy, with over seven in ten (74%) saying they save up for things that they want (against 66% of GB public).

However, being such disciplined consumers means they can be difficult to target. Two thirds of fitness fans (66%) feel they are bombarded by advertising. Half (53%) many feel that adverts are ‘a waste of time’.

Social media therefore, is the effective medium for any ad efforts; over half say that online is the most effective advertising channel. A quarter (27%) of gym member engage with adverts on social media rather than on regular websites (compared to 20% of the general population).

So while getting through to the group is tough, if a brand is able to fit its messaging to fit in with this group’s personality and ambitions, it will be well placed.

Image iStock

Discover more about YouGov research

Fill out the form below and one of our experts will be in touch.
Related Content