When are gyms least busy?

Honest answer? It depends.   We can make some reasonable suggestions based on common trends.   Firstly, most people still work...

Honest answer?

It depends.  

We can make some reasonable suggestions based on common trends.  

Firstly, most people still work a job during the daytime. The rise of remote, flexible, and part-time working models may change this eventually. However, right now, it’s still common for people to work regular daytime hours, and that doesn’t appear to have had a significant impact on when people work out.

In addition to giving you a rundown of the least likely times a gym will be busy, we’d recommend trying these two steps.

  • At your gym, talk to several instructors or other staff. They’ll know first-hand. Gyms often monitor visitor levels, so there may also be some hard data they can draw on. There may even be some regular and anomalous quiet times that you’d never have guessed. 

  • Google your gym. Look to the menu on the right side of the search results, and you should see business information, including an address, phone number, and opening times. You’ll also see a bar chart displaying estimated busyness throughout the day and night. While these won’t be 100% accurate, they will give you a good idea of the peak times.  

    Screenshot of peak times at the gym indicating in the late evening it's busier

When are gyms least busy? 

            • If your gym is open 24 hours a day, it will be quietest during the early morning hours, probably from midnight until around 6 am. That’s the easiest one to call. Most people sleep during the wee small hours, so if you’re dead set on avoiding the crowds, consider exercising super-late (or early, depending on how you look at it).  

            • During the weekday, you’ll probably get people looking to exercise before work. Things will likely get busier from around 7.30 - 8 am until about 10 am.

            • Late mornings and early afternoons are generally quieter, but it may depend on where the gym is located. If your gym is in the city centre, you’ll probably find it busier at lunchtime as workers try to fit in some exercise during their break. Research suggests that exercise during the workday can increase productivity, reduce stress, and beat the afternoon slump, so you may also be competing with corporate memberships for that last treadmill.  

            • Things usually pick up between 4 and 8 pm as people go for a post-work session.

            • Evenings from 8 pm onwards will likely be quieter as most people will be at home with families.

            • If you go to a gym popular with university students, you may find that much of the above won't always apply. Students tend to keep different hours; you’re probably better off talking to the gym to ascertain which times are less busy. 

              empty gym with sunlight coming through the window

            • The weekends are harder to call. For some people, it’s when they have more free time to exercise. For others, it’s an opportunity to be with friends and family, complete work around the house, go out and celebrate, etc. There are a lot of differing opinions, suggesting this comes down to individual gyms. Weekends are more popular in some places than others, although the consensus seems to be that Saturday evenings and first thing Sunday mornings appear to be quieter. Some people have said, however, that Sundays are always quiet in their gyms.

            • If your gym is in a suburban area, you may find that it gets busier mid to late morning after parents have dropped their children off at school. Equally, this may be the case if you exercise at a gym with a higher percentage of retired people.

            • If you’re relatively flexible on your time, try visiting the gym at different parts of the day and see for yourself. You may be surprised when it’s quieter and busier.

            • Remember that January and February are traditionally busy times for the gym, so this may affect how many people are there during the day. Equally, gyms tend to calm down a little over the summer months with children off school and people on holiday, so bear that in mind if you’re visiting throughout the day during these periods.

These are all rough estimations, but they follow patterns reported by many gyms and instructors, so they should give at least some idea of when the gym is busiest.

And if you're tired of queuing up for equipment, there's always at-home exercise equipment. You can now pre-order the RE:GEN, an electricity-generating indoor cycling bike.  

Experience RE:GEN


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