Fitness instructors are touring like rock stars.
Taryn Toomey, the founder of The Class, an emotional workout that combines music, dancing and shouting with body weight exercises and mediation, has taken her New York City-based spiritual show on the road with a tour to celebrate the launch of her digital studio.
The fitness entrepreneur, whose fans include Jennifer Aniston, Naomi Watts and Christy Turlington, is bringing The Class to cities like Chicago, Atlanta, D.C., and Philadelphia in a concert format with live music. It’s all to promote her digital studio that makes her wellness program accessible to people at home anywhere.
“It’s a live transformational fitness experience meets rock concert, that’s really what the essence of The Class is,” Toomey described to FOX Business of launching a tour in tandem with her digital streaming service. “I always felt that what goes on in that room is so intimate. It’s not just a physical workout. I thought, if we could do these largescale events, it would feel more organic.”
Tickets to see Toomey teach The Class on tour cost $65, and include 60 minutes of her spiritual workout that combines high-intensity interval training with cardio, Pilates and yoga all performed rhythmically to live vocals, music and drums. Music by bands like Mumford and Sons plays as attendees do a heart pumping mix of jumping jacks, burpees and squats.
Attendees will get a first look at the digital studio, which features live classes held twice a day seven days a week for users to experience from at home or on the go in real time for $40 a month. She's offering a seven-day free trial, and plans to roll out a corresponding app, she said.
Toomey said the decision to start streaming her intimate fitness classes held in New York City and Los Angeles studios was a challenge.
“People should have access to it [The Class] also knowing that the experience of doing it collectively in a room brings an energy that gets infused through your body, but that doesn’t mean that the message cannot still positively impact somebody at home,” she said.
Interactive fitness equipment services with virtual trainers and live classes have tried partnering with Toomey, she said, but she ultimately decided against it for now.
“I’ve always been fearful of giving the content to someone else to do what they want to do with it,” Toomey said, of wanting to build out her own digital practice first before considering future partnerships. “It may make sense to align with someone else after we’re sure that the expression that’s going on digitally is true to what the work is.”
The wellness guru started The Class in 2013 after years working in the fashion industry for designers like Ralph Lauren and Dior.
“I worked my way up through the corporate ladder. I thought I was unhappy with the company, and it wasn’t; it was the job I was in looking at spreadsheets all day. I found myself racing out every day to get to my movement practice,” Toomey said of her decision to pivot in to the fitness space.
The global wellness industry grew 12.8% in the last two years, from a $3.7 trillion market in 2015, to a $4.2 trillion in 2017, according to the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor.
Toomey was an early pioneer to the trend. She started hosting her Retreatments, fitness and holistic-driven vacations, five years ago in places like Rhode Island, Malibu, Mexico and the Dominican Republic that have attracted more than 1,000 attendees in the last five years.
Now, more gyms and lifestyle brands are carving out wellness tourism platforms. This year, Equinox started offering fitness retreats including workouts like personal training sessions, foraging for seasonal ingredients with local chefs, transformative mediations and luxury accommodations. And Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop rolled out its namesake Goop League, teaming up with fitness instructors to bring live workout classes, healthy food and drinks along with wellness treatments.