In a Competitive Market, an Uplifting Approach Wins Out
In a city that is inundated with boutique fitness options, Uplift Studio sets itself apart from the rest by offering much more than a great workout. The women-only studio, located in the heart of New York City, conducts various exercise classes, but also features a wide variety of signature events that expand beyond fitness.
“In Manhattan alone there is practically one studio on every block and we came in right at the beginning of that boom and now there are even more,” said Leanne Shear, the co-founder of Uplift Studio. “Instead of competing with that and being entirely a fitness brand, we looked at Uplift as a lifestyle brand.”
The studio offers great workout options through its three core classes — Uplifting Strength, Uplifting HIIT and Uplifting Sculpt Fusion — as well as personal training. The three classes are designed to give women everything they need in a workout: lifting weights in the strength class, cardio training in the HIIT class and lower impact sculpting in the fusion class.
However, these exercise classes are just the tip of the iceberg. “People have a great fitness-oriented experience here, but we look at fitness as a means to empower women in other aspects of their life,” explained Shear. “Unlike most other studios, we have a huge community focus.”
In order to bring value to all aspects of its members’ lives instead of just focusing on fitness, Uplift also hosts a wide variety of events such as workshops, retreats and day trips. The studio has also hosted a career panel series that, according to Shear, was widely successful.
“We put on three different panels with incredible, high-achieving women in New York who started businesses,” said Shear. “We tried to gain all the wisdom we [could] from these female entrepreneurs. Because we are entrepreneurs too, we wanted to share that wisdom and excitement for starting your own business.”
Recently Shear also led a retreat to Miami with a group of women from the studio. Not only did the participants have the opportunity to workout, they were also encouraged to decompress, enjoy a glass of wine and relax with one another.
This focus on community has been a driving factor for the success of Uplift. “The centerpiece is a great workout, but they stick around and come back for more because of our amazing community,” added Shear. “There is a ton of camaraderie here. We keep the classes small, capping them at 10 to 12 so people can get to know one another and bond over their workouts and the community aspect we offer by way of our events.”
While she has considered the possibility of opening additional studios, for now Shear explained she wants to focus on the lifestyle component of the studio, offering more events, retreats and building a stronger community of women.
“People come in the door looking for a great workout, so we have incredible classes and personal training,” said Shear. “But we offer them more and really become a full-service lifestyle destination. Women can get more out of Uplift other than lifting weights.”