Home » “Body business” – the business of body cult in Switzerland – News – Breaking Latest News

“Body business” – the business of body cult in Switzerland – News – Breaking Latest News

“Body business” – the business of body cult in Switzerland – News – Breaking Latest News


Whether going to the gym, training with your own body weight or jogging – Switzerland seems fitter than ever. Where does this body cult come from and where should it stop?

Jeanne Gerbault / RTS

The cult of the body seems to have no end to work. “Let’s go Fitness” in Biel/Bienne is open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Rarely is a device free.

«Strength training has come back into fashion. “Everything that has been out for years – squats or dead lifts – is back in fashion,” explains Antonio Capelli, managing director of the fitness studio.

You can get involved with a monthly subscription of up to 100 francs. And the fitness studio business is booming. Their sales amounted to over one billion francs in 2022, with good growth prospects, according to the umbrella organization Swiss Active.

Almost one in six adults

Around 1.16 million people in Switzerland are members of a fitness studio; almost one in six adults. A large network of influencers constantly ensures new training trends.

The gyms are adapting to this. Frédéric Delence, head of “Activ Fitness” in French-speaking Switzerland, says: “There is a change in mentality regarding the use of sport.”

Caption: A fitness instructor demonstrates exercises with dumbbells in a gym in Zurich. KEYSTONE / Gaetan Bally (archive image)

And the business surrounding the cult of the body is also huge. The customer Orelia Kande spends over a thousand francs a year, be it on nutritional supplements or sports clothing.

«At first I just wanted to lose weight. But through practice it became a passion,” explains Kande.

Personal coach and personalized training

Orelia Kande sometimes treats herself to personal training for 110 francs an hour. It was thanks to her trainer Catherine Andrey that her passion for fitness really began.

Andrey devotes most of her time to her own business. She is developing a training app, selling nutritional supplements and working on her online image.

«I am an influencer and an accountant in one. And Instagram is like a showcase for what I offer,” explains the trainer with over 13,000 followers. The 25-year-old from western Switzerland employs three people and generated 120,000 francs in sales last year.

Body as an “ultimate resource”

Where does this obsession with working on your own body come from? «The enhancement of muscles stands for performance and productivity. In this context, people see their bodies as the ultimate resource that needs to be improved,” analyzes Guillaume Vallet. The economist is a weightlifter himself and has written a book about the “muscle factory”.

People view their bodies as the ultimate resource to be improved.

But Vallet also warns that the cult of muscle can sometimes be addictive. “The greatest risk is that the individual becomes isolated in this process.”

Cultivate the body differently

Practices that do not just focus on performance are booming on the market. Like the business of Máxime Spruel and his three business partners. They teach “Movement Culture” in their studio in Geneva. There are no machines here, but the body as such should be trained in as many ways as possible.

«We spend most of our lives sitting. And then we also sit at a machine to train. In our studio, the goal is for us to use our body as a device,” explains Spruel. After three years, her studio has almost seventy members.

Whether the body as a device or on the device, the options available are diverse and are constantly increasing. As is probably the number of people who use it.