More Teens Hit the Gym for Physical and Mental Fitness, Social Connection 

More teens hit the gym for physical and mental fitness, social connection

Courtesy GoodLife Fitness

GoodLife Teen Fitness program offers free access to 200 clubs, more equipment, digital workouts

Fitness is having its moment, and teens are here for it. More than ever, junior high and high school students are hitting the gym after school and on weekends, learning from each other, gym staff and following online workout content. Gyms offer social connection, mental and physical benefits that keep teens coming back.  


GoodLife’s free Teen Fitness summer program is open to anyone between the ages of 12 and 17. For the 13th year, teens can access nearly 200 GoodLife Fitness clubs in communities across Canada for free, seven days a week, between July 5 and September 4, 2023. Registration for the program opens today at 


GoodLife launched Canada’s first Teen Fitness program in 2010 to reach younger people with opportunities to get active at the gym. The program has evolved and improved based on what teens want and use most – like access to more equipment and weights, group fitness classes, access to fitness experts and digital workouts and programs.  


“Teens are getting into fitness in a big way. Over the years we’ve offered the Teen Fitness program, we’ve seen changes in how our teen members use our gyms. In the early years, teens mostly used cardio equipment, but now we’re seeing higher use of free weights and weight machines. They are trying workouts from the GoodLife app and they’re researching workout ideas online,” said Tracy Matthews, Vice President of Experience & Safety, GoodLife Fitness. 


As part of its efforts to update the Teen Fitness program this year, GoodLife Fitness recruited an advisory panel of teens of different ages and with varying interests and experiences. Some of the panel members have been members before and others are joining for the first time. The teens provided input to improve the program and had a chance to star in a new virtual orientation video, that provides an entertaining explanation of the guidelines for using GoodLife clubs. They will also be featured in digital marketing and on social media channels.  


Teens were asked to share their ‘go to’ fitness moves. The surprise? It doesn’t have to be cardio, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Teens on the panel mostly chose functional exercises that deliver lots of strength and cardiovascular benefits with minimal complexity. Favourite teen moves included declined dumbbell presses, bent-over dumbbell rows, incline push-ups on a bench, kettlebell squats, TRX rows and pull-ups. 


Tyler Watts (age 17) is a student and hockey player from Woodstock, ON who started the Teen Fitness program last summer. He embraced fitness as a break from his daily routine and a chance to invest in his own health. He’s been going to the gym regularly since then. 


“For me, working out is a way to step out of reality and focus on myself. I go with my friends sometimes, but I get more done when I work out on my own,” Watts explained. “When I started, I used the cardio and strength machines, and had no routine or program. I learned from other people at the gym and follow some influencers on YouTube and Instagram for workout ideas. Now I have a plan and I focus on a specific goal every time I go. I use more free weights, as well as bodyweight exercises.” 


Maddie Klein (age 14) has played hockey since age three and looks forward to her first summer in the Teen Fitness program. She wants to improve her cardiovascular endurance and strengthen her leg muscles to be better at her favourite sports. 


“I want to stay fit over the summer months so I can be good at hockey. I’ll go with my friends and figure things out with some advice from the team there. I really want to feel good about myself and improve my strength and abilities for when I get back to hockey and other sports in the fall.” 


RJ Downey (age 16) has only used his school gym facilities. This will be his first year doing the Teen Fitness program. He’ll start by trying some new cardio machines and using the free weights but plans to get ideas from his friends and the staff at GoodLife. 


“I’ve never been an avid gym goer, and the facilities at my school are limited. My goal is to build a more consistent fitness habit and try some new equipment. I plan to go with a group of friends who like to share ideas and feedback about different strength training moves.”  


Using the input from the advisory panel, as well as the trends seen within the program over the last 13 years, GoodLife Fitness is making upgrades to the Teen Fitness program for 2023. These include: 

  • Access to free GoodLife On-Demand Teen Fitness workouts (50+ digital workout options) 
  • Virtual orientation video with key information about the program.  
  • More available equipment, including free weights, kettlebells and TRX suspension trainers. 
  • Dedicated workout floor hours with GoodLife Fitness experts available to provide tours and additional information to help teens get started. 

About GoodLife Fitness 

Proudly Canadian since 1979, GoodLife is the largest group of fitness club chains in Canada and the fourth largest in the world. With almost 9,000 employees, 625,000 members, and 200 Clubs, GoodLife Fitness is helping to transform the health and fitness of people across Canada every day.  

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