Your Guide to Fitness and Wellness Subscription Boxes

When to Subscribe to a Fitness Subscription Box

Cairn Subscription Box

Subscription boxes first started flooding the market in 2010, delivering curated boxes of specialized goods directly to people's doors. Popular boxes featured items from niche markets, including makeup, jewelry, dog toys, and kids' crafts, but you better believe fitness and wellness companies jumped on board with the trend.

Subscription Box Overview

There's an obvious appeal to having specially-curated fitness and wellness apparel, gear, supplements, and programs delivered directly to your door each month. These boxes provide consumers with a low-cost way to try new brands and products while brands have the chance to get new products into the hands of targeted buyers. For companies offering subscription boxes, the business model breaks down like this:

  1. Choose a niche audience, for instance, women, yogis, CrossFit enthusiasts, or runners.
  2. Identify products and services that would appeal to this niche audience.
  3. Source full-size products at a steeply discounted bulk price or source free samples from companies interested in marketing to the niche audience. 
  4. Sell products in a monthly subscription box to the niche audience, so subscribers receive a variety of surprise products at a rate discounted from the retail value, but a rate higher than the cost of the products to the company.
  5. Keep subscribers coming back each month (through an ongoing subscription) for a steady, predictable income flow.

Money-wise, it's a good deal for the subscription service and the subscriber, but there's more to consider before you sign up. 

Benefits of Subscribing to a Monthly Box

1. Discovering New Brands

Aside from the fact that you receive a variety of fitness- and wellness-related products at a discounted rate, the major benefit of subscribing to a monthly fitness box is that you get to try products you might not find in the store. Many of the companies that choose to disseminate their wares through subscription boxes are smaller, lesser-known brands. They want to participate as a way to market themselves to new potential customers. This means that you, the customer, get to try new things and discover new brands.

For instance, when I tried a subscription to an outdoor subscription box, I received products including an all-natural lip balm, a UPF-protective facemask, and a compact fire starter. I had never heard of any of the brands before, and each of them was high-quality. 

2. A Wide Selection of Products 

Most subscription services include three to eight full-size products in each monthly box, although specifics vary widely between companies. Most of these products are smaller-ticket items, but usually, one or two products have a higher monetary value. For instance, the Pocket Bellows fire starter I received in my outdoor box retails for $15 and "The Tube" Facemask, $20. These two items alone added up to more than the cost of the whole box, which was just $25. 

3. A Fun Surprise

One of the best parts of subscribing to a monthly fitness box is the element of surprise. While services might promise full-sized products or certain types of products in each box, they rarely give away details on the exact distribution of products or brands.

So, for instance, one month you might receive a new deodorant, a pair of high-quality socks, a protein bar, and a workout DVD, while the next month you might receive a water bottle, an energy drink, a headband and a resistance band with a suggested workout. 

Because you never know exactly what you're going to receive, it's fun to open up your box to check it out. 

4. An Extra Dose of Motivation

While this may not be true across the board for all subscription services, receiving a new box of fitness goodies every month could help you stay on track with your fitness goals.

If your box provides a new workout routine or a fun piece of apparel, view it as your reward for all the hard work you're putting in at the gym, and a motivator to try new things.


The main drawback to fitness subscription boxes, or any subscription box, is that you might not actually want the products you receive. It's not uncommon for many fitness boxes to include supplements with every box, but if you're not someone who is interested in supplements, it's a wasted item. Likewise, if you find your subscription service continually sends the same snack every month, and it happens to be a snack you don't like, you're going to start to question whether you should continue subscribing. 

It's important to note that some subscription services primarily send small samples of products in an effort to drive customers to their website to purchase the full-sized item. Usually, the full-sized items are discounted heavily for subscribers, but it still seems a bit like a catch-22. While trying new products is a great benefit, it's best when you get the chance to try a full-size product, rather than a small sample. 

How to Find Them

Chances are you've seen various subscription services popping up on your Facebook newsfeed. According to an August 2016 article on Inc., FabFitFun is the market leader in the fitness box arena, but they're certainly not alone. There are more than 2,000 total subscription boxes available in the United States, a good number of which are geared to those interested in health and wellness. The challenge is finding the best boxes, and finding new boxes specific to your interests.

Rather than simply Googling "fitness subscription boxes," check out CrateJoy. This service curates boxes from every category, and sources reviews from CrateJoy customers to ensure each subscription is high-quality and legitimate. While there are lots of fitness-related boxes to choose from, here are a few of the most popular:

  • Swinger Box: A subscription service for avid golf fans
  • The Nomadik Box: A subscription for the outdoor adventurer
  • Runner Crate: A subscription box featuring workouts, snacks, and products for runners; subscribers also have the chance to earn running "bling," for completing monthly workout challenges

The real benefit to CrateJoy is you can discover what options are out there. For instance, there are boxes specifically for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, lacrosse, tennis, and disc golf, just to name a few.

Apparel Subscription Services

In addition to fitness subscription boxes, there are also fitness apparel subscriptions available. These are similar to, but different from other subscription boxes in that you often have more control over the number and type of items you receive. Also, you may still pay full price for items, but you only pay for the items you keep. The companies provide prepaid return envelopes so you can mail back any item you don't like. The most popular subscription models include:

  • Wantable Fitness Edit: Wantable Stylists choose five pieces of apparel according to your style preferences and size for you to try on at home—brands are high-quality boutique companies, some names you might have heard of, most you probably haven't. You decide how much to keep and you can send the rest back. Unsubscribe easily at any time.
  • Fabletics: The initial outfit is steeply discounted, subsequent outfits are more expensive—you, the customer, gets to select exactly which apparel items you receive each month. You can pause your subscription whenever you'd like.
  • SweatStyle: SweatStyle is probably the most fashion-forward (and expensive) option available. SweatStyle Stylists select apparel according to your style preferences and sizes, much like Wantable, but most of their products are designer-level brands. You can keep whatever you want and send back the rest in the prepaid envelope. Unsubscribe easily at any time.

Overall, apparel subscription services offer high-quality items you'll probably love, but they'll also cost more than a typical subscription box since you have to pay full price for the items you choose to keep.

Was this page helpful?