We just got back from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s (IHRSA) 2014 Convention and Trade Show in San Diego. This event is the largest heath and fitness expo of the year, and it’s a venue for industry leaders to network and show off their latest and greatest toys, gadgets, and fitness equipment. Spanning an area the size of 4 or 5 football fields, the showroom was an amazing experience of sights and sounds. This event was both inspiring and informative, and we would like to share our big takeaways with you in a list of the biggest health and fitness trends of 2014.
The Functional Movement Trend Continues
Suspension training pioneer, TRX, had an extremely impressive display, big crowds and a full schedule of demonstrations. Taking into consideration all the other companies with TRX inspired equipment, there’s no doubt that Functional Movement is still a popular way to train. Industry giants, RAGE Fitness and Rogue Fitness, also had plenty of cool new weight bars and racks on display, and we suspect we’ll be seeing both RAGE and Rogue in our gyms for a long time to come.
We’re Upping the Game in Group Fitness Classes
Building on the ever-popular Standup Paddleboard classes that were all the rage in 2013, industry newcomer, Surfset, makes and markets a stationary surfboard that is designed to mimic the feel of big wave riding. These stationary surfboards are used as the platform for group fitness classes, with certified Surfset instructors and approved class plans. Expo participants who took Surfset demos raved about the level of physical challenge inherent in movements on the boards, which force our body to fully engage our muscles for isometric stability. Pilates and mindful movement expert, Balance Body, also unveiled some big, innovative Pilates products, with “MOTR: more than just a roller” as their showstopper. MOTR allows for Pilates type movements on a roller, thus building a student’s strength, agility, and cardiovascular fitness. Because the device is light weight and portable, Balanced Body markets this product to studio and gym owners, as well as mobile personal trainers needing to transport their equipment with them from client to client.
Technology is the Big Winner in 2014
While this should come as no surprise, the degree to which technology and fitness has come together is simply astounding. Technology product enhancements and new inventions will revolutionize the health and fitness industry, allowing the big winners to be the consumers and end users. Technology enhancements for group fitness classes were everywhere. For instance, the stationary cycle displays that used to monotonously loop our ride time and calories burned now take us to the racetrack. There we race our shiny red Porsche against our fellow classmates’ Lamborghinis and Ferraris, and motivating and entertaining displays of this type were also paired with rowers and all other sorts of cardio equipment. Additionally, personal fitness devices and gadgets were the item to have, and market forbearers like Garmon, Polar, and Fitbit had their newest and coolest devices for all to demo. Less portable tools to bring biometric identifiers into our daily lives were also on display. MYZONE consoles and pedestals allow you, and the other students in your class, to see your workout data and heart rate. Some gyms that use MYZONE successfully motivate students with games and contests that reward desired criteria, as displayed and recorded with MYZONE devices. Finally, InBody unveiled a piece of equipment that analyzed a student’s entire body composition in a matter of seconds, simply by scanning a student’s body as they stand on a platform. The InBody machine generates a comprehensive printed report, with detailed criteria such as height, weight, BMI, and muscle and fat analysis. Seeing so many cool health and fitness innovations at IHRSA’s expo, we are inspired and hopeful in regards to the positive impact these things will have on the world. We are especially hopeful that the technology will inspire our younger generations to reverse the negative trends we’ve seen in the last decade and get off the couch and into the gym.
Several of these hot trends are already carrying into 2015, as we cover in our blog post, “Improve Member Retention by Considering 2015 Fitness Trends“. Taking the latest fitness trends into consideration when planning your future class schedules is extremely important to ensure you are offering classes that will keep your members coming back. Want more tips to keep your member loyal? Download our 8 Step Member Retention Guide today.