Gym members are like customers of any other business: they’re intrigued by the latest and greatest and always look for the next best thing. That means changes in the fitness marketplace are relevant to your business strategy. Identify those trends, offer them if it makes sense, and you’ll keep your clients happy. Miss the boat and they may be tempted to go elsewhere for their fitness needs. (Remember Step Aerobics, the Thigh Master and Jazzercise?)
To help you with staying on top by knowing what’s being offered, we created this list of the biggest fitness industry trends in 2015.
Indoor Standup Paddleboard Yoga (SUP)
Move over Pilates (which didn’t make the trendsetter list this year). Indoor SUP is the current “next big thing.” This craze uses stationary paddleboards instead of yoga mats and is smoking hot. We saw it last year at the IHRSA and IDEA events, and we’ve seen it everywhere else too. It hasn’t saturated the marketplace yet, so this is a great opportunity to cement your gym’s status as a local fitness leader.
Body Weight Training
According to the prestigious American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), body weight training is a top fitness trend this year. Body weight training requires little additional equipment, so it’s easy on the wallet. It’s also appealing because your clients can replicate it in their living rooms, hotel rooms, at the beach or in the park. The best part? It works. From pushups to planks, squats to wall sits, the masses are realizing their bodies are formidable tools of resistance (and instruments of positive change).
Workout Tracking & Biometric Monitoring Technology
Going for a run … yawn. Racing to beat your personal best, hit your daily step-count goal, or burn 500 calories? Now that’s motivation, and the reason why technology for tracking health and fitness is a hot 2015 trend. Technology may keep us so engaged we enjoy exercising so much that we crush our goals — and keep going.
As this article in The Washington Post notes, before you buy (or encourage clients to buy) make sure that they don’t waste money on unnecessary features. There are a myriad of fit bands and smart watches on the market, some with more bells and whistles and heftier price tags than others. If you read our fitness trend report last year, you’ll be familiar with some of the options. We’ve discussed the pros and cons of wearable devices before.
Or, you can take the guesswork out of the equation and offer smart workout tracking that you can also access to help motivate your members. That way you can coach your members through setting new goals or trying new things when the excitement of the gadget fades. This type of tracking is also a great tool for bringing your fitness community together because members can see their friends’ results too. Plus, our workout tracking works on any device and allows you to record all those biomarkers too.
Better-Educated Trainers and Coaches
As Shape Magazine noted, the number of certified personal trainers continues to grow, which is good because more exercisers than ever are seeking out professional guidance. The No. 3 fitness trend in 2015, according to ACSM, is a move toward “educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals.”
Fitness professionals are moving to set themselves apart in a rapidly growing career by seeking accreditations and credentials that prove they’re serious about their craft. This is a win-win for everybody because the industry will be better equipped to deliver well-informed services that ensure safety and deliver measurable results.
Group Personal Training
Group personal training offers the best of both worlds for clients and trainers: quality individualized instruction with the social and motivational benefits of working out with others. Unlike larger classes, group personal training enables trainers to correct clients’ form and offer individual suggestions and modifications. Plus, trainers are able to work with more clients in a shorter period of time, so they can offer a price point that works for everyone. Quality attention, lower costs for clients and more revenue for trainers. What’s not to like?
More businesses are realizing that healthy employees are happier and more productive. So businesses big and small are adopting fitness programs that make sense to their bottom line. Corporate wellness is a big trend this year, and you can capitalize on it without a big financial investment.
Approach local businesses and offer programs, fitness challenges or discounts designed to get their employees up and moving. Don’t show up empty-handed. Come armed with facts like these from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing how workplace health programs boost productivity. You can also join online professional networking groups to learn how businesses like yours got in the corporate wellness game.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Fitness pros in the know agree: HIIT is hot. From boot camps, indoor cycling classes or simple cardio workouts on treadmills, the concept of giving it your all, then resting, then repeating has proven to torch calories and burn fat. The beauty is that HIIT works for clients of all fitness levels. Their “max” may pale in comparison to yours, but every marathon begins with a step.
This 2015 fitness trend goes hand-in-hand with the aforementioned HIIT and other intense workouts like CrossFit. The concept here is that the harder you train, the more you need to take it easy to recover. Gentle, low-intensity, mobility type workouts and rest days are designed to let sore muscles rest and prevent injury. Serious athletes and fitness business owners now make sure mobility and rest days programed in the weekly workout schedule.
Online Personal Training and Fitness Classes
Not everyone has access to a gym or fitness studio, whether it’s due to location, cost, or an inflexible work schedule. Plus, people like the flexibility of taking classes when it’s convenient for them, in the privacy of their own homes. Because of that, online personal training and fitness classes are a hot trend this year. They’re becoming more and more popular because technology easily supports them and trainers and instructors are seeing the demand for them.
Life is a journey not a destination. Getting members to join your gym isn’t the end game. On the other hand, continually convincing them to stay is. Evolution is key to success, which is why it’s so important to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s hot in your industry.
Zen Planner is a management and billing software for boutique fitness businesses.
We help gym, school, and studio owners streamline their day-to-day tasks so they can get back to doing what they love — helping their members. Enjoy all the features you need to manage your fitness business, including robust reporting dashboards, automated payment processing, skills and belt tracking, attendance history, and online retail.