It is the start of yet another new year, and our industry is already buzzing with predictions around the fitness trends this year will bring. These initial predictions range from already hot workouts maintaining popularity, to a growth in digital-based fitness. As a fitness business owner, it is important to consistently analyze the latest trends as part of your ongoing gym membership retention strategy. In today’s post, we’ll touch on several hot fitness trends for 2015, and provide tips to keep members coming back to your gym.
Fitness Trend #1: Web-Based Fitness
The demand for web-based fitness has increased significantly over the past several years, mainly due to the accessibility factor. Thousands of full-length, at-home workouts can be easily found by searching on Google, YouTube and iTunes. Workout and weight loss challenges, both web and app-based, are gaining tremendous popularity as well.
With the expansion of web-based fitness alternatives, gym owners need to ensure they’re doing what they can to continue to get members in the door. Limited time is a top reason people turn to at-home workouts. When someone has a busy morning (taking kids to school, running errands, early meetings, etc.), the risk of attending a workout class that runs over makes working out at home the favorable choice. Be diligent about ensuring classes start and end on time and alleviate this unnecessary worry to get people in the gym, even when they are crunched for time.
Incredible coaching, personalized attention to correct form and encouragement for members during the workout are important factors to influence them to continue to choose the atmosphere of your brick and mortar location, rather than that of a computer screen. Hire exceptional coaches and instructors who know how to motivate members and provide them with an incredible workout. Make it your goal to leave members knowing they’re going to get the best possible workout at the gym.
With the growing interest in health-focused challenges, there is a good chance your members would be interested in participating in one if they haven’t already. Encourage your members to participate as a team in an online challenge, or better yet, develop a fitness challenge for your gym. This experience will help members encourage and support each other, all while strengthening the community of your gym. All of which keepings your members coming back.
Fitness Trend #2: Digital Fitness Tracking
Digital fitness trackers that keep people accountable and measure performance are huge right now. Fitbits, smart watches, pedometers and mobile apps are some of the hottest pieces of technology. Similar to web-based fitness, accessibility played a huge role in the surge fitness trackers. The convenience of gathering and accessing the information provided by these tools also contributed to their popularity. These tools enable people to track, gather and analyze results in an instant, eliminating manual work like recording results in a notebook or spreadsheet.
It’s clear that people want this data, so be sure your gym provides it for your members. Whether your gym utilizes workout-tracking software to measure and chart performance, or your coaches manually keep track of client results, you need to provide this information to members to set them up for success. Finally, show your members you’re invested in their progress by scheduling frequent touch-base meetings to review these results and set future goals.
Fitness Trend #3: Specialized class offerings
Similar to 2014, high intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training and boot camps are predicted to maintain popularity again this year. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the continued increase in childhood and adolescent obesity combined with public schools cutting physical education programs has created a strong demand for youth exercise programs.
As a gym owner, it is your job to stay on top of these trendy workouts so you can offer those that would be popular with your members. Be sure to always keep the personas for your gym in mind when considering which classes to add and drop this year. Do you think your ideal member would like the idea of attending a weekend boot camp at your gym or a local park? Would a HIIT class be a hit at your gym? Do the majority of your members have children, and more importantly, do your competitors offer child-specific fitness classes? If so, then it might make sense to test a youth fitness class at your gym if you aren’t already.
Various fitness trends will come and go, so being flexible and ready to evolve your gym and its offerings is the best way to ensure you’ll retain members even as hot workout and fitness technology changes.
If you are looking for additional ways to step up your gym member retention strategy, check out our guide, 7 Essential Strategies for Member Retention.