June is here, which means the year is almost halfway over (we’re sorry to be the ones to bring to light this unfortunate truth). Is your business where you thought it would be at this point? Have you brought in the number of new members you were expecting? Have you been able to retain more members this year than in prior years?
If you’re looking to boost your facility’s earning power this year by attracting members and getting them to stick around, summer is the perfect time to reevaluate your business strategy and begin to implement new programs. The slower months open up the time to prep and implement new programs while also giving your current members another reason to visit your facility during the warmer months.
Where do you start with figuring out what programs or offerings to implement? We’ve compiled the top 10 fitness trends of 2019 from ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) as a starting point, plus takeaways for how you can incorporate these 2019 fitness trends into your current business plan.
These trends have staying power – they aren’t just passing fads – and most on the list for 2019 have earned a spot in previous years. So, dive into what these trends have to offer and you may find yourself with a highly successful summer.
1. Wearable Technology
First appearing as a fitness trend in 2016, wearable technology has made the top 3 fitness trends spots for the past 3 years – and with new tech developments happening seemingly every day, it doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon.
How can you incorporate wearable tech into your facility? One way is to make member’s ID cards available digitally so they can use their wearable devices to scan in. Another is to provide free and secure wi-fi for your members to use so they don’t eat into their data at your facility – a terrifying thought for anyone.
2. Group Training
You may already offer group training classes, but if not you should consider starting! Coming in at #2 this year, group training has been in the top 20 fitness trends since 2017.
The great thing about incorporating group training into your facility is that it doesn’t need to be based around a lot of expensive equipment. There are many types of classes that you can easily (and inexpensively) incorporate into your fitness facility’s offerings. Then, if successful and your members are interested, you can add more equipment based classes.
Group training classes can range from cardio-based classes and indoor cycling to dance-based classes and step classes to anything else you can think of! Start with the resources you have and then work your way to more classes from there.
Also, for an added incentive in the summer, build classes that cater to members spending time outside – outdoor boot camps, endurance classes, yoga classes at the local park, etc.
3. High-Intensity Interval Training
High-Intensity Interval Training, better known as HIIT, has been a popular form of exercise all over the world for quite some time and has been in the top 5 on this list since 2014 (coming in at #1 in 2014 and 2018).
Typically involving short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by short periods of rest, fitness consumers tout HIIT for the low time commitment needed to achieve quick and noticeable results. Adding a HIIT program into your fitness facility during the summer months is a great way to attract members – offering them a quick way to get in their workout without taking too much time away from the precious summer sun and activities – you can even run the entire class outside or add outdoor intervals, like running, into the workout for an extra motivation to attend!
4. Fitness Programs For Older Adults
Catering to Baby Boomers and older generations, this trend has made the top 20 list since 2007 (only dropping below the top 10 rankings in 2017 at #11). With people living longer, working longer, and remaining active longer, there is a need to develop programs for older individuals to address the new health obstacles they face. Older generations needs are also much different than those of their younger counterparts and by providing programs specifically with the older generations in mind, you’ll create a space where these individuals feel welcome and less intimidated.
5. Bodyweight Training
An inexpensive and effective way to add a new program into your facility, bodyweight training is a great way to attract members who may be intimidated by the weight room or weight-oriented classes. First appearing on the survey in 2013 at #3, bodyweight training has been in one of the top 10 slots ever since.
6. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals
New to the survey in 2019, employing certified fitness professionals has become increasingly important. With more certification programs becoming available over the years, it is easier than ever for employers to access certification validation and require staff to be certified in their field. Plus hiring certified fitness professionals will elevate the professionalism of your business and give members the peace of mind that they are getting expert and accurate guidance from your staff. Additionally, by supplying members with certified professionals to work with, you may be able to charge more for your services since members will be getting a higher level of instruction from your staff.
Ready to get started hiring certified professionals? Use our guide for 7 interview questions to ask when hiring professional trainers.
With various forms offered – Power Yoga, Yogilates, and hot yoga just to name a few, yoga classes provide a low start-up cost to include in your class schedule – all you need is a room to hold the class and a few yoga mats for members to use. By hiring certified yoga teachers, you will be killing two birds with one stone to cover two trends from the 2019 survey!
8. Personal Training
In the top 10 fitness trends since ACSM first published their trends report in 2006, personal training remains a popular choice for fitness consumers. Now more accessible than ever before, personal training can take place at a client’s home, in a health club, at a corporate fitness facility, and even online through an app or online program. Offering personal training services at your gym is an easy way to bring in additional revenue and increase retention among current clients. By also hiring certified personal trainers, you will cover multiple trends on this list.
There are also plenty of apps and online platforms you can add to your personal training services to provide members with an experience that goes beyond your doors. Be sure to look for a program that integrates with your gym management software to keep your business streamlined and member data consistent.
9. Functional Fitness Training
Devised to get members moving in ways that help them perform activities of daily life – like lifting, bending, climbing stairs, etc. – functional fitness training uses strength training and bodyweight movements to improve balance, coordination, strength, and endurance.
You can create functional fitness programs for members of all fitness levels, from your beginner to the advanced workout warrior, but we have often seen functional fitness paired with programs for older adults (see #4) to help encourage a better quality of life. The beneficial aspect of functional fitness is that is can be adapted to cover the varying needs of your member-base so no one is left out.
10. Exercise Is Medicine
According to ACSM, “Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated treatment recommendations as part of every patient visit and referring their patients to exercise professionals.”
So how can you incorporate EIM into your gym? For one, fitness professionals are recognised by EIM as part of the health care team in their communities, so by hiring certified professionals, you are already taking a step in the right direction.
Another way you can incorporate EIM into your gym is to partner with local health care providers. By partnering with local providers, you’ll open your business up to new members while supplying your members with local provider recommendations further their own health.
Planning on adding any of these trends to your facility or have you already integrated one (or a few) of these trends into your business? We’d love to hear more about your endeavors and success in the comments below!
For the full list of all 20 worldwide fitness trends for 2019 visit ACSMs Health & Fitness Journal.