Can you believe we are already half-way through 2016? We’ve gathered up 4 of the latest fitness trends that have surfaced this year as well as what’s to come.
1. Exercise as an Experience
This developing trend views fitness as a lifestyle rather than a painful chore to “get over with” before moving on to more enjoyable activities. You may have noticed the emergence of smaller, specialized, boutique studios such as Crossfit, yoga, boxing, MMA and indoor cycling in recent years. This trend is a direct result of clients looking to get stronger, fitter and participate in a more social, intimate, and less stressful environment. Studies have proven that partner workouts or workouts done with a friend produce better fitness results and increase client motivation to reach fitness goals. These smaller studios provide a place where people with similar interests and fitness goals can come together and view exercise as a social and enjoyable experience. That’s not to say larger health clubs can’t tap into this specialized fitness trend. Many facilities are incorporating these boutique classes into their list of offerings. For example, there has been a notable increase in large gyms adding Zumba classes, boot camps, barre classes, and ever increasingly popular themed races and outdoor obstacles to establish their facility as a hub that people are drawn to have an atypical, community experience outside the gym walls. There has also been an increase in demand for body weight training exercises (which actually ranked No. 2 as a trend to watch for 2016 and beyond) as well as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) which involves short burst of high energy exercises followed by short periods of rest and is crammed into a 25 to 30 minute workout. Clients are looking for a less time consuming workout that they can easily fit into their work and social schedule that still produces almost immediate results.
2. Professional Trainers and Instructors
Gone are the days when fresh out of college staff are sufficient enough to teach clients proper form and offer fitness advice. Credentials matter. Recently, professionals certified by ACE or ACSM and other recognized agencies are in high demand. Health clubs should strive to ensure at least half of their staff includes individuals with certifications from accredited agencies. These trainers are able to challenge customers, keep them safe AND develop workouts tailored to a client’s needs. When clients see results, this increases their motivation to reach their goals and they’re willingness to keep coming back to your club! The focus should be on developing trust between trainers and members rather than spending the majority of their time recruiting new clients.
3. Functional Fitness
To put it simply, clients will get bored of the same old routines, so switch it up! Keeping workouts fresh will keep members motivated and enable faster fitness results. Interval training has been shown to be extremely successful as it allows the combination of different exercise methods to create versatile workouts. Some of the most popular examples include body weight training with elliptical running, indoor cycling with boxing, strength training and rowing and more. The key is to provide trainers with as many workout methods as possible to keep clients interested and dedicated.
4. Think outside the box…err we mean gym!
In the world of smartphones and social media, we are more connected than ever before. This means that trainers can influence client lifestyles and continue to assist with fitness goals outside of the gym. Apps that track nutrition choices, out-of-the-gym physical activities, heartrates and more are being adopted by health clubs to help trainers add value to existing workout regimes.
Additionally, clubs have begun adding outdoor activities such as obstacle course training, boot camps, marathon prep training, and sports league pre-season training to their repertoires. This is a great way to connect with clients’ interests outside the gym!
The key thing to take away from all of this is to keep the big picture in mind. If you are considering adding one or all of these trends to your club, understand that this is an ongoing social experience that will need to be constantly updated year to year. Give clients as many opportunities as possible to find their fitness niche, have an enjoyable and successful workout experience, and establish yourself as a trusted health and wellness community hub.