Unlike fads, which rapidly gain attention and then fade away just as quickly, trends are activities or themes that have earned a strong foothold in the fitness industry. Trends like personal training and yoga have a track record of being solid investments, but as you’re making your purchasing and programmatic decisions for the year ahead, you’ll want to pay special attention to the subjects that have the fitness world buzzing.
Rise above the competition and capture the attention of members old and new with these five hot fitness trends, as identified by the American College of Sports Medicine’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2016.
Look around and you’ll likely see a lot of people donning fitness-related wearables – watches, primarily, but also fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices – and as the year goes on, we can only expect to see more. Wearable technology ranked first place in ACSM’s survey, suggesting that consumers have a desire to easily track their workout data, set goals, and integrate fitness into their daily lives. Fitness tracking can also be achieved through on-console software like Preva, which is built into certain Precor cardio machines.
Consider incorporating your members’ use of wearable technology into the gym experience by holding contests such as most steps walked or calories burned for the week. Healthy competition is a great motivator and can also help create a sense of community in your facility.
Though it’s been used for centuries by people looking to improve their physical fitness with minimal equipment, bodyweight training has gained a lot of attention in recent years. You can make your facility stand out by offering programs centered on this popular form of training that go beyond the push-up and pull-up basics to create a more interesting workout experience.
With origins in physical rehabilitation, functional training is a trend that’s experiencing a resurgence in popularity. By replicating everyday activities through moves like squatting, lifting, and balancing, functional training can improve an exerciser’s mobility and overall strength. Make the most of your facility’s floor space with an efficient, versatile piece of equipment like the Queenax system, which can be configured for a wide variety of functional training exercises.
Also consider increasing programming around functional training, particularly for the growing market of older exercisers who would benefit from improved mobility. Schedule activities for the retiree demographic during low-traffic hours of the workweek to boost club usage throughout the day.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
This high-energy, high-reward form of training has maintained popularity for several years now after leaping to first place on ACSM’s survey in 2014. HIIT workouts are typically performed in less than 30 minutes and can incorporate gym equipment like treadmills and Spinner® bikes – anything that allows for quick bursts of exertion.
A small group class is the perfect setting to introduce your club members to HIIT. They reduce exercisers’ chances of injury by receiving professional guidance during periods of high-intensity exercise, and you benefit from the additional revenue.
Highly focused workouts are great for exercisers who want to improve their performance in a particular sport, such as baseball, tennis, or skiing. ACSM reports that sport-specific training is an interesting trend to watch that may continue to gain popularity, particularly among young athletes who participate in team sports and are looking to shore up their skills during the off-season.
Offering sport-specific small group training could make your facility stand out to exercisers who are passionate about a particular athletic activity, as well as people who would like to learn a new sport. To grow your revenue, consider reaching out to local sports clubs and offering their members discounted training.
Fads come and go, but if you’re looking to introduce something new to your roster, these trends are a great place to start. Most importantly, know what your members want out of their gym experience. If you make informed decisions about your programming, your members are sure to be energized and fulfilled every time they walk through the door.