Operators: Capitalize Now on These 5 Fitness Trends for 2015

For Gym Operators

Operators: Capitalize Now on These 5 Fitness Trends for 2015

As an operator, there are a few fitness standards you can count on to remain popular year-round – think yoga, circuit training, group cycling and boot camps. But don't forget to capitalize on the hottest trends on the market, too.

If you offer the latest big thing in your gym, your members will never have a reason to stray – and they might even bring a few friends in with them to try the next hot workout. Here are five trends that are expected to be big hits in 2015, so start offering them in your facility now.

Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training leaped straight to the top of the American College of Sports Medicine's survey of fitness trends for 2015 based on more than 3,400 responses from health and fitness professionals around the world. This type of minimal-equipment exercise makes perfect sense for both clients and your gym. It requires very little space and can be scaled to suit any fitness level, but still returns excellent results.

Incorporate suspended bodyweight training systems, wobble platforms and other basic tools into your bodyweight training to draw in an audience that's also heavily invested in core training (which came in at No. 15 on the ACSM's list of fitness trends).

High-Intensity Intervals

Unless you have a strong customer base with a specific interest in CrossFit and Tabata, skip the specific branding and focus on the "short workout, big results" angle that makes high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, so very attractive. If you have many older or deconditioned clients, or populations who might be involved in therapeutic care, consider offering moderate-intensity interval training as well.

Small-Group Personal Training

The ACSM survey showed that gym clients still very much value the chance to work with well-educated and certified fitness professionals. However, not everybody can afford to pay for private personal training sessions, especially on a continuing basis.

Small-group personal training sessions open the door to those who can't afford one-on-one attention or don't have a gym buddy to split the bill. After a little practice, most experienced trainers can keep an eye on three to four exercisers at once, as long as none of them have unusual needs that merit special supervision.

Training for Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities first hit the ACSM trends list in 2010, and they've been gaining momentum ever since – but that doesn't mean that your gym should be left out of the loop.

Offer classes targeted to improve performance and reduce injuries for anyone involved in popular outdoor activities in your area. Think strength-training to boost power for hikers, advanced core training for kayakers and rock climbers, sprint training for soccer players, and so on.

Workplace Health

Promotion of workplace health came in at No. 11 on the ACSM survey. Many of these programs are offered at on-site fitness centers on the company property, but you can still provide trainers and membership discounts to promote your brand and help bring this potential market into the fold.

Better yet, target small- and medium-sized businesses that want to encourage workplace health but don't have room for a corporate fitness center. Offer discounted memberships directly to the employees, or sign the business up for a package rate so the owner can offer gym memberships to employees as a direct perk of employment.

Each of these trends offer the two things every gym-goer really wants: real results and a fun, interesting workout. But remember, you shouldn't forsake staple classes in favor of hot trends. The trick is to strike a pleasant balance between the two, so your clients never have to go far to find what they want.