The coming year should be exciting as our industry and fitness trends continue to evolve and change. By all reports, the industry continues to show strong growth across a wider range of fitness experiences for consumers. From the big-box, low-cost to the mid-tier, all-in-one facility, all the way through to the high-end, boutique experience, there appears to be no end in sight to this rapid expansion.
With this expanded number of fitness choices now available to the public, it is becoming more and more difficult for an owner and operator to understand where to focus time, talent and resources. The lines in programming — between group fitness, small group training and personal training — are becoming more and more blurred, as small group training is pushing the boundaries between group fitness and personal training. This is making it even more interesting, and challenging, for program directors to figure out and decide where to put their attention and resources.
I will encourage you to study the annual trends reports for 2019, first to seek understanding of what is happening, and then to gain vision and perspective. This knowledge will provide you with insight to better understand where you fit in and how to set yourself apart or find your niche.
In his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,’ Dr. Stephen Covey’s No. 3 habit is, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” It’s a renowned personal leadership principle that will serve us well as leaders to adopt.
Knowing the trends will help you understand where you presently fit, provide insight as to where you might wish to evolve your programming, people and business potential, and help clarify your vision. With greater understanding of the business, programming and equipment trends, you can decide which of these will help to create a wow experience.
While change is inevitable, it can be overwhelming if you do not understand the reasoning behind the change. The very best operators and innovators in the fitness industry today have figured out how to leverage, merge and monetize these leading trends to their fullest potential.