Top Fitness Trends from IHRSA 2019

Another year and another IHRSA show have come and gone, and completely put me in awe of how wonderfully complex and awesome the fitness industry has become. This is my 14th IHRSA convention in a row, and I am still seeing new trends develop, old ones return and an expansion of the fitness industry’s scope of practice. Here are some thoughts that stand out the most:

Cryo Relief at IHRSA 2019.

Recovery increases and is a stand-out.

One of the biggest trends expanding yearly is the recovery category. Whether it’s cryotherapy, vibration technology, self-myofascial release techniques, or even recovery supplements, the industry is recognizing that proper recovery is just as important as a great workout.

Every time I passed a cold leg wrap booth, all the seats were taken and all the participants were relaxed. I couldn’t even get a turn in the HydroMassage beds! When I went to purchase a Hyper volt vibration gun, they were sold out (fortunately I was able to purchase a Theragun G3). Recovery tools have become a big business. The results it provides clients is amazing, and club owners are seeing that revenue can be generated by having that service. This is not a passing fad, but instead a trend in the health clubs that needs to be invested in.

IHRSA
TRX at IHRSA 2019.

Group training is a major player in personal training.

For years, personal trainers have searched for how to fit more clients in during their period of availability. The answer is small group training (SGT). Franchises are selling this concept as the new normal in personal training. Training a number of people simultaneously is a great business model that generates excitement, camaraderie and revenue.

Even the equipment manufacturers are making a major push to sell equipment based on group training and giving club owners and studios a one-stop-shop, providing not only the equipment, but also education to conduct these classes. TRX is now not in the business of selling really cool fitness tools, but they are in the business of designing studios, filling it with multi-use equipment and providing education to your instructors.

There were at least five different educational seminars regarding group training and how to implement it in your setting. The days of training one client at a time are nearing the end as less pricey and more socially-orientated workouts are becoming the norm.

Polar team at IHRSA 2019.

Wearable tech becomes commonplace.

Ten years ago, if you asked gym-goers what a wearable was, they would probably say a t-shirt or headphones. Nowadays, everyone has a wearable piece of tech. Whether it is an everyday device like Apple Watch or a true performance piece such as a Garmin, or even Myzone, there is a device for any need.

The data these devices provide is secondary to the achievements they make you strive to attain.

“If you workout 10 more minutes you can close your ring.” Or, “You need 150 MEPS to achieve silver level.”

These devices not only provide vital biofeedback, but also motivate exercisers in a way trainers never could solely on their own.

Vic Spatola is a NASM master trainer, martial arts expert, fitness business consultant and educator at Club Greenwood in Denver, Colorado. Email him at vics@clubgreenwood.com.

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