In recent years there has been a flood of reports relating to fitness industry trends, and some of the most interesting emerging trends have been those identified by fitness professionals, who as a group are striving to determine how to move their programs — and hence their businesses — forward.
The following is my perspective of what the trend reports are telling us and how you should try to apply such information to your specific business.
The first thing to note is that while program innovation is essential, it is “service innovation” that is really the key. Boutiques are a stand-out example of service innovation. By the nature of their business, they are investing in and reinventing fitness programming and client experiences that are “life styling.”
In all the years I have been following fitness trends, I have never seen this degree of “disruptive innovation.” There are many worthwhile things to learn from this disruption, but I believe the greatest takeaway relates to programming group experiences.
Today, group experiences are being programmed for both inside and outside a fitness studio. Gym floors are now being transformed into functional movement spaces. The skillset required of trainers and instructors has evolved by requiring them to not only train and instruct, but also to inspire and direct behavioral change on a personal level and mass scale, simultaneously.
This type of evolution requires trainers and instructors to move away from being generalists and toward becoming specialists or, might I daresay, “health professionals.”
It is abundantly clear to me that group exercise is the lifeblood of the fitness industry, and there can be little doubt it will remain so for many decades to come.
While generations may be attracted to different ways to connect, a sense of community will remain a strong motivator, and we need to leverage the sought-after sense of community.
This will help create in your health club the bonds formed by socialization that are so helpful in life and enhance the lifestyle experiences we all seek to enjoy.