There’s no contesting that the fitness industry has had to overcome some incredible obstacles since the arrival of the pandemic. Thousands of gyms and studios had to shut their physical doors and open virtual ones to keep their members engaged from home. Fitness coaches, trainers, and teachers struggled to ride out the wave of pandemics or take a stab at becoming their own fitpreneur. Fitness consumers juggled online classes, on-demand content, and outdoor exercise.
All in all, there was a major shift in workout trends and businesses and consumers have had to adapt. But while the last almost two years have proved challenging, to say the least, the industry has also learned a lot in 2021. And as 2022 quickly approaches based on the past year, here is what both fitness businesses and fitness customers can expect to see in the new year.
Fitness consumers will rely on small group personal training as opposed to a commercial gym
Now more than ever, fitness consumers are aware of their health and physical abilities. After almost two years of closures of gyms, stagnation and isolation, fitness clients want to return to their fitness and workouts, but a commercial gym doesn’t provide the same quality attention and personalisation that a small group personal training gym and staff can offer. A boutique gym or studio’s ability to customise programs and tailor fitness routines to a client’s specific goals is an opportunity for a client to reach their desired goals faster, stay accountable, and feel safer in a smaller, more intimate setting.
Hybrid fitness is here to stay
Technology proved more useful than ever for the fitness industry in the past two years. From fitness management software’s ability to integrate with Zoom and on-demand hosting platforms such as Vimeo to wearable fitness technology to at-home fitness toys such as Peloton and the Mirror, there is a larger opportunity than ever for fitness consumer’s to workout from home, stay fit, and engaged. And fitness businesses that incorporate these activities and continue to incorporate a balance of online and in-person fitness content and consumption will be more successful than those that chose only one medium. Fitness consumers now have a choice, and they will choose the options that cover all of their needs, are flexible to their schedules, and can be accessed whenever they want. While these new fitness trends might make some gyms and studios hesitant, it’s also a reminder that keeping clients happy with multiple options of service is a premium service that can earn them more and better revenue.
Fitness consumers want a premium service
And that doesn’t just mean providing towels and fancy locker room amenities. They want the service of a facility and staff who are going to know how to solve and cater to their needs. One of those needs above all else is safety. The more a client is able to see what a gym, studio, or facility is doing to keep them safe the more likely a client or member will return and stay. Gyms and staff have increased their cleaning and sanitization protocols, but unless a member can see it, they won’t believe it. Even if they have to help too, they want it done.
Timed workout programs will rise and rise fast
There are a number of things fast workouts or timed workouts provide fitness consumers and that’s an in and out mentality, efficiency, and less time spent within a facility. For businesses this means that providing clients with 20-30 minute long HIIT workout and functional fitness workouts that can deliver the same results, if not better than an hour or two-hour workout can provide, will lead consumers to choose the 20-30 minute option. Same or better results for less time? Why wouldn’t they choose that? While the initial stages of the pandemic slowed everyone down, it also made everyone see how busy and chaotic life can be.
Having the ability to still get in a workout and fit it into a busy schedule is easier when the workout is faster or shorter. And to answer the question of whether this workout lifestyle is sustainable, that depends on the consumer. Some prefer a quick daily workout as opposed to a long workout a couple of times a week. It’s up to them to see how much they can keep up. But where it depends on the business is making the workouts engaging, fresh, and getting clients to achieve their fitness goals.
What can we as an industry expect to see in 2022?
A lot of change and healing. The fitness industry is working day and night to bounce back to where it was pre-pandemic. The rise of fitness technology, different delivery methods, and an above and beyond demonstration of willingness to help their clients succeed are only a few of the leading fitness trends we will see over the next year. And you can bet that as the industry continues to heal, more trends, technology, and advances will emerge to disrupt and evolve the industry as a whole.