OK so it is about time to start looking at the trends for fitness in 2015 and the ACSM has released their most recent survey of club owners. There were not a lot of surprises but there are some interesting conclusions from that report and some other things that come up elsewhere that are really worth taking a look at.
The trends for High Intensity Interval Training, bodyweight training and an increasing demand for trainer professionalism all seem to be holding course and continuing onward. It’s like there is no real change from last year but that is sometime how trends work; they keep on going the same way, until they don’t.
Putting A Spin On The Gym Insight Trends for 2015
The first trend leader of note is body weight training, there is not a lot of need for equipment and using the resistance of your own body mass is a great way to get a workout that really makes fitness level changes rapidly. This is great for small gym owners or startups; you don’t have to come up with large investments to start this kind of fitness center. Of course, once you get established you can always seek investments to expand into the more conventional gym space.
High Intensity Interval Training covers a growing portion of the fitness industry from the home program DVDs like P90X and Insanity to more social programs like CrossFit that use group action and encouragement to drive intense repetitions.
One thing of note is that spinning seems to have gotten a second wind and is coming back. Either that or I just misread the report at the beginning of the year. At the time spinning and Zumba seemed to be on the way out. This is still the case for Zumba but with the blog post I just wrote about SoulCycle I guess I’m eating my words… just a little. However it really puts spinning right in the center of the HIIT trend. That being the case gym owners should be on the lookout for other sorts of HIIT activities that can draw a crowd.
Trend Watching From The Balcony
Since the trend looks like a repeat of last year I looked around for what others are saying about the trends and what is hot in the fitness industry. I found an article in the Huffington Post by Jill Brown that has similar insights but also gets the little extra things into the picture. I thought it was worth a mention because it talks about some of the same things that I’ve been ranting about this year, and then some.
Brown’s article mentions that the trend toward HIIT is going to require a much greater emphasis on recovery and the sort of stretching, healing exercises that de-stress sore muscles. Things like yoga, which the ACSM report also mentions, can be a great compliment to the intense workouts members are getting in spinning and in CrossFit and out on the range in Spartan races. Extra demanding sports require extra recovery and support or there is going to be a delayed reaction of injuries that accumulate over the long-term in many of the participants.
Another great point is how technology is seeping into everything including fitness and there are more devices than ever that will monitor your activities like FitBit wearable devices and the MapMyRide app. Telemetry is measuring everything and the data can help you figure out what you need to do to stay on course, or if you need to change course altogether.
Another point Brown makes might have sounded shocking twenty years ago. There is a growing demand for classes for kids because of the sedentary lifestyle that many children lead these days. They tend to live in a house where all of the adults work, eat too much fast food, ride to school in cars and play indoors when home. At the same time schools are cutting back on physical education.
Also, if you learn to enjoy fitness as a child you are much more likely to continue as working out as an adult. That means that, as an industry, we are going to need to start thinking for the long term; if we don’t catch the interest of generations at a young age collectively, we each might end up chasing a shrinking market in the future.
Brown, Jill. Fitness Trend Forecast for 2015: 6 Trends on the Rise. November 5, 2014. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jill-s-brown/fitness-trend-forecast-fo_b_5753458.html (accessed December 1, 2014).
Fagan, Lawrence. ACSM Worldwide Trend Review. December 9, 2013. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2289-acsm-worldwide-trend-review/ (accessed December 1, 2014).
The American College of Sports Medicine. Survey Predicts Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2015. October 24, 2014. https://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/news-releases/2014/10/24/survey-predicts-top-20-fitness-trends-for-2015 (accessed December 1, 2014).