Where is the Fitness Industry Going?
In much of the world’s history, fitness as a trend or business didn’t exist. Hundreds of years ago, fitness was mainly a byproduct of soldiers training for battle. Fast forward a hundred years ago to where pockets of the world were interested in gymnastics and strongman fitness as forms of athleticism and entertainment. Fast-forward fifty years to find gyms opening to offer people equipment that they would not otherwise have access to. Today, fitness is what gyms, coaches, and clients make of it. It can be anything.
That said, there are a few key global trends that explain why fitness looks the way it currently does.
- Longer lives lived more unhealthily – People may be living longer, but many people are living longer in a state of health that leaves them less able to take care of themselves
- Stagnancy – people are sitting more than ever before.
- Fear – not many people think this one through until they have children, but adults and children, alike, are not roaming around outside like they once did. This gives way to centers/gyms becoming a “playground”
- TV – while many now see social media as a key player, television lead to much of the world seeing what fitness can “look” like and how it can be done
- Technology – while technology certainly contributes to health and stagnancy issues, we are experiencing an explosion in what our technology can do. Through data collection, wearable (and implantable) technology, people can now know exactly how “healthy” they are at any moment. That leads to a huge shift in awareness
- Social media – right or wrong, it’s a way of life that people now spend a large amount of their time “plugged in” to social groups. This change leads to all experiences needing to be far better than they once needed to be
- Beliefs are shifting with age groups – Whereas Gen X’ers often stayed with companies for 30 years, the new generations do not trust big companies as much as they once did. They want to venture out on their own because they seek fulfillment. People are more open to new experiences
- Individuality and segmentation of everything – with technology and systems, companies can provide unique experiences to customers. As more people experience customization, they are flocking to it more and more. Customers want it their way
From trends come opportunities in business and we have seen many companies create massive movements (no pun intended) around fitness. But, look at what these fitness trends are tapping into:
- Fun – black lights, techno music, and high-end equipment in some gyms. Interesting equipment and movements in others. Fun is relative to the group of people that you’re looking at, so there is no one model, but fitness must now be fun for people
- Community – no longer do people want to workout by themselves. They want to enjoy the gym and then grab a coffee with people. It’s more than fitness now, it’s community
- Professional coaching – with review sites and the internet, trainers/coaches can make names for themselves, but they will lose their following if they can’t deliver results
- Technology – whether it be people receiving their training through their cell phone, using machines that claim to be the bee’s knees, or plugging in to a class from their home, technology is here to stay in fitness
- Results – in today’s day and age, either you get fitness results or you become a lifestyle brand. Why do large gyms continue to make their facilities nicer for all of the people (many of whom don’t show up)? They are becoming a lifestyle brand. Who belongs to which gym?
- Individuality – this isn’t the boring old personal training model. This is individuality through all areas of health and fitness. Coaches who can’t offer this won’t be able to compete in results metrics
- Relationships – it’s not good enough to check into a gym and not talk to anybody anymore. People want to not only enjoy their time in the gym, they want to build friendships and connections.
There will be many forms of fitness that are yet to launch. Some will work, and some won’t. What’s important to think through is what do YOU value the most. OPEX Gyms look at these trends and always ask the question, “How do we inspire people to live larger lives?” Fitness is the medium through which people live larger. With this in mind, we are building a fitness movement built on a few key tenets:
- You should have a coach who guides your entire fitness journey – this isn’t a hope, it’s a demand. You will have a coach who works with you 1:1 from day one. They assess your movement, strength, and flexibility so that they can program the RIGHT workouts to progress you consistently for the long run. But, your coach will also guide your nutrition and lifestyle practices outside of the gym so that you accelerate your results. That is a relationship that spans decades. You both win together!
- You have a community to enjoy – Not only will you train with your friends, you will enjoy a group of like-minded people who have goals in and out of the gym
- You will be on the cutting edge of coaching technology – through our partnership with Fitbot, you will receive your workouts and all of your results directly to your phone. You will always know where you stand today and where you are going, no matter whether you’re in or out of town
- You will win in and out of the gym – a quality fitness program must allow you to enjoy results in the gym – weight loss, strength gain, mobility improvement – but it must also allow you great enjoyment out of the gym through an aligned lifestyle and purpose – career, family, fun, etc.
- Coaches are professionals – your coach must have the skills and empathy to help you progress for decades. If they don’t, they shouldn’t be a coach
However we look at fitness, it will always come down to your connection to why you workout. Without a clear understanding, you either won’t maintain consistency or you won’t enjoy the process. There is no reason why you can’t love to workout, get outstanding results, and enjoy all of the successes you desire outside of the gym as well. Here’s to you!