Are you familiar with the trends set to hit 2017 by storm?
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published their annual report on the latest trends, as well as some not so new trends that are about to flourish to a whole new level. The survey was answered by 1801 fitness professionals from every continent, including the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany and the US.
We summarised the Top 5 trends for 2017, so you can keep your gym or fitness studio on top of what’s to come!
Trend 1: Wearable Technology
Wearable technology isn’t exactly new. However, 2017 will give wearables such as activity trackers and smart watches a whole new sense of life! For one, Apple iWatch sales are predicted to exceed 485 million devices by next year, according to ABI Research. What does that mean for your business?
Prepare to see fitness technology grow to another sphere this year. You can bet that every facility on the block will eventually integrate their service with wearables. Why not get in there before the crowd?
- For example, you might encourage all members to wear a fitness tracker to every HIIT class. From here, you can set heart rate targets for your members. For example, you might set a goal of 12 minutes in the orange to red heart rate zone. You can then compare results at the end of the class or session. This will make it easier to distinguish members who were giving it their all from those who need to put in more work.
Goals based on quantifiable data will give members that extra push they need to up their game and start achieving REAL results.
Trend 2: Body Weight Training
Body weight training has been used for hundreds of years, yet it has only been acknowledged as a legitimate fitness trend in the last few years. With no equipment involved, body weight training is great for those who want to increase strength and flexibility, without having to lift heavy weights.
How can your gym or fitness studio take advantage of this trend?
- Let’s face it – weightlifting is not for everyone. Whether it’s a fear of injury or getting too ‘bulky’, it’s impossible to convince everyone. Start marketing your body weight training classes as an alternative to weightlifting and you can open your doors to a whole new potential audience.
- Do you find it difficult to retain members who get bored easily? When it comes to body weight training, the possibilities are endless. Tonnes of variations exist, so you can promise your members that they won’t have to do the same routine every other day. The best part? By mixing things up, your members will make better progress. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that once we start seeing the results, it’s harder to quit!
Trend 3: High-intensity Interval Training
Who has time to spend several hours working out in the gym? That’s right, nobody. Fortunately, every fitness professional knows the benefits of HIIT. But do your clients? It can be hard to believe that a 20-30 minute workout could be just as effective as one that lasts an hour. So, be sure to include some hard facts when marketing this kind of workout to your members!
- Start targeting your HIIT classes at busy working men and women, whilst explaining that you don’t need to devote an hour a day to your fitness regime. Just tell them to give all they’ve got for 20 minutes and they can be on their way to better health! Choose your class times wisely depending on your target audience. For example, you may opt to cater for lunchtime classes for busy working parents.
- Combine a HIIT class with wearable technology, to give your members a real challenge!
- Be sure to implement a proper warming-up for your members, as many fitness professionals in ACSM’s survey were worried about a potentially high injury rate.
HIIT training is set to remain the most effective, time-saving training method for the following years and will definitely play a big roll in 2017. So, keep an eye on this trend!
Trend 4: Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals
For the third year in a row, becoming a certified fitness professional is in the ACSM’s top four fitness trends. More and more people are opting to turn their passion into their profession, which inevitably means the industry is becoming more and more competitive.
Educational programs in the fitness industry will continue to grow this year, so will the employment of fitness trainers and instructors.
How can your gym or fitness studio take advantage of this trend?
- “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. – Benjamin Franklin. Be sure to stay up to date with the latest industry trends. Develop a plan of action for your gym or studio so that you can take advantage of key trends, before your rivals do. It’s important to keep learning, so when opportunities to do so arise, encourage yourself and your staff to make the most of them. From online courses and webinars to live events, the possibilities to up skill are endless.
- Take an online course and diploma on a topic of interest such as sports nutrition, diet and weight loss, or even social media marketing! If you’re thinking of doing so, be sure to check out our new education partner, Shaw Academy.
Trend 5: Group Training
Do you find it difficult to create a community vibe at your gym or fitness studio? You’re not alone! For the first time, group training has made it into ACSM’s top 20 trends, so be prepared for increased demand moving forward.
Training groups could be the solution you (and your clients) have been searching for. Think about it, when members work out alone, there’s nothing stopping them from giving it a miss every now and then. However, when you’re training with a group of like minded individuals, there are tonnes of motivators that will help increase your class attendance:
- When you workout with friends, it can often feel like a social gathering as opposed to a fitness regime. Once you keep it intense and give it your all – that’s not exactly a bad thing! The best part? If a member is thinking of skipping a class, their fear of missing out on the social aspect will kick in!
- Not everyone likes the pressure of 1:1 training. Group training on the other hand, offers a much greater community aspect. Your members fitness friends will expect them to be at class each week, right? When members are thinking of giving it a miss, they’ll have their very own motivational team behind them, a team of people in the exact same shoes as them.
How can I make the most of group training at my facility?
- Encourage community! Group training shouldn’t be impersonal. Build community and encourage communication among members and staff alike by initiating a 5 minute Q & A session at the end of each class.
- Choose motivational group trainers i.e. Leaders. It can be difficult to motivate 12 people to push themselves to the limit and become the best version of themselves, all at once. However, the success of your class will be dependent on your ability to motivate members. Motivation is the core building block of the community we just spoke of! We recommend that trainers even encourage this motivation outside class hours, through mobile push notifications.
Speaking of trends, do you understand the 5 Consequences of Not Taking your Fitness Business Mobile in 2017?