02 Dec 2021 HCM Handbook
 

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Health Club Management Handbook - Predictions

Industry insights 2019

Predictions


What’s in store for the fitness and physical activity sector in 2019? We ask our panel of experts

Rob Smyth, Founder/CEO, UN1T
Rob Smyth

People will always motivate people! What really motivates customers joining in gym classes is the other members taking part.

The fitness industry is booming and gym memberships are now considered a necessity when relocating to a new city. People find a place to live, secure a job and bag a gym membership! This is very powerful. We call it "The UN1T DNA".

Primarily, gyms offer people a community to help motivate and encourage them to get the best out of themselves in health and fitness classes, but they also offer them a community for support outside of the gym. Joining a gym is a great way to meet like-minded friends or even partners!

Although it’s already in motion, more people will start to join smaller boutique gyms not only to get fit but to make companions and build relationships. Living in a big city can be mentally challenging and it can be hard to find good friendships, so gyms can offer a strong community service.

"People will start to join smaller boutique gyms to make companions"

We believe a person works harder as a member of a UN1T than when working alone. This is called the UN1T effect! "We Train As One" is printed all over our studio walls. All our classes are team based and we encourage members to communicate with one another to complete the day’s programme. This will grow in coming years.

People also need to be made accountable in a class or they’ll coast along and not get the results they want. If a "not so fit" member pairs up with a much fitter person, they often exert extra effort, especially at conjunctive tasks. Although this may put the "not so fit" members under pressure, we believe that if you’re not challenged, you’ll not change. The feeling of working for your partner and out of your comfort zone is amazing and creates a bond between our members, inside and outside of the gym.

People work harder as a member of a UN1T than when working alone Photo: JonPaynePhoto
Greg Slade, Head of Commercial, The Training Room
Greg Slade

The way PTs and their clients work together has changed. There is a strong shift towards overall wellness and clients working with PTs on a long-term basis rather than just a six-week programme here and there.

Our research shows that our graduate PTs are working longer hours and spending more time counselling clients – 78 per cent reported that they spend up to five hours a week responding to clients’ messages and giving them help and advice outside of their paid for one-to-one sessions.

However, the savvy PTs will use this as an opportunity to build strong connections with their clients, which leads to positive long-term relationships.

In the future, I think we’ll see more and more PTs working on building their brand, which would enable them to specialise in certain areas if they wanted to do so.

Social media and the rise of digital platforms such as WhatsApp will certainly help them realise this and facilitate them in growing their client following.

"We’ll see more PTs building their brand and using digital to connect with clients"

Another major trend will be the increase in digital PT training courses and PTs making more use of digital to connect with their clients and run their businesses.

The Training Room’s new platform will be a major force in this, as it delivers a cutting-edge learning environment complete with all the facilities for social interaction that millennials and Gen Z have come to expect.

The future is up for grabs and it will be the creatively, socially and emotionally aware and digital-savvy trainers who will capitalise the most.

Graduate PTs are spending more time counselling their clients Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK/ Mladen Zivkovic
Tony de Leede, Wellness Entrepeneur
Tony de Leede

As the world of fitness, health and wellness is rapidly growing and evolving, there’s one significant segment of the population that’s still being substantially ignored – we’re talking about people who are aged 70 and older.

I think we all recognise that not only is this one of the fastest growing demographics in the world, but they also have a disproportionately large amount of money to hopefully enhance their health and wellbeing in what for many of them is the last 10 to 20 years of their lives.

Whereas young people are interested in fitness and looking good, the older generation simply wants to keep moving and feel good. The ideal scenario for these people is to ‘die young late in life’.

"The commercial world is finally waking up to this important demographic"

As aged care/retirement communities around the world are focusing more on the health and wellbeing of these people, we’re seeing various businesses now focusing more on this demographic.

One example being Silver Sneakers in the US, who have spent the last two decades catering to this market. More recently, Move 123 is the first in the world to develop virtual/video content specifically aimed at the 70+ market. This virtual/video content comes in small bites – 5, 10 and 20 minutes – which is ideal for this demographic.

There are many other evolving products, like meditation pods and breathing chairs, which are also entering the marketplace. The commercial world is finally waking up to this important demographic.

Move 123 is the first in the world to develop virtual content aimed at the 70+ market

Sebastian Lagree, Founder/CEO, Lagree Fitness
Sebastian Lagree

In 2019, we’re going to see a rise in shorter workouts. The number one reason why people don’t work out is a perceived lack of time, so shorter workouts will make it possible to be in-and-out when they’re on-the-go.

If six out of seven Americans don’t exercise, shorter workouts will provide the opportunity for more people to find their way to a local fitness studio.

The trend for at-home workouts is sequences that offer a full-body workout under half-an-hour. We are going to see that trend infiltrate the commercial application as well.

"The more your mind is engaged, the more you’ll want to exercise"

It also used to be the case that we’d have one gym membership. We’d try to squeeze in an hour after work to move around some dumbbells or press a few buttons on a treadmill. Those days are over. Today, we box, we spin, we lift, we Lagree. We don’t want memberships to different gyms that look like training facilities for ninjas or Bond villains. We want our fitness à la carte.

Shorter workouts and fitness à la carte lead to increased mental engagement. Mixing and matching favourite workouts keeps your body guessing and your mind engaged. The more your mind is engaged, the more you’ll want to exercise.

We want to work out how, when and where we want. Shorter workouts, boutique studios and pay-as-you-go classes make this possible.

Shorter workouts make it possible to be in-and-out when you’re on-the-go

Originally published in HCM Handbook 2019 edition

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