Recent surveys are full of good news for fitness centers of every shape and size. For 2019, fitness center management will require a lot of balance and equality. Men and women reported near-equal use of their gym memberships in both group fitness and boutique centers, and member utilization continues to climb as more people of all ages recognize the role physical fitness plays in good health and longevity.
Among popular fitness center programming identified in recent years’ surveys are a few trends worth watching. We’re most concerned with fitness programs that have shown up in the top 10 for at least a decade and appeal to a wide cross-section of demographics.
Expect members to migrate to gyms that offer these services in 2019:
- HIIT: It’s moderate or high-intensity training in 30 minutes or less, and it fits the schedules and needs of everyone from Millennials to Active Seniors.
- Group Training: Personal attention and self-scaled workouts for 5 or more people, group training incorporates circuit work and strength for a holistic approach to fitness. Boot camps fall into this category.
- Strength Training: Members of all ages are using strength training to maintain strength. It’s a popular prescription for those diagnosed with metabolic disorders that preclude vigorous physical activity.
- Yoga: Yoga has remained in the top 10 fitness trends for 10 years. Entire studios are dedicated to the practice of various forms of Yoga, so adding a couple of classes to your weekly schedule makes good business sense.
- Personal training: Personal training with a certified instructor appeals to most fitness center members at some point in their fitness journey. It’s remained in the top 10 list since 2006 and it’s not going anywhere.
It’s no surprise that guided workouts continue to be more popular than equipment, but don’t toss the treadmills: they’re still the most popular piece of equipment in any fitness center. Two notable top 10 list additions that haven’t yet proven their staying power are senior programs and functional fitness. Pay close attention to special-needs populations in coming years: seniors (both fit and frail) and medical referrals are income streams that deserve some consideration when planning programming changes. As always, your member demographics and wants indicate what classes you’ll need to incorporate. This list is a great, all-inclusive place to start.