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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Industry trends: Staying on trend

Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson of US-based research and consulting firm ClubIntel share the take-home messages from the 2017 International Fitness Industry Trend Report

Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 1
Group exercise has become the preferred approach to fitness
Group exercise has become the preferred approach to fitness
Despite the inescapable influence of mobile technology in society today, the fitness industry remains a surprisingly slow adopter of technology

In business, trends can be considered an essential truth. They inform us of where the market is headed, what competitors are doing, what consumers are embracing, what business leaders are thinking and what opportunities are ripe for the taking. The 2017 International Fitness Industry Trend Report reveals the current trends in the global fitness industry. The new report, which was generated from 1,349 responses and represents over 14,000 fitness facilities around the globe, tracks over 90 industry practices across four key segments: programmes/services, equipment, facilities and technology. The study also explores differences in outcomes according to region: Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the US.

Overarching Insights
The first key insight unearthed by the report is that high price points are associated with trend setting. Essentially, the higher an operator’s monthly price point, the more likely it is to be a trendsetter. In the majority of cases, fitness businesses with the highest price points – commercial luxury clubs, commercial premium clubs or medical fitness centres – held or shared the top position in respect to the trend practices across programming, equipment, facilities and technology.

The next key insight from the report relates to the impact of fitness programme selection on business operations. The survey findings indicate that the type of fitness programmes a business adopts ultimately dictates the equipment it acquires and the facilities it uses to house those programmes.

However, programming is not only a crucial influencer of business operations, it also appears to be unique to each region of the globe. Of the top 10 global programming trends for 2017 (see graph: The top 10 global programming trends by level of adoption), yoga, functional resistance training and one-to-one personal training have a marginally better uptake in Europe compared with globally, whereas bodyweight resistance training, pre-choreographed group exercise and senior fitness have noticeably better uptake globally than in Europe.

When observing programming trends by level of adoption, the power of group programming is clear to see. Whether it involves HIIT, cycling, barre, boot camp, yoga, pre-choreographed group exercise or suspension training, exercising in a group setting appears to have become the approach of choice.

Despite the inescapable influence of mobile technology in society today, the fitness industry remains a surprisingly slow adopter of technology. The survey findings show that other than the use of social media (mostly used to sell and promote products) – which has been adopted by 57 per cent of operators – only three of 13 technology platforms have achieved 30 per cent adoption.

While the global fitness industry leans toward being prehistoric in its approach, European operators show a greater propensity for adopting technology as a tool of the trade (see graph: The top 10 global technology trends by level of adoption). Furthermore, in respect to technology, the report highlights that the majority of operators have adopted technology that helps them sell rather than engage and immerse customers.

Industry firestorms
A firestorm describes a force that is intense and highly destructive in nature. Trends can be firestorms when they experience rapid and exponential growth and, in doing so, change the landscape of a particular industry. In the case of the fitness industry, there are three trends that have experienced enormous growth over the past four years, and their growth has changed how fitness businesses operates:

Barre and HIIT classes
These experienced more growth over the past four years than any other programme – 30 percentage points – as evidenced by the fact that barre and HIIT studios are among the most popular types of boutique studios. Two of the largest fitness studio franchisees in the world are built around these programme formats: Pure Barre with over 450 locations and Orangetheory with over 700 locations.

Non-traditional functional training equipment
This group – comprised of tyres, battle ropes, sandbags, rings, kettlebells and other more recently established pieces of training equipment – experienced the greatest growth of any type of equipment over the past four years, approximately 20 percentage points. In fact, this category of equipment has grown so rapidly that it has turned conventional strength training equipment into a niche product based on its overall level of industry adoption.

Social media and club-based mobile applications
Use of these digital platforms has grown by more than 20 percentage points over the past four years – a significant level of growth when compared with other technologies, like on-demand and live-streamed group exercise classes, or the use of internet middlemen such as ClassPass and PayasUgym.

Applying the lessons
Virtually every player in the fitness industry has much to gain from staying abreast of existing and emerging trends, as such intel can be used to guide the business decisions of companies while helping them to strategically position themselves within the industry. To that end, the ClubIntel 2017 International Fitness Industry Trend Report builds on the overview provided in this article and paints a comprehensive picture of the industry’s areas of opportunity and growth, which stand to benefit operators, developers and suppliers alike.

GRAPH 1

Top ten Global Programming trends by Level of Adoption - Comparison to Europe

Graph 1
Graph 1

GRAPH 2

Top ten Global Technology trends by level of adoption - Comparison to Europe

Graph 2
Graph 2

About the authors

Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson
Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson

Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson are the co-founders of ClubIntel – a US-based research and consulting firm for the health club and fitness industry.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from ClubIntel at www.club-intel.com

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Cycling classes remain popular and are one of the top programming trends by level of adoption
Image courtesy of The Gym Group.
Cycling classes remain popular and are one of the top programming trends by level of adoption Image courtesy of The Gym Group.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/717248_420396.jpg
ClubIntel's International Fitness Industry Trend Report has revealed that the industry is a surprisingly slow adopter of technology. We share the other findings... #fitnesstrends
Stephen Tharrett, research and consulting, ClubIntel Mark Williamson, research and consulting, ClubIntel ,ClubIntel, industry trends, International Fitness Industry Trend Report,
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Diary dates
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25-28 Oct 2022
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Diary dates

features

Industry trends: Staying on trend

Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson of US-based research and consulting firm ClubIntel share the take-home messages from the 2017 International Fitness Industry Trend Report

Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 1
Group exercise has become the preferred approach to fitness
Group exercise has become the preferred approach to fitness
Despite the inescapable influence of mobile technology in society today, the fitness industry remains a surprisingly slow adopter of technology

In business, trends can be considered an essential truth. They inform us of where the market is headed, what competitors are doing, what consumers are embracing, what business leaders are thinking and what opportunities are ripe for the taking. The 2017 International Fitness Industry Trend Report reveals the current trends in the global fitness industry. The new report, which was generated from 1,349 responses and represents over 14,000 fitness facilities around the globe, tracks over 90 industry practices across four key segments: programmes/services, equipment, facilities and technology. The study also explores differences in outcomes according to region: Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the US.

Overarching Insights
The first key insight unearthed by the report is that high price points are associated with trend setting. Essentially, the higher an operator’s monthly price point, the more likely it is to be a trendsetter. In the majority of cases, fitness businesses with the highest price points – commercial luxury clubs, commercial premium clubs or medical fitness centres – held or shared the top position in respect to the trend practices across programming, equipment, facilities and technology.

The next key insight from the report relates to the impact of fitness programme selection on business operations. The survey findings indicate that the type of fitness programmes a business adopts ultimately dictates the equipment it acquires and the facilities it uses to house those programmes.

However, programming is not only a crucial influencer of business operations, it also appears to be unique to each region of the globe. Of the top 10 global programming trends for 2017 (see graph: The top 10 global programming trends by level of adoption), yoga, functional resistance training and one-to-one personal training have a marginally better uptake in Europe compared with globally, whereas bodyweight resistance training, pre-choreographed group exercise and senior fitness have noticeably better uptake globally than in Europe.

When observing programming trends by level of adoption, the power of group programming is clear to see. Whether it involves HIIT, cycling, barre, boot camp, yoga, pre-choreographed group exercise or suspension training, exercising in a group setting appears to have become the approach of choice.

Despite the inescapable influence of mobile technology in society today, the fitness industry remains a surprisingly slow adopter of technology. The survey findings show that other than the use of social media (mostly used to sell and promote products) – which has been adopted by 57 per cent of operators – only three of 13 technology platforms have achieved 30 per cent adoption.

While the global fitness industry leans toward being prehistoric in its approach, European operators show a greater propensity for adopting technology as a tool of the trade (see graph: The top 10 global technology trends by level of adoption). Furthermore, in respect to technology, the report highlights that the majority of operators have adopted technology that helps them sell rather than engage and immerse customers.

Industry firestorms
A firestorm describes a force that is intense and highly destructive in nature. Trends can be firestorms when they experience rapid and exponential growth and, in doing so, change the landscape of a particular industry. In the case of the fitness industry, there are three trends that have experienced enormous growth over the past four years, and their growth has changed how fitness businesses operates:

Barre and HIIT classes
These experienced more growth over the past four years than any other programme – 30 percentage points – as evidenced by the fact that barre and HIIT studios are among the most popular types of boutique studios. Two of the largest fitness studio franchisees in the world are built around these programme formats: Pure Barre with over 450 locations and Orangetheory with over 700 locations.

Non-traditional functional training equipment
This group – comprised of tyres, battle ropes, sandbags, rings, kettlebells and other more recently established pieces of training equipment – experienced the greatest growth of any type of equipment over the past four years, approximately 20 percentage points. In fact, this category of equipment has grown so rapidly that it has turned conventional strength training equipment into a niche product based on its overall level of industry adoption.

Social media and club-based mobile applications
Use of these digital platforms has grown by more than 20 percentage points over the past four years – a significant level of growth when compared with other technologies, like on-demand and live-streamed group exercise classes, or the use of internet middlemen such as ClassPass and PayasUgym.

Applying the lessons
Virtually every player in the fitness industry has much to gain from staying abreast of existing and emerging trends, as such intel can be used to guide the business decisions of companies while helping them to strategically position themselves within the industry. To that end, the ClubIntel 2017 International Fitness Industry Trend Report builds on the overview provided in this article and paints a comprehensive picture of the industry’s areas of opportunity and growth, which stand to benefit operators, developers and suppliers alike.

GRAPH 1

Top ten Global Programming trends by Level of Adoption - Comparison to Europe

Graph 1
Graph 1

GRAPH 2

Top ten Global Technology trends by level of adoption - Comparison to Europe

Graph 2
Graph 2

About the authors

Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson
Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson

Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson are the co-founders of ClubIntel – a US-based research and consulting firm for the health club and fitness industry.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from ClubIntel at www.club-intel.com

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Cycling classes remain popular and are one of the top programming trends by level of adoption
Image courtesy of The Gym Group.
Cycling classes remain popular and are one of the top programming trends by level of adoption Image courtesy of The Gym Group.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/717248_420396.jpg
ClubIntel's International Fitness Industry Trend Report has revealed that the industry is a surprisingly slow adopter of technology. We share the other findings... #fitnesstrends
Stephen Tharrett, research and consulting, ClubIntel Mark Williamson, research and consulting, ClubIntel ,ClubIntel, industry trends, International Fitness Industry Trend Report,
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New fitness franchise, Circuit Society, has signed its first London location in Bayswater. The 3,000sq ...
Latest News
Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council, has released a children’s book called Can We ...
Latest News
The new £42m Moorways Sports Village will open its doors to the public on Saturday ...
Latest News
Fitness industry veteran Harm Tegelaars has returned to the fitness industry by joining the board ...
Latest News
Planet Fitness saw its Q1 2022 revenue increase by 66.9 per cent (to US$186.7m) on ...
Latest News
Sport England and UK Active have signed a five-year partnership agreement which will see the ...
Latest News
Planet Fitness is offering high-school students free access to any of its 2,200 locations in ...
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How can organisations, including health club and leisure businesses, decarbonise, generate clean energy and harness ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: ACTIV partners with Fisikal to deliver custom branded member experience
ACTIV, a gym chain in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which operates separate gyms for men and women, has partnered with digital management solution expert Fisikal to create a custom branded experience for its members.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Virtuagym raises €3m investment to fuel innovation in health and fitness technology
Global fitness technology provider Virtuagym has raised a new €3m investment from Icecat, an Amsterdam-based technology company which invests in innovative technology organisations.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Serco Leisure wins 10-year Mansfield contract
Following a competitive tendering process, Serco Leisure and its partner More Leisure Community Trust Limited (MLCT) have been awarded a 10-year contract by Mansfield District Council to operate three centres in the town, starting 1 May 2022.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Mindbody, Inc
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: Excelsior Development Technology
We develop staff that enhance the culture, experience and reputation of your business which in ...
Company profiles
Company profile: IONTO Health & Beauty GmbH
IONTO-COMED offers a wide range of treatment beds offering maximum flexibility and the symbiosis of ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Pulse Fitness: trusted partner
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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