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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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Trade associations
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Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
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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The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness ...
Latest News
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A £30m luxury leisure development scheme which has been more than a decade in the ...
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Apple has previewed its much-awaited watchOS 8, the operating system for its Apple Watch. The ...
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Opinion
promotion
While much of the fitness industry has reopened its doors across the UK over the past weeks, many members are yet to return.
Opinion: Re-engaging your post-lockdown absent members
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: INEOS: The future of hand-sanitising
As gyms begin to reopen, cleanliness and hygiene remain an essential part of ensuring staff and members are confident to return.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Cryotherapy specialists, L&R Kältetechnik, launch new artofcryo.com division
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical Company
Physical Company’s mission statement is ‘First for Fitness Solutions’ – a statement that reflects the ...
Company profiles
Company profile: EGYM UK Ltd
EGYM empowers gym operators to deliver a workout experience that supports their members' lifelong fitness ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Precor: The power of networking
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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