Brad Byrne

Top 20 Trends In the Fitness Industry (Part 1)



It's important for any gym & studio owners to understand their customer base and what's happening in the fitness industry as a whole. A good way to do this can be to look at what's popular within the fitness sector on an ongoing basis and determine if it's possible to integrate these trends into your business. A study looked at the fitness industry and identified 20 noteworthy trends. This may also prove useful as a reflection on how Covid-19 has impacted the fitness industry compared to previous years. This blog breaks down each one of these trends and recommends on how it can be used to better your fitness or wellness business. 

1 Wearable technology 

One of the most consistently popular trends since 2016, the wearable technology market is estimated to be a $95 billion industry. Dominated by companies such as Fitbit, Apple, Whoop, Garmin and Samsung this space is constantly growing. With this growth comes an opportunity for fitness businesses to integrate this technology into their business model. 


Opportunities around personalising 1-1 training and allowing for more accurate monitoring of progress. Offering a wider range of feedback to your customers thanks to more accurate training metrics. This is definitely something you should consider integrating into your business. 

2 High-intensity interval training (HIIT) 

Another consistently high scoring trends High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises involve short bursts of high-intensity training. Despite the warnings that the high-intensity nature of this type of training can lead to increased injury risk this form of training is still very popular amongst gym-goers. 


As its consistently getting more popular it may be worthwhile integrating this form of training into your plans for your customers. Offering it as part of a comprehensive fitness package or as a stand-alone Bootcamp, specifically aimed at those with a lack of time due to the fast nature of HIIT workouts. 

3 Group training 

Defined as training with five or more participants, the main positive of group training is the motivation & accountability associated with the group setting. A great way to bring beginners into fitness who may be anxious beginning their fitness journey alone. Group training has been growing in popularity since 2017 add with the advent of Covid-19 is made easier and more accessible thanks to online video sessions. 


Having group training sessions as part of your offering can make you significantly more appealing to those who are looking to start off their fitness journey. This can help ensure you have a steady stream of new customers coming into your business. 

4 Training with free weights 

The use of barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells and medicine balls has become popular over the last year. Related to the loss of access to gym facilities, training methods incorporating simpler equipment has taken a priority. A focus on functional training and mastering the basics has become popular and this shows no signs of slowing. 


This information may prove useful in dictating how the gym is structured, perhaps more space may now be made available for these exercises. This should also be considered when determining what equipment should be purchased next. 

5 Personal training 

Consistently being in the top 20 trends personal training has seen a steep jump to number 5 on the list. As many people began their fitness journeys from home over the last year the support and guidance of a personal trainer has proved paramount for many. The report states that this may also be due to the accessibility of obtaining a qualification in this field online. 


An asterisk should be added to ensure that the types of personal trainers used by gyms & fitness facilities are up to industry standards. This can be a positive for gyms that pride themselves on quality as well educated staff and can/should be marketed as such. 

6 Exercise is Medicine (EIM) 

EIM is an initiative that involves including a physical activity assessment and associated treatment as part of medical visits. EIM holds the view that fitness professions are a part of the healthcare community. That they contribute to a healthy lifestyle and should be recognised for the important role they play in maintaining good health. 


This can be viewed as a possible future for the fitness industry and may be expanded to the likes of Yoga studies, CrossFit Gyms, Pilates centres & much more. If you are a gym owner it is definitely worth exploring this initiative. 

7 Bodyweight training 

Another one that has become more popular due to Covid-19. The use of resistance bands combined with an individual’s own body weight during a workout routine. Having not appeared in the top 20 list before 2013 this trend has been on the rise for some years. 


This may be utilised as a pathway to get people who are new to fitness on a workout routine and slowly progress onto training with free weights as mentioned above. Another pathway to ensuring you have a healthy flow of new customers coming into your business. 

8 Fitness programs for older adults

Concerning the Baby Boomer generation and older, these generations have larger amounts of discretionary income than younger generations - something that fitness facilities may be able to cater to. They do also have a more limited time window than other generations as such can be charged more for taking up primetime in the gym. 


By charging higher prices to these demographics, fitness facilities can dedicate more resources to them and provide a higher standard of training. The extent to which is entirely up to the facility. Some recommendations may be ensuring they have more 1-1 time with personal trainers, hiring a dedicated nutritionist or making use of wearable technology as previously mentioned. 


9 Health/wellness coaching 

This approach involves integrating behavioural science into health and wellness coaching. Typically done in a 1-1 setting or in small groups health/wellness coaching looks at client values, needs and vision and sets in place long term goals and a means to reach them. Can be viewed as the melding of mental and physical health this could be considered in the future for some fitness facilities. 


A way of achieving this may be a partnership between fitness facilities and a local psychiatrist. Perhaps taking in the knowledge gained in point 8 this may be aimed at older demographics. 

10 Employing certified fitness professionals 

In the last year, it has become more common for individuals to achieve a qualification in fitness. The validity of some of these qualifications however is at the heart of this point. Ensuring that fitness facilities hire staff that come from an accredited institution and have the appropriate level of experience.  


This can be a point of pride for a fitness facility with particularly well-qualified staff members and should be marketed as such. Emphasizing the worth of your staff can have positive benefits from a customer perception perspective as well as making the staff feel appreciated. 

We hope you found this blog useful, to make sure that you don't miss part two click here to subscribe to our future blogs!