By Nathalie Lacombe, M Sc.
Rolling with the tide of trends is critical to our success in offering health and fitness as a service and we need to meet the wants of our customers. The trick is to identify how we can tweak our already established and available content, programs, and offers to connect with the consumer wants.
This blog series is a tool to help differentiate between quick burning fads and trends that have staying power. Don’t spend a moment of your precious time or a dollar of your hard-earned money before reading and reflecting on The Next Big Things: Top 3 Trends for 2020!
Last week, I told you about the trend in third place. Did you agree (and if you didn’t read it, click here). Today, I identify the top trend in 2nd place.
Second Place: Fast & Focused Workouts
As behavior change experts, we’ve always had to overcome our clients’ challenge of not having the time to workout. Most of us have been stuck for years in hour-long format; as if the “fitness police” had decided that group fitness classes and personal training sessions had to be 60 minutes. Interestingly, this seemed to be reserved to in-person workouts as plenty of TV shows had shorter alternatives. I invite you to check out the original “20 Minute Workout” on YouTube for reference and sheer joy!
Online and virtual workouts with various time durations have exploded in number and popularity. The market is telling us what it wants – targeted workouts to be done quickly and effectively.
Sometimes enough is indeed enough. Our industry accepted HIIT training as being ideal in shorter duration a few years ago, and we have now embraced the request for shorter classes with other formats. Big players in the industry like Les Mills with CXWORKS and Zumba with STRONG30 have demonstrated that members will get to the gym for a shorter workout.
We now have entire studio franchise brands like F45 who have taped into the market share of goal-driven members with time-constraints.
Keep in mind, members might want to do their own cardio workout, then pop into a 30-minute strength training class or a 15-minute guided mediation practice.
Maximizing the Gluteus
Gone are the days when we only focused on forward-facing “mirror muscles”; it’s now ALL about the backside! The popularity of the mighty barbell is back thanks to the rise in popularity of hip thrusting. We can choose to credit (or blame) a few celebrities, but the reality is that a great number of our clients are looking to improve the look and feel of their butt. Yes, glute-focused exercises and programs will be a massive draw and sales tool in 2020.
Education programs like Hot Booty Ballet have tapped into this trend by creating high-energy, group fitness workouts focused on…well, your booty.
As a footnote to these two trends, I’d be remiss if I didn’t provide some guidance as to how it relates to tracking. Most of the technology and tracking tools used in gyms don’t come close to what members have in their pockets or on their wrists. Our industry must either evolve at warp-speed into the business of tech or connect with what is already at our fingertips. Providing tech and tracking has worked incredibly well for large companies like Orange Theory Fitness but smaller studios and entrepreneurs may not have the inclination or budget to transform their offers.
Utilize the tech your clients already have. This could mean asking your clients to track their efforts using their own devices or choosing your next pieces of equipment to connect with their technology like GymKit from Apple. And make sure they tag you in the photo they post on social media sharing the calories they’ve burned!
The Next Big Things For You
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to tap into these trends, but rather simply repackage your offers and services. While keeping programs safe and effective, we can highlight the focus of our workouts.
Borrowing from our friends who offer online training and transformations, we can offer services that are shorter and more focused. Try breaking your hour class into two different 30-minute workouts; For example: 30-minute LIIT + 30-minute backside buster.
Fitness Managers & Decision Makers:
Try different workout durations and focuses on your class schedule in order to find the sweet spot for your members. In some gyms and studios, 30-minute formats work incredibly well, particularly in virtual group fitness. In others markets, this may not be as popular. Successful fitness programming blends art and science and if we remain comfortable trying different formats and remaining agile (vs being “stuck” with something for a 3-month session), we’ll be better suited to respond to the needs and cravings of our clientele.
If you haven’t yet researched, selected, and invested in technology, it is now time to find a way to support the tracking devices that your clients already use.
Fitness Education Providers
Consider providing a shorter format of your programs for both virtual and in person workouts. Try creating glute or hip focused workouts to send as “pop ups” to your audience. Use key words in your marketing that connect with these trends, yet still focuses on what you already offer.
Continue reading the first place trends!