This post was updated on December 4, 2022.
It’s true that the fundamentals of fitness rarely change. Deadlifts work. Consistency is king. You can’t spot reduce.
But the platforms, technology and equipment professionals use to train clients shift over time, and the COVID-19 pandemic forced fitness into a new era of at-home workouts. Many people invested in new equipment, took up running or got used to sweating with on-demand or Zoom workouts. (Just so you know, Wix Fit can help you host these workouts on your site.)
That means even your most dedicated clients may have developed new habits over the last two years, so it’s important to know the latest fitness trends. These are the ones professionals are buzzing about now.
Hybrid fitness is here to stay
Online fitness is the number-one workout trend of the year, confirms an industry survey of fitness professionals. What may have seemed like a temporary solution at the start of the pandemic has become a long-term part of the fitness landscape, even when gyms reopen around the world. Many fitness professionals are embracing a mix of in-person and digital workouts, known as hybrid fitness, in order to adapt to their clients’ new needs and schedules.
To capitalize on this trend, you’ll need to learn how to build a fitness website that can host videos, accept payments, and allow members to book classes. Check out the best fitness websites for some inspo.
Wearables are on fire
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts have been tracking their sleep, workouts and recovery for some time now, and the trend isn't slowing down. The industry is expected to grow 30 percent annually through 2023, according to BCC Research. Some ways to incorporate wearables into your training sessions if you haven't already:
Create step challenges to keep your clients motivated and moving
Show them how to monitor their heart-rate during workouts
Encourage them to consider their sleep data when determining their workout intensity
Personal training is on the rise
The personal training industry grew by 2.2 percent in 2021, according to IBIS World, and it's expected to expand as people become increasingly health-conscious and wary of large groups. Personal training strikes the ideal balance of minimal social interaction and max fitness benefits. Still, keep in mind that people might not want to see a trainer multiple times a week during the pandemic, so be sure to work with your clients to develop a plan that helps them stay on track in between sessions.
To reach more clients, offer a discounted rate for new members and small groups of friends. And don't forget the word personal. If you employ multiple trainers at your gym, include bios on your site so potential clients can find someone they vibe with.
People want anti-anxiety workouts and active recovery sessions
“People are burning out and realizing that rest needs to be a priority,” Bre Williamson, yoga teacher and founder of Mindfully Bre, told us for the story, the new rules of training clients during the pandemic.
Many athletes are realizing that fitness is a lifelong pursuit and needs to be one part of an overall healthy lifestyle. That means two things:
Resting after a hard workout
Prioritizing anti-anxiety workouts, like yoga and active stretching (related: why now is the best time to invest in your yoga business)
This could translate to different offerings for different fitness businesses. For your business, it could mean including breath work at the end of a HIIT class or creating a special session devoted to stretching and mobility. You can also send a fitness newsletter featuring a recovery routine people can do at home on their rest day.
More people are running and hiking
Outdoor exercise was the most popular fitness trend in a recent RunRepeat survey, and almost 60 percent of people said running and other forms of outdoor training were the best ways to stay fit in 2021. Keep these new workouts in mind as you train your clients. How can you best support their running and hiking goals and help them avoid injury?
People are enjoying "workout snacks"
Hybrid fitness allows people to do several, smaller workouts throughout the day, instead of carving out time for one long workout. These workout snacks are ideal for people who (a) work longer hours during the pandemic and (b) stay in leggings all day anyway. Consider offering different workout lengths in your video library to meet this new demand. (Read more about how to shoot a workout video here.)
Brick-and-mortar gyms need to be squeaky clean
COVID-19 concerns gave way to an emphasis on cleanliness. You’ve probably already made accommodations to sanitize your gym—but make sure you communicate them to your members. Have a FAQ on your website that explains all of your COVID-19 policies, train your staff to address the most common concerns and post signs describing your cleaning schedule and procedures, especially in sensitive, high-traffic areas like locker rooms and showers.
Community is everything
People are more likely to stick to a workout program when they have social support, and people are craving connection more than ever. Who wants to be alone anymore?
But clients may still need help joining your fitness community. If your studio offers group classes, either in-person or virtually, consider starting with an icebreaker, especially if you’re seeing an influx of new members who don't know each other. Also consider an ambassador program, like the one My Fitness Suites has. They connect every new member with a gym veteran so they see a friendly face in class and make an instant social connection. Brilliant.