These Two Fitness Trends Tell Us How Fitness Pros Can Stay Ahead

For many fitness businesses the sudden turn to a virtual world during the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult. An industry that has long been anchored by in-person activities and community engagement (like group classes) suddenly had to shift. Millions of people started working out in their own homes to avoid crowds. That change came suddenly in Spring 2020. Our research indicates that there are Ten Trends that illustrate what’s to come in 2021 for the fitness industry! Here’s two of ’em!

Fitness Trend #1: The Future is Hybrid


Almost half of gym members (47%) want better options for at-home workouts. And while 83% thought they would return to the gym when it was safe to do so, a July 2020 survey said more than half of people don’t plan to renew their fitness memberships after COVID is over, citing “more affordable” ways to get fit that they discovered when they couldn’t go to their local fitness facility.

The most likely scenario between people flocking back to the gym or foregoing it entirely is going to be somewhere in the middle, with people participating in “heterogeneous” fitness programs with both in-person and virtual options, according to ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman. Like many fitness businesses right now, ClassPass is looking for ways to merge these experiences. Rick Stollmeyer, CEO and founder of MINDBODY, agrees, noting their own efforts to include both on-demand content and in-studio options. It’s an opportunity to bring in people who might feel more comfortable trying out a class at home before entering a studio, sparking interest and increasing the potential that they become long-term clients.

The key is embracing a level of flexibility to create a business model of “and” instead of “either/or” as you look toward the future. Find a way to provide on-demand exercises for your clients!

Fitness Trend #2: It’s a Family Affair


Almost half of adults in the U.S. report feeling stressed and not having enough time to do the things they need to do each day. For working parents or those taking care of aging parents as a member of the “sandwich generation” this time crunch can feel even worse. Carving out time to workout instead of spending it with your children or family members often leads to more stress and feelings of guilt. It’s also one of the reasons people — especially moms  don’t exercise as often as they might like to.

Fitness offerings that engage both parents and children, or have scaled versions for a grandparent to do, can boost participation and tackle the stress of feeling like you have to give up one thing you love (time with the family) for another thing (your physical health). Plus they can help older adults get exercise that is vital to reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis and set a valuable example for future generations.

Fitness offerings that engage families can boost participation! Provide your clients with family-friendly exercises. Consider a platform built for families.

For actionable information that WILL prepare you for the rest of 2021, download our guide, Secrets for Survival: Keeping Your Fitness Business Running in 2021. We spent months researching the biggest trends affecting fitness professionals. There are specific indicators out there that are instructive towards delivering growth in 2021.

We’ve identified the following 10 Trends most impacting fitness businesses: