5 Ways the Fitness Industry Could Change Over the Next Couple of Years

The fitness industry has two givens: 1. Things will change, and 2.  Everything that got changed will eventually come back again.

Fitness experts are found in every possible nook and cranny of the industry so getting an opinion on where things are headed is as simple as putting the question out there.

 Also, because there is so much overlap, agreement and disagreement between so many experts, I’ve decided not to specifically reference them, but be assured they know their stuff. 

Every change or trend (trends are short term changes that may or may not stick) has an impact on many other facets of the business.

For every new product that comes on the market, think of the number of designers, engineers, software programmers, marketers, administrators, assembly lines, testers, salespeople…. well you get the idea, a lot of people are involved.

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are some predictions about the future of the fitness industry with my additional commentary and opinions on how they may impact you and others in the field.

 Wearable Technology

Everything wearable will continue to be huge. What started a number of decades ago as a free pedometer in a box of cereal that did little more than count steps, has been on a steady diet of “Roids” ever since. 

More and more metrics like BP, HR and GPS will be standard and new metrics will be discovered that can be tracked and reported by smart watches, and clothing with. 

The data collected is uploaded to smart phones and other devices where trending analyses is made and recommendations for improvement are done. 

Hundreds of manufacturers continue to bring the prices down and the features up on these devices accounting for 1 in 5 North Americans now owning one. 

Financial incentives by Insurance providers will continue to see companies jumping on board, providing healthy lifestyle incentives to employees that comply.

Fitness challenges and rewards programs will continue to grow in size and reach.

The Opportunity:

Instructors will build programming around wearable technologies, coming into businesses to deliver classes and being able to track users lifestyles remotely through their wearable devices.

This will provide new revenue streams for personal trainers who position themselves to integrate new technologies into their services and who want to expand out of the clubs.

Workouts On Demand

Think of all the ways we access information and entertainment both at home and on the go. These are all potential means of delivering classes in real time or as recorded sessions.

The variety of classes will continue to grow as new equipment and exercise innovators continue to flood the market with new products and services.

New York and LA will longer be the exclusive owners of all things innovative; it will be shared in seconds through technology.

The Opportunity:

Everyone can potentially be an exercise service provider for the fitness industry. The major fitness players will continue to put out new innovative exercise videos but will face greater competition for downloads from new resourceful providers.

Studio Style Classes

Large gyms and franchises, traditionally the Mecca for fitness goers will now adopt more boutique style programming in an effort to give the gym-goer a greater variety of exercise options.

Small boutique clubs will thrive as they extend their reach into the community and be the first to offer new trending workouts.

Much the same way spinning classes are available everywhere, we will now see group rowing classes, HITT classes, Yoga and much more in larger gyms that create a small boutique type atmosphere within the larger club. Essentially a club within a club design.

The Opportunity:

Traditional group class instructors who have seen their Zumba, Jazzercise and other perennial favorites class sizes on the decline, will be well positioned to reinvent themselves and explore job opportunities in the Studios and Boutiques.  

Water Programs

Pools are often the lost leader in any health club but recent popularities of creative new water programs will see a re-interest in H2O. Exciting new twists on things like Yoga (but now done on a floating board) or water spinning (also called poolbiking) will turn pools into new profit centers.

The Opportunity:

This is likely to spawn new certifications and new products that can be used in the pool. Think of HIIT training and other gym-based activities that can be adapted to the water.

Also expect to see equipment manufacturers creating a new line of poolside pieces that use water as a means of resistance.

Competitive Heart Rate Training

Using a variety of aerobic equipment and callisthenic-type exercises instructors will take participants through workouts designed to burn fat while exercising in the target heart rate zone.  

Personal tracking devices will be used and classes will accommodate a range of fitness levels.

Heart rate results will be projected on walls or screens and satisfy the competitive element for members.

The Opportunity:

Understanding exercise psychology, social and competitive needs will require more educated staff.  Individuals that prepare for this early will be in demand by all styles of clubs. 

Clubs will continue to offer physiotherapist and nutritionists and expand their services to include other allied health professionals.


By Ron Warne


Copywriter for the Health, Fitness and Weight Loss Industries

Ron has worked as a college educator and Canadian government certification instructor for the health & fitness industry, personal training industry and national coaching program. His writing and consulting has served major health club chains, TV, school boards and private industry. 25 years of serving and writing for the health & fitness industries, rounds out his experience as a professional copywriter.  www.ronwarnecopywriter.com