Clients and consumers are the backbones of most industries, but they are the entire heart and soul of the fitness industry in particular.
This service industry is focused on customer needs, anticipating client behavior, and molding itself based on consumer habits and trends to keep up with its demands. As such, it’s vital for certified fitness trainers and fitness businesses to keep an eye out on changing trends and consumer habits, monitoring and understanding their effects on the industry.
Some of the most significant impacts that consumer habits have had on the industry, especially as of late, include:
Digital fitness and health have become increasingly popular
The pandemic changed the fitness industry forever, and there’s no denying that. As consumers began to look for alternatives to in-person training and workouts, digital fitness had its moment in the sun, gaining popularity overnight.
From Zoom and Skype workouts to YouTube workouts and chat-based sets and reps, there are now entirely unique, specialized apps, platforms, tools, and technology that enhance the digital fitness experience.
Consumers and trainers alike are recognizing the value of these methods and using them to make the most of their fitness experience. Certified fitness trainers have found a new audience, while clients have learned to work out on their own schedule, and at their own convenience.
This shift toward more digitized training, and the integration of fitness technology such as fitness trackers, apps, and other devices, encourages more accountability, consistency, and convenience.
Home workouts and fitness have gotten better than ever
The aforementioned reason is also why home workouts and fitness programs have gotten more sophisticated and well-designed than ever before. As consumers begin demanding and preferring the convenience of breaking a sweat in their own living room, trainers and the fitness industry must rise to the challenge.
Now we see entire apps dedicated to at-home workouts, certified personal trainers offering one-on-one sessions to clients who are at home or remote, and a general shift toward making fitness more accessible on the go. The pandemic proved that you no longer need a gym or studio to get a killer workout, and trainers can innovate and experiment from their own spaces, just as easily.
Consumers are prioritizing value for money in a saturated market
The fitness industry is expected to grow by 4.2% in 2022, which is why it’s unsurprising that consumers are demanding more value for money when it comes to the services they get. They’re not just looking at who offers the best services, because it’s not just about that anymore.
There are dozens of gyms and group or personal fitness trainers in any given region, and clients don’t mind driving a few extra blocks if it helps them save hundreds of dollars each year, which is why fitness businesses need to find ways to offer greater value for money.
Whether it’s membership subscriptions, competitive fees, and rates, or providing more facilities and services, it’s impossible for businesses to survive without changing their approach.
More specialized training and education because of awareness
Another major shift that consumer habits and behaviors have caused is an uptick in specialized training and education. To become a successfully certified exercise instructor, you can’t just make do with a basic training or certification; you need something that sets you apart.
A form of specialized training such as senior fitness training, chronic illness fitness training, and conditioning for specific sports like golf or basketball, are all important in setting trainers apart. Consumers have access to more information than ever before, and have a deeper understanding of fitness, nutrition, and exercise in general, making it difficult to impress them without formal training.
A professional trainer should possess the knowledge and information that puts them a cut above the average client or fitness enthusiast–after all, it’s what you’re paying to learn, and being paid to teach.
Clients are looking to socialize and interact while working out
While it may seem contradictory when talking about the growth of home workouts and fitness tech, consumer habits indicate another interesting trend: socializing. The gym is an important social space where people meet and interact on the daily, connecting with workout partners, gym friends, trainers, coaches, and even loved ones who use it as a way to spend time together.
If your workout sessions are structured in a way that isolates people, prevents interaction, or lacks an element of socializing, they’re likely to become unpopular quickly. The social aspect of gyms helps individuals feel more accountable, make workouts more enjoyable, and are more likely to be return customers who also share referrals.
Mental health and focus are an integral part of fitness now
Lastly, one consumer behavior that has changed the fitness industry significantly in recent years is the focus on mental health and emotional wellness. Fitness has moved to a more holistic approach, prioritizing client wellness and mental stability, which has radically shifted the narrative of exercise to be more about wellness and what feels good rather than attaining unhealthy, unrealistic standards of appearance.
For trainers, this allows an opportunity to shift the narrative to strength, mobility, functionality, and overall health rather than being as thin, lean, or muscular as possible.
Investing in your educational and professional training as a fitness professional allows you to expand your business reach and improve your client outreach. Our personal health trainer programs and fitness trainer certifications cover various aspects of fitness services, including business management and marketing, innovation, and customer service. You can register for varying specializations, and develop your skills as a fitness professional through our help, or reach out to us to know more about our work.