SCW Trends in Fitness: Part 2

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Growing by at least 3% annually, the fitness industry is more popular now than ever. With each year, researchers and industry leaders are constantly improving and finding more efficient ways for people to get active and stay active. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced fitness professional, the findings cited throughout this SCW Trends in Fitness Series will provide valuable insight into the hottest topics aimed to successfully train your clients and grow your business.

This article is next in a series of four articles that dive deeper into the top 20 most sought-after areas of fitness according to Group Fitness Instructors, Personal Trainers, Owners and Managers in the USA.

The next 5 most sought-after areas of fitness/wellness across the nation are:

6. Exercise Science
7. Group Cardio
8. Small Group Training
9. Barre
10. Boot Camp / HIIT

Plus, the Top Trends to be on the lookout for:

1. Mind/Body & Meditation
2. Aqua
3. Rest, Rolling and Recovery
4. Nutrition and Stress-Reducers

Exercise Science is the study of human movement involving multiple components of biological, physical and health sciences that help us better understand the process of maintenance, change and improvement of our physical fitness. With injuries so prevalent in our life, and especially in fitness, people have gone back to the science of the body to prevent injuries and increase overall performance. When trainers have a better idea of the how the body works internally/externally, they better understand how to serve their clients. More and more current, and future, fitness pros are going back to get educated on this valuable subject. Since Exercise Science helps fitness pros use tried and true techniques that promote physical health, this education opens the door for many other pursuits. Depending on each person’s interest this knowledge can lead to the next step in any fitness career.

Cardio and exercise have gone hand and hand since the origins of the term fitness. How many times have you heard people say, “I am looking for a workout to make me sweat!”? The basics of Cardio have evolved tremendously. It began with something as simple as running, swimming, and biking; changing into personal cardio machines of every shape and size.

The next trend that has seen tremendous benefits for trainers, clients and studios alike is Group Cardio. The idea of incorporating many of the basic cardio exercises and/or machines in a group format, encourages strength in numbers towards a common goal. All of this works together to increase member/client engagement and retention for health clubs, helping them see a better return on their equipment and studio space.

Small Group Training has grown due to the major benefits for the trainer side as well as the clients. The affordability of getting high quality work-outs with professional instruction and oversight from trainers provides a lot of value for clients of all ages and levels. On the trainer side, this allows for more efficient use of time and resources, so they can have a greater influence and impact on their current and future clients, all while making a financial return. This has led to more education, equipment and programs to fit the demand and improve the experience for all parties.

Barre isn’t making the headlines like it did when it first came in the industry, but it is slow to fade and not going anywhere without a fight. It is a safe, controlled and easy to do activity which attracts all demographics. The format has grown and spawned a variety of Barre related programs to small studios and even large franchises. One of the most popular new disciplines in the Barre Family is Aqua Barre, where participants use an aqua noodle as a barre and practice barre training in the water. This allows for the Active Aging community to participate and enjoy the benefits of Barre. Many clubs have incorporated Barre due to the high ROI, since it can fit easily into programming in a multi-purpose room, needing limited equipment with fixed bars or even portable equipment.

Boot Camp / HIIT popularity has leveled off, but is still so popular due to the efficiency of the workout. In our constantly busy lives, making time for fitness can be difficult and HIIT helps fills that void by offering quick (30 mins or less) workouts for the full body. Research has also shown how these HIIT workouts can positively affect/boost metabolism for 24-48 hours after the workout. Combing these HIIT workouts in a Boot Camp environment allows for an engaging group format giving rise to popular studios to open with a sole focus on this modality.

Top Trends to be on the lookout for:

Mind/Body & Meditation formats range in a variety of ways and have taken off due to the recent research and benefits shown when promoting the connection between the mind and body. This idea of connecting the brain to movement can seem a little fluffy compared to the sweat drenching workouts in the early days of fitness, but many programs, coaches and studios work to make it approachable and accessible to all types of individuals. This isn’t just focused on the many types of Yoga and Meditation practices, but mindfulness can be incorporated in all aspect of physical movement. By working out this Mind/Body connection, it allows for extremely positive results on the physically, mental and emotional levels.

Although Aqua doesn’t carry the glamour of other sexier fitness regimes, it has taken off in the USA and it continues to make a big splash. With the rise of the Active Agers, Aqua fitness allows for amazing low impact exercises of all types. This has led to many different land modalities making their way into the water. The increase in Pre-Choreographed Aqua programs and engaging Aqua equipment provide ways for gyms and recreational centers to see a greater return on their pool. By keeping aquatic programming busy and interesting, pools are now a fountain of creativity. Aquatic Barre training using a water noodle, Tab-aqua exercise exploring HIIT training in the pool, Yoga Paddle Boarding in the shallow or deep end have also struck a chord with both old and young members. Look for Fluid Yoga, Aquatic Kick-boxing and Personal Training in the pool to hit it big in 2020.

Look for Rest, Rolling and Recovery to explode on the fitness scene. Many of the latest programs, equipment and nutrition include elements of recovery for their clients. The focus is shifting to prioritize rest and recovery almost as much as the workout itself to see ultimate results. Foam rolling, hand-held massage tools and electronic stimulation allow for ways to warm up and cool down in a group and personal setting for all ages and levels. Topics such as The Importance of Sleep to Athletic Recovery has also attracted more and more clients. This opens a lot of opportunities for health clubs to combine recovery classes/techniques with multiple modalities, offering new fitness and wellness programs for their clients/members.

Lastly, Nutrition and Stress-Reducers focused seminars and programs have exploded in importance. Fasting, vegan diets, the evils of sugar, foods to reduce inflammation, proteins to enhance performance and other nutrition-based programs are gaining notoriety. And you can’t ignore products such as CBD that have an anti-inflammatory effect that promote rest and recovery. Essential oils, aromatherapy and other stress-reducers are also being introduced into wellness programs both in the studio and in the locker rooms.

So many fitness pros work diligently to meet the needs of their clients by staying on top of the health and wellness trends. SCW Fitness Education has been here to lead the professional on their next fitness journey.  So tell us… now that you know what is hot outside of your current workout, what’s next for YOU? And please watch for the next installments of the SCW Trends in Fitness!

As a leader in the fitness industry, and one of the largest regional fitness convention businesses in the world, SCW Fitness Education goes above and beyond collecting detailed information from our network of Fitness Professionals. The results in this article are taken from almost 4,600 of our 8,500 fitness pros that attend one of our 9 regionally based annual MANIA® conventions. Our conferences are located all throughout the US in New York City, San Francisco, Orlando, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Boston and Washington DC. The total breakdown of attendees is 85% Group Fitness Instructors, 60% Personal Trainers and 35% Club Owners, Directors and Managers.  As you can tell, our SCW MANIA® Convention attendees do more than just one job at fitness facilities.

At every convention, we survey our attendees to understand what Fitness Professionals see on the front lines of the health and wellness industry. Our MANIA® Convention attendees are the influencers of the industry for independent health clubs, recreation centers and YMCAs along with private boutique studios. They have the deepest and most meaningful connection with the industry’s clients and members. SCW uses this valuable information to support the current needs of the industry and predict futures trends to be showcased at MANIA® Conferences, supported in our SCW Certifications, featured in our SCW OnDemand video services and selected for our SCW CEC series.  It is necessary for SCW to understand, appreciate and respond to the demands of trainers and instructors nationwide.

This is the first time in the 34-year history of SCW that we have released this valuable and insightful research to the industry as a whole.  By doing so, we hope to help the world become a healthier place by allowing the fitness industry to benefit from this valuable and detailed information.  Give the client what they want. Give the public what they need.