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Top Gym Trends 2021

Top Gym Trends 2021

In a year of firsts, it might seem risky to publish a Fitness Trends article. But every day is a school day, and here's what we've learned from 2020.

The fitness industry has undergone a massive transition this year, some of which will have decade-defining impacts. Gym closures across the UK led to equipment suppliers running out of stock almost immediately as home gyms and garage gyms popped up in every household.

But time marches on and here we are, on the cusp of 2021, with another Top Gym Trends article.

Here are the top fitness trends that you should prepare for:

  • A move towards virtual workouts
  • A demand for contact-free gym zones
  • Utilising technology for fitness support
  • Complete wellbeing as a fitness focus
  • Outdoor fitness making a comeback
  • Hygiene and Social Distanced layouts

Let's explore them in more detail...

Digital Trends Influence the Gym Floor

If anything, 2020 has shown us that there are no limits to how fitness can bring people together. Instagram WODs, live zoom workouts and free fitness challenges swept the nation. Therefore we can assume that people will engage, as long as the content is strong.

Rather than treating this technoboom as a threat, great gyms and coaches embraced this trend and have started to think about how their gym can embrace and build on this new platform.

Some facilities started to host MyZone challenges for their members. Others created their own filmed content. Some even used a third party to build bespoke apps in order to engage their members.

Flexible Gym Zoning

Open gym zones are a great way to offer training support without staff being present on the gym floor. These zones will likely be equipped with a TV screen to showcase pre-set daily workouts and exercises, or interactive displays with apps to build a personal workout.

Members will have easy access to fitness accessories within these zones. When they have finished their workout, a cleaning station is immediately at hand so they can safely store away their used equipment.

Finally, flooring, lighting and other visual details could detail individual training zones and enhance the socially distanced training experience.

Virtual fitness touchscreen technology

Further evolution of this concept could include complete bookable training zones. For instance, cardio, strength and functional equipment within a 2x2m box for clients to carry out pre-set daily workouts or personal training programmes.

The layout and spacing of these zones would make them ideal for gym training in a post-COVID world. Especially because the lanes or boxes could be booked like any usual studio class to avoid over-crowding.

The role of technology on the gym floor

In addition to apps becoming part of your membership base's workout experience, we predict a shift in attitude toward traditional equipment. Sure, connected cardio machines, responsive virtual training displays and wearable tech have existed for at least the past 5 years. However, it's a new level of necessity to enable distanced training support. We think this will drive a new wave of facilities investing in hi-tech equipment.

Technology driven fitness classes

Products previously only seen in the David Lloyds and Gym Boxes of the industry will pop up in independent facilities across the UK.

And with so much innovation coming our way, we're looking at a new realm of possibility through the integration of 5G. This could include augmented reality classes, smart mirrors, free weights with sensors to connect to your phone, and even more advanced body metric machines.

Operators must be aware of the change in fitness habits their membership base went through and learn how to cater to their ever-changing demands. Additionally, with big players like Les Mills, Gymshark, Apple and FIIT TV offering great value fitness support, keeping up with the times is more vital than ever.

More Focus on Mental Health in Gyms

Over the course of 2020, we've learned just how important physical activity is for our overall wellbeing. Creating real, personal connections with your members is a must. This can be done by incorporating a wellbeing approach to your classes, gym floor and your member journey.

PT's have long known that they're more than just a trainer. They're expected to be a sounding board and councillor for their clients, helping them build physical and mental resilience. In the wake of 2020, gym staff, coaches, class trainers and PT's will likely have to step up their game even further to provide support for their members. What we call, complete wellbeing.

PT clients

A well-respected fitness provider considers the mindfulness of their clients. PTs must ensure well-balanced rest/work routines in classes, as well as social time outside of classes. This falls into the trend of small-group training, where coaches provide more one-on-one time for their clients. This allows them to offer stronger emotional connections.

The return of boot camps

Will 2021 see the return of fitness boot camps, following the incredible popularity of garden workouts over the summer of 2020? There is an opportunity for fitness facilities to take advantage of available outdoor space. Especially now that the general public has a taste for outdoor training.

It's a great solution for socially distant training. With so many members now owning at least one or two gym accessories, a quick boot camp can easily be scaled up or down.

David Lloyd BattleBox

For clubs looking for a little extra wow factor, you could take inspiration from David Lloyd. We worked with them in 2020 to create their Battlebox training zones. These provide a complete outdoor studio offering including; accessories, climbing rigs, flooring solutions and lockable storage.

Hygiene Hotspots

An obvious change we will all be seeing in gyms across the globe is a vast increase in hygiene. Hand sanitising stations and equipment wipe down facilities have already been put in place. Alongside an overall focus to keep fitness facilities clean and tidy at all times.

Sure, many of these have already been available in clubs for years. But with a pandemic behind us, we hope to see long-lasting improvement in members taking responsibility for their own station cleaning pre and post-workout. Where better to start than by having the staff set a precedent.

Person clutching cleaning products

So... How can you implement these fitness trends?

Those are just our predictions, but you might be wondering what this will mean for your gym or training facility. Here's how you can implement these fitness trends:

With the closure of gyms across the country, 2020 has allowed members time to explore what workouts they enjoy the most. By providing enough space for them to continue this in a gym environment will ensure member retention. It is also important to keep in mind that some clients may still not feel fully comfortable entering a gym environment. Make sure your facility is ready for these shifts in customer habits.

  1. Offer contact-free training solutions. You can utilise technology to provide workout information to your clients and members ahead of their session.
  2. Keep an eye out for upcoming technology trends in the industry to enhance the gym experience.
  3. Consider your client's complete wellbeing. Building real relationships will allow your staff to understand your members better, provide better services and increase overall retention. It all starts with real conversations.
  4. Up your outdoor training game. If you have the outdoor space available, now is the time to utilise this. Offer bootcamp style training in exciting outdoor training spaces. Inspire your members to workout no matter the weather.
  5. Hygiene. This is an obvious one, but make sure you set the standards for hygiene. Encourage members to respect your facility by wiping down equipment after use.

To conclude, 2020 has proven that we can withstand a lot. In 2021, we look forward to seeing how gyms across the UK and the rest of the world will take on a new, more knowledgeable and motivated member.

Please note that all pictures included within this article were taken ahead of COVID-19 and the subsequent social distancing measures and lockdown regulations.

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