Author: Tony Chemer

The world of the fitness franchise has changed dramatically in recent years. And for a good reason franchise trends have changed in fitness just like they do in fashion, wellness, and any other industry. In the US, which has the most health clubs (38,477, to be exact) of any country outside of Brazil, these trends are especially pronounced.

As a fitness franchise owner, keeping up with these franchise trends is an excellent way to keep your gym on the cutting edge and to ensure you continue to cater to your customers.

Here’s what you need to know about the current state of the fitness industry and how Alloy is fitting in:

The Current State Of Fitness: The Top 6 Fitness Franchise Trends Right Now

The last few years have seen a few lasting shifts in fitness franchise trends: HIIT, functional training, and holistic wellness being among them. Outside of those changes, though, there are several notable digital trends taking hold of the fitness industry.

These include the following:

1. On-Demand Fitness

Throw a stone in any direction right now, and chances are good you’ll hit an on-demand fitness service. Platforms like Peloton and Aaptiv are leading the consumer market right now.

The world is increasingly digital and continues rolling out the connectivity and streaming abilities required for such pursuits. Consumers now see wellness as a lifestyle, rather than an obligation. For many such consumers, on-demand fitness is the way to schedule physical activity into their daily lifestyles.

According to Precor: “In 2020, the number of people aged 60 or older will pass one billion for the first time – that’s one in every seven people. By 2045, this statistic will reach one in every five people.”

Fitness franchises can’t offer the same in-home experience for active aging clients who want to get and stay fit on their schedules. However, many are moving to support this interest by providing things like on-demand classes in studio cycling rooms.

Regarding these franchise trends, this is an excellent place for franchise owners to get innovative the more creative you can be about your on-demand offerings, the more effectively you’ll cater to customers. Alloy, for example, makes a point of offering easily accessible classes in a small-group setting and provides access to a customized app to track members’ progress.

2. In-Depth Body Analysis

According to a recent Wellness Creatives post, people are using fitness apps more frequently than ever, and women are using them twice as much as men.

Today, 46% of clients want as much quantifiable data about their health as possible, and 54% are likely to buy a body-analyzing device to produce it.

In the fitness franchise setting, more studio owners are seeking to offer assessment tech. From smart scales to fitness trackers, these devices help provide a clearer picture of effectiveness for customers and encourage them to keep coming back. In addition to offering a custom app that allows members to track their progress, Alloy takes personalization one step further. We do this by providing tailored programs designed to suit everyone’s individual body type and fitness level. No matter who the client is, we work hard to help them achieve their goals.

3. Functional Fitness is More Popular Than Ever

Functional fitness is a leading trend for fitness franchises right now. While offerings focusing on functional fitness vary, these classes emphasize full-body movements over isolation techniques. Standard props include medicine balls, bodyweight training, conditioning ropes, and kettlebells.

These classes also generally include some elements of cardio, which help provide results rapidly. Popular among busy, time-starved fitness enthusiasts, these functional fitness classes are practical and perfect for fast-tracking fitness.

While many fitness franchises are geared towards the more fit younger population, at Alloy we have made it our mission to address the growing gap in the market which is the 50 + population.  Alloy is proud to lead the functional fitness movement. Functional fitness is our mission statement. In everything we do, we seek to help our members live happier, healthier lives. We want our members to set their expectations, and thrive in a fitness setting that works for them.

4. An Increased Focus on Staffing

Today, consumers have more access than ever before to everything. If someone wants to buy a home, for example, their first step isn’t to call a Realtor. Their first step is to head to Zillow and do some DIY research.

Similarly, people who want to get fit don’t always start with a personal trainer or a nutritionist. Instead, they head to the web, educate themselves, and quickly become deeply informed about optimal nutrition and exercise.

As the consumer base becomes increasingly educated, fitness franchises have had to adjust their staffing focus. Customers expect a higher level of professionalism from the people behind the desk, and health club owners want to offer it. This has ushered in a new wave of hiring. Franchise owners are looking for staff that understands how to marry technology, information, environment, and experience. They do this to cater as effectively as possible to the customer. When Alloy initially made the shift from licensing to franchising, hiring great staff was one of the first things we focused on. It’s served our customers and us well, and it remains a priority.

5. Changing Gym Landscapes

As the focus of the gym environment shifts from weight training to full-body movement programs, most fitness franchises are changing their layouts to match. In the recent franchise trends, we notice many fitness centers feature more space than ever before and fewer selectorized machines. This has a large footprint.

Today, the trend is common areas with ample tools and layouts designed to promote integrated training for the whole body. This doesn’t mean gyms are doing away with their machines. It does mean you’re likely seeing more kettlebells, suspension trainers, medicine balls, and more. If franchise owners want to remain competitive, they’ll get rid of old unused equipment to make space for the functional training services their customers want.

At Alloy, we’ve proactively designed a functional layout that’s uncluttered and small-group friendly.

6. Boutique Fitness Remains Popular

Boutique studios continue to go strong, and experts see no sign of the demand for them slowing in the coming years. There are a few reasons for this. For one, boutique studios offer a more personalized and unique fitness experience for customers.

These gyms generally charge above 2-4x more than traditional health clubs. While this may seem like it would drive customers off, it creates a perception of luxury and exclusivity for customers and provides a higher-margin operating model that’s popular with fitness entrepreneurs, franchise owners, and investors, and which makes it easy for these boutique studios to remain operational in the long-term.

Alloy seeks to cater to the active aging population by offering a comprehensive mix of fitness opportunities to cater to every taste and priority.

The Future Of The Fitness Franchise

Right now is a great time to be a fitness franchise owner. Taking note of these franchise trends, as customer groups like active aging seniors continue to focus on fitness, franchises will continue to be busy, in-demand, and optimistic about the future. To cater to this increasing demand, though, owners must also stay abreast of the franchise trends facing them.

By catering to customer desires, such as an increased focus on functional and on-demand fitness programs, franchise owners can ensure the durability of their brands and continue standing out as leaders meeting customer needs.

Ready to learn more about how to develop or build your own fitness franchise? Contact Alloy today. 

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