5 trends affecting the fitness industry. Are you keeping up?

Photo Credit: Lin Nguyen

Ever since the days of traditional bodybuilding, the fitness industry has been through a number of ever-increasing changes. Some of them were fast fads and others strong enough to stay. In this modern age, where science is making new discoveries on a daily basis, the fitness industry is evolving at a speed that can be difficult to keep up with.

Let’s review the top 5 biggest trends the fitness industry is going through right now. 

1 High Intensity Training

Have you noticed the  decrease in the amount of time a workout takes to complete? The most popular example of this is the traditional hour class being replaced in many gyms with a 30-minute class.

This radical decrease in time spent working out is not without reason. Research shows the benefits of high intensity interval training, or H.I.I.T., far outweigh the benefits of your traditional low intensity, long duration exercise routines. With H.I.I.T., you are getting more accomplished in less time. With clients being time poor, who would not welcome that?

2 The Ease of Technology

The fitness world has fully embraced technology all the way down to that little device in your pocket and on your wrist. Nowhere else is this more evident than with the ease and convenience of utilising the internet to find all of your fitness needs.

An app can now help you track everything you do: steps, calorie intake and calorie burn, give you exercise tips, find and follow your favourite instructors. Thanks to online communities like Classium, a click of a mouse is all it takes to search for gyms, boot-camps, Pilates and Zumba classes.

Not only is technology re-shaping the way we find activities, it also helps us keep track of our progress and learn and understand how effective those exercises are to accomplish our goals and suit our lifestyle.

3 Supplement Overload

While nutrition has always been the most important part of your fitness goals, the supplement world has been on a steady rise, exploding in popularity and profits in the past few years. The vitamin and supplement industry, which sells everything from meal replacements, protein shakes and bars and multivitamins, has seen revenue grown at a healthy rate over the past 5 years without any signs of slowing down.

Even though the idea of supplements is to help you achieve a specific goal by providing extra recovery or a much needed boost, this trend sometimes promote an image that training should immediately be followed by a powder or pill and not whole food nutrition. Some supplements do play an important part in your fitness routine; however, with so many options out there be sure to do your research carefully to avoid falling into a trap or a fad.

4 Body Hacking

Thanks to the new prevalence of technology in the fitness world, a new trend has emerged that combines the hacking and tech culture with Biology. The term “bio-hacking” is born from a view that our bodies are like machines that can be manipulated and improved by an activity, a drug or a piece of equipment.

Many of the body hacking followers and enthusiasts are in the field of science themselves and willing to put their bodies to the test of many different experiments. They are also obsessed with tracking everything; from sleeping patterns, diet, workout outcomes and the effect these have on their body, their mood, their career success and ultimately, happiness. Although the practices and research is not always backed by medical studies, there are many blogs and websites that are dedicated to share these “biohacks”.

How much sleep do you need, how to optimise a workout, what to eat at a certain time of day and how to use technology to improve our wellness and body is part of what Body or Bio Hacking is out to conquer and understand.

5 No strYngs attached

We have heard a lot about Gen Y or the “Millenials” lately, referring to the generation of people born after Gen X.  This generation grew up surrounded by computers, the internet, smartphones and apps, without any recollection of a world without these.They are also changing the nature of the fitness industry.

Gen Y likes their products to solve very specific needs and to solve them “right now”. They are very connected and follow the advice and recommendations of their peers through social media. They are savvy and critical, and do not easily fall for commercial messages or corporate advertising through traditional channels.

The problem is that as quickly as Gen Y takes up a product they like, they will quickly replace it for something newer or better. Long term memberships and commitments don’t work with this generation; what works are flexible options, social activities, casual classes and ”bang for their buck”. They want to try new things and quickly move on if something else tickles their fancy.

It’s amazing how far health and fitness has come and even more so the direction it is heading. Even though some changes are fantastic for anyone looking to get fit, some are challenging and difficult to keep up with. Make sure you stay up-to-date and take advantage of the low-cost and easily accessible tools new technologies offer.

What do you think? What trends have you spotted? Are you keeping up?