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It’s safe to say the new decade has been a wild ride so far. The rise of SARS-CoV-2 has forced everyone to alter their daily routine and commit to a quarantine lifestyle. Unless you are just over it. Then in that case, good luck.

The fitness industry has also been forced to adapt to the digital realm very quickly. A space that used to be primarily shared among insta-influencers is now a crowded space of all different kinds of individuals and companies.

While a challenge, it helped us to push the innovation we’re known for. We are trying things no one has ever done in our industry, and eventually the others will catch up. In the meantime, I’d like to share with you how things will change in the ‘roaring’ 20’s.

1. Wearable Technology Grows

One of the top 5 trends in the fitness industry for the last few years in a row. With consumer wearables such as an Apple Watch, we can now track our heart rate, step count, distance covered, calories burned, sleep quality and more. While we use a commercial-grade heart rate system at our club, these consumer devices give some insight into your health. So what’s next?

“Smart Clothing” seems to be the next big thing. Companies like Google, Under Armour, Hexoskin, and OMsignal are already experimenting with biometric clothing that measures your body’s vitals. As the fitness industry evolves, wearable clothing will become more mainstream, energy-efficient, and personalized. Certainly the first phase will be in commercial testing, but then you, the consumer will get a taste of the future.

2. Virtual Training Will ‘Stay’ At Home

See what I did there? Technology has already found a way to make exercise and fitness more accessible. Online training programs are continuing to give consumers the option to exercise remotely, yet achieve similar benefits. In fact, more than half of our clients have exercised more during the pandemic than ever before because of how easy it is to hop online from home.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, companies like Peloton and Hydrow were already changing the game by bringing upscale fitness experiences inside your home. These companies will continue to pop up as time goes on, and advance, until that bubble bursts when the market gets oversaturated. Kind of like the rise and fall of bootcamps and crossfits.

3. The Rise Of Micro Gyms

It’s so much easier to stick with a workout plan when you have a community of like-minded individuals by your side to cheer you on every step of the way! Working out is not always easy and sometimes we need that extra support from our peers to keep us motivated. This is why I feel the new decade will see a rise in smaller sized gyms taking over the landscape of the fitness industry. The ’boutique’ experience has been one of the fastest-growing segments of the fitness industry since 2016, but the new safety aspect of a controlled experience will surely lead to further growth.

The benefits of becoming a member of a tight-knit fitness facility go way beyond getting in a good workout. You’re not just another member of a gym, but a part of a supportive community that provides a place that you ‘fit’ in surrounded by folks who share a common goal.

4. Virtual reality?

As a personal trainer, this makes me a little nervous to think about from a safety standpoint. I am picturing clients on stationary bikes and treadmills wearing virtual reality headset as if they are running on the beach or biking through the mountains. But, humans adapt and evolve, right? Thanks, Darwin!

While it’ll take some time to get used to, ‘gamifying’ the fitness experience is definitely part of the near future. Let’s face it, most of us have found ourselves wanting to escape reality at some point in the middle of a tough workout. That opportunity may be coming soon! 

5. Functional Fitness Continues Domination

Quality of movement will take over as the most popular way to train as our population ages and worries about injury-risk with exercise. Our bodies have suffered from the sedentary work-play lifestyle, leading to postural deficiencies and poor movement patterns. Pain and injury are always byproducts of this type of living.

Hopefully, fitness professionals will continue to enhance their focus on quality movement over anything else before advancing their clients into more difficult challenges. There are some solid ‘influencers’ online that promote this level of quality, and I hope that there are many more to follow. With no standards in our industry, we need more quality, not quantity.