The Corona pandemic is shaking up the fitness industry. AI apps are more important than ever before. And instead of the motto "higher, faster, further," more health orientation, holistic offerings, and specialization in special clientele such as risk groups will be in demand in the future. We present the seven most important fitness trends for 2021.
1. The visit to the gym must be safe
Many people stay in shape during the lockdown period with running, walking, self-directed fitness exercises or free digital offerings. A 73 percent of them want to continue this alternative training in the future. While most fitness enthusiasts want to return to the gym in the future, they will only do so if the workout is not associated with the risk of corona infection.
"The survey showed that it is important to many people to have the highest possible standard of protection. Therefore, it must be in the studios' own interest to ensure exactly that."
2. Online apps gain immense importance
In the era of closed gyms, most sports and fitness fans have turned to online services.
Apps like Freeletics, which use artificial intelligence (AI) to put together customized workouts for users, are particularly popular. "The main benefits for users are access to workout planning, monitoring, and even motivation at a fraction of the current cost, reaching many more people than ever before," says Simon Alger, Lead Data Scientist at Freeletics, in an interview with ISPO.
Another example of the new digital trend: with the so-called Peloton bike - a spinning bike with which you can connect via the Internet with spinning fans all over the world - you can do your cardio workout in virtual competition with many like-minded people around the globe, for example.
3. Outdoor is King
The topic of outdoor fitness is gaining in importance precisely because of Corona: Intensive training in particular is much less dangerous outdoors than indoors because of the drafts. Fitness studios should therefore move more and more equipment and activities outdoors. This creates more safety for the users.
4. More health orientation in fitness offers
The experience of a pandemic, which is unique for all people, has brought the topic of health into focus for many even more than before. In principle, this is good for the fitness economy. Fitness strengthens the immune system. But it also needs the right, safe offers to go with it.
What is needed, then, is a "transformation from a gym to a health-oriented fitness facility.". The topics of "company fitness" and "company health management" will also continue to gain in importance.
5. Even more differentiated training and offers for risk groups
Whether in media use, purchasing behavior or travel: Individualization is advancing in all areas of life. Of course, this also applies to the fitness needs of our customers.
All-round gyms will continue to exist, but boutique and micro studios with tailored offerings are drawing more and more customers away. Specialization can also be financially interesting for fitness studios in these difficult times. Says Scholz, "The interesting thing is that the more specialized you are, the more money you can charge customers."
For corona risk groups and seniors, health and fitness are just as important as for the rest of the population. This makes seniors a core target group that must be courted with special offers and training opportunities. This can range from one-on-one training or workouts in small training groups, to special venues, to digital offerings for risk-free workouts at home.
6. Mindset: the connection between body and mind in training
The trend toward topics such as yoga, mental training or Pilates existed even before Corona. But it has been strengthened by the pandemic. More and more people want to combine physical training with mental relaxation.
The triggers for this desire these days are not only work stress, but also increasingly the strenuous homeschooling with the children or financial and health fears in connection with the pandemic. "We must therefore also strengthen the sports psychology level in our offers."
Would you rather go to the gym or jog outside? For many fitness freaks, this used to be a real question of faith. The Corona era, along with the closure of studios, has accelerated the dissolution of this either/or situation. Many equipment devotees are switching to alternative indoor and outdoor options. And apps are a natural part of that
"In the end user's perception, it goes together, if only because of all the new apps and wearables. That's why it's also important to develop holistic offerings. In a way, the gym is the pilot in this."