The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.

 

 



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Friday
Sep162016

It’s Not ‘If’ Technology Will Impact the Fitness Industry—It’s ‘How’

Several IHRSA board members and former board members attended and spoke at the Motionsoft Technology Summit in Baltimore, MD, this week.

CIOs Discuss the Future of Fitness Technology

Rick Caro, former IHRSA board president and president of Management Vision, Inc., spoke at the CIO Roundtable on Wednesday.

The roundtable discussed how health clubs should budget and plan for impactful new technology projects. The other panelists were Corey Benish, CIO of Planet Fitness, Mike Rucker, vice president of technology for Active Wellness, Bruce Gardner, IT director for David Lloyd Leisure Ltd., and Adam Zeitsiff, CIO of Gold’s Gym.

Panelists shared their companies short- and long-term tech projects, and then shared the fitness industry technological advancements they hope will develop in the future. Zeitsiff said he would like to see the creation of a unified data repository, where health clubs can track engagement data and use the analysis to help members. Benish, Rucker, and others shared their desire for the fitness industry to develop industry standards around data, since the language isn’t currently consistent.

The Fitness Industry Must Expand Outside ‘The Four Walls’

“It’s not ‘if’ technology will impact the fitness industry—it’s ‘how,’” said IHRSA Board Chair Rasmus Ingerslev during his closing keynote address on Thursday.

The next 20 years of technological development will match the last 100 years, and technology is replacing the customer journey, he said. The health club industry’s traditional four walls are under attack from:

  • Wearables
  • Tracking
  • Streaming
  • Online exercise programs

That doesn’t mean the health club industry can’t compete—but the industry must become relevant outside of the four walls of the club.

In the future, Ingerslev said he believes three types of clubs will emerge:

  • Purely brick and mortar
  • Brick and mortar with digital extension
  • Purely digital

Going forward, he anticipates that service will become more individualized—both face-to-face and digitally; fitness will become more social (again); gyms will become relevant outside of the four walls, 24-hours a day; and technology will intensify and change the competition.

And in this time of flux, IHRSA will provide resources to help health clubs to adapt and, ultimately, serve more members.

“I am with IHRSA because we are selling the idea of a healthier planet,” he said.

Reader Comments (3)

Yes, well, my view on the demise of the fitness facility to fitness electronics parallels my view of the demise of the print book to the e-book: it ain't gonna happen. Particularly with fitness, most people are not motivated to exercise themselves, with or without electronic help. The fitness facility provides Other People, a Schedule of Classes, Equipment, A Place to Go, Camaraderie, Expertise, Good Energy and Fun. It is, in and of itself, a fitness motivator. Long may it reign.

And by the way: the e-book has taken a nosedive, and sales of print books are on the upswing.
September 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Etra
I've been doing this for 30 years so I've seen every change in that time. There is no doubt technology will be injected into our industry in some way. But I get concerned we're becoming the cell phone model where it's a rush to be the first and we're leaving behind the basics. The post above touches on what has been and still is our issue that we are not able to change our penetration rate of 17%. I've decided to take a different tact with technology and use it to educate the market on exactly what fitness is so customers can make educated decisions and not just chase the biggest hype or newest toy. And in that effort I believe we will make ourselves more appealing to the medical community who is on the verge of actually needing our services. Because of all these product options our customer has become both fickle and honestly confused about what fitness is and what the fitness provider product really looks like. If we unravel that confusion by going back to the basics we can effect the customers decision without having to compete with the latest fad.
September 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDennis Mathias
that effort I believe we will make ourselves more appealing to <a href="http://unitedstatesmapz.com/printable-us-map-template-usa-map-with-states/">us map with cities</a> the medical community who is on the verge of actually needing our services. Because of all these product options our customer http://unitedstatesmapz.com/printable-us-map-template-usa-map-with-states/ has become both fickle and honestly confused about what fitness is and what the fitness provider
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterkj

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