The state of the health club industry is, happily, very good. According to the 2018 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, clubs now serve more than 70 million members, a record high since IHRSA first began tracking consumer statistics in 1987.
But as the market experiences growth, so do the demands of the consumers who walk through your gym doors. The expansion of fitness programming, fueled by the specialization of boutique studios and intendant fitness entrepreneurs who flourish on social media, have heightened the expectations of today’s consumer. Multipurpose clubs who service a general population have to be ready to satisfy a growing list of demands.
The 2018 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report notes a few of these changing trends, which vary among different generational age groups. When it comes to equipment and activities, researchers found that:
- The treadmill is still the most popular piece of equipment (with 43% member usage), with resistance machines second (35% member usage);
- The use of stair climbing machines has increased by 27%, though elliptical machines and stationary bikes have declined;
- HIIT (high-intensity interval training) has grown by 21% is just two years, while group cycling has declined by 9%;
- Group training of all sizes is on the increase, especially with younger demographics.