Fitness Industry Roundup: Blockchain Tech to Shake-up Gyms?

    An IHRSA member partners with Johns Hopkins, as another continues to innovate, exercisers look to their childhood for new ways to exercise, and much more!

    In this week’s roundup, Forbes reports how blockchain technology may change the way people access workouts, while Life Fitness embraces new technology. Also, fitness-related businesses are filling up empty storefronts nationwide, and we learn which group X classes are popular among celebrities.

    acac Fitness & Wellness Center Partners with Johns Hopkins

    Johns Hopkins At Acac Column

    The main waiting area at the therapy clinic. (Credit: Maria Yanson, acac)

    IHRSA member acac Fitness & Wellness Center in Timonium, MD, will house a new therapy clinic that offers physical and occupational programs in a 2,400-square-foot space, according to a May 14 press release. The clinic, which is part of the Johns Hopkins Rehabilitation Network, treats a wide range of orthopedic, neurological, gait and balance, and pain disorders. “It means a great deal for our institution to be able to bring care like this to the community,” said Pablo Celnik, M.D., professor and director of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The collaboration eases access to treatment programs for acac members and allows patients to use the health club’s services. Gregory Degnan, the medical director of acac, shared his advice on how to best integrate medical wellness programming into a health club model during a session at an IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show.

    Read more about acac’s partnership with Johns Hopkins.

    Sports and Fitness Industry Faces Shakeup with Blockchain Technology

    New blockchain technology is on the brink of changing up how people exercise, according to a Forbes report. The article speculates that with a decline in gym memberships and a boom in online, on-demand fitness classes, a perfect storm is brewing that could open the door for a Netflix-like service gain traction with consumers. With blockchain technology, fitness trainers and other content creators can forgo brick-and-mortar studios and directly sell their workout sessions to consumers, who are increasingly demanding content when they want it, wherever they are.

    Read more about blockchain technology in the fitness industry.

    Life Fitness Continues to Innovate with Apple GymKit

    Life Fitness is partnering with Equinox Fitness to bring the first Apple GymKit-enabled health club in Canada, according to a May 3 press release. The technology aims to create a seamless transfer of health data between Apple Watches and Life Fitness cardio machines. “The advanced technology of Apple GymKit with Life Fitness equipment is another example of how our fitness platform is rapidly growing to connect exercisers, clubs and innovative technologies for more engaging workouts,” said Jaime Irick, president of Life Fitness. The innovations don’t stop there. At IHRSA 2018 in San Diego, CA, the company showcased its new Halo Fitness Cloud, a software that simplifies club management and is member-friendly.

    Read more about Life Fitness’ innovations.

    Celebrities Are Lining Up for These Fitness Classes

    If the boutique studio phenomenon taught us anything, it’s that fitness enthusiasts are highly attuned to the latest workout trends. Wondering what classes your members will demand next? Haute Beauty may have some insights. The lifestyle website compiled a list of fitness classes and hotspots frequented by trendsetting celebrities, from Michelle Obama to Gwyneth Paltrow. For example, the former first lady was seen at D.C. Solidcore, a high-intensity, low-impact workout class that uses a Sweatlana. Meanwhile, Britney Spears, Anna Kendrick, and Maria Menounos all tout Pure Barre studios for strengthening and lengthening techniques. The rich and famous have also been seen flocking to Physique 57, LEKfit, and Tracy Anderson Method classes.

    Read the full article on Haute Beauty.

    Gyms Are Rising From the Ashes of Dying Malls

    An increasing amount of health- and fitness-related businesses are cropping up at locations where now-defunct stores once stood, according to a USA Today report. The closures of Sears, Toys R Us, and J.C. Penney locations are leaving holes at shopping centers, but also creating opportunities for other non-retail businesses that are looking for ready-made storefronts and existing foot traffic. “We are definitely seeing an increase in fitness- and lifestyle-oriented tenants moving into space that was previously occupied by retail tenants,’’ said Stephen Lebovitz, CEO of CBL & Associates, which owns and manages 119 retail properties throughout the U.S. The growth in fitness-oriented storefronts is forecast to grow, according to GGP, a real estate company. The company said about 75% of its retail space will be signed to fitness-related businesses by the end of this year.

    Read the full story in USA Today.

    Kid at Heart: Childhood Games Becoming Part of Fitness Routines

    Remember those carefree days of childhood when a little bit of play brought fun and burned off excess energy? Well, some nostalgic adults in the U.K. are incorporating hula-hoop classes, disco yoga, or sober daytime raves into their fitness routines, The Independent reports. At the center of this “throwback” trend is Rabble, a company that offers whimsical HIIT meet-ups at 14 locations in the UK, Australia, and U.S. Sessions of dodgeball, capture the flag, and more, include hidden HIIT exercises that help participants burn hundreds of calories, socialize, and have fun.

    Read more about the Rabble experience.

    Author avatar

    Rachel Valerio

    Rachel Valerio previously served as IHRSA's Digital Content Editor—a position focused on collecting and reporting on fitness industry news, staying on top of IHRSA's social media accounts and website, and hatching new plans to expand the association's digital footprint.