In this final instalment of our fitness trends for 2021 series, we hear from four industry experts discussing what styles of training we should be looking out for next year…
Trend: Omnichannel Fitness
Eamon Lloyd, Head of partnerships for UK, Ireland and Netherlands at Gympass
“If there is one thing 2020 has taught us it’s that fitness routines will never be the same again. The days of always visiting the same studio every lunchtime are gone, as consumers are increasingly personalising their fitness routine. At Gympass we facilitate access to fitness and wellness services via bricks and mortar facilities, live classes, partner well-being apps as well as 1 to 1 virtual personal training. Throughout 2020 we have seen the variety in types of services accessed increase 10-fold and expect this trend to continue throughout 2021 and beyond.
Consumers are looking for experiences that fit within their changing work-life patterns and comfort levels. We believe that this is best achieved through omnichannel delivery – being able to provide well-being services in a more flexible way is crucial to supporting the health of the population. The fitness and wellness industry must recognise the importance of delivering omnichannel experiences if they want to engage with tomorrow’s consumer”
Trend: Outdoor Training
Harry Aitken, Master Trainer for Auster Fitness
“Home gym equipment purchasing surged in 2020, with lockdown restrictions forcing people to workout at home or with their own equipment in a local park. Fitness enthusiasts have kitted themselves out with equipment to use when gyms were closed, finding innovative ways to train and new equipment providers to buy from. Gym memberships have been cancelled and the money has been used to buy gymnastic rings, Parallettes, dumbbells etc.
I think 2021 will see the continuation of park and at-home workouts. I believe more people will value training outside using their own equipment, than in the gym. 2020 gave people a considerable amount of time to find their new fitness groove and discover what works best for them. While some gym-goers will eagerly return to the rack I think many will continue cycling, running and training outside or at home using equipment they purchased in 2020.”
Phil Horton, Country Director for miha bodytec
“EMS is already one of the fastest-growing sectors of the fitness industry and is set to take off in 2021. It is also one of the safest, which was highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic. Just one, non-contact 20-minute EMS session per week is all that’s needed and, as workouts are 1-1 or 1-2 with a trainer, the coronavirus exposure risk is especially low. miha bodytec’s EMS training machines are also fully portable, enabling PTs to travel to and train clients in the comfort of their own home or garden.
EMS studios saw a significant increase in memberships in the latter half of 2020, and people wanting to train with EMS-qualified PTs is rising too. As more people realise how COVID-secure it is, and the effectiveness and time-efficiency of EMS workouts, we expect memberships and individuals seeking PT training to grow even more in 2021.”
Trend: Mind over Muscle
Martin Franklin, CEO for Les Mills Europe
“With uncertainty and anxiety levels soaring, in 2021 expect to see a resurgence in workouts that incorporate mindfulness and boost mental health. Yoga is on the rise, with over 10,000 gyms worldwide now offering our yoga-themed class BODYBALANCE, while boutiques like Triyoga and Hotpod yoga are popping up everywhere.
Since lockdown, we’ve seen a 600% increase in BODYBALANCE workouts through LES MILLS On Demand and our user surveys tell us this is largely being driven by the mental health benefits it contributes. Our survey revealed that 77% of LES MILLS On Demand users want to improve their fitness, and the mental health benefits attained by the workouts are deemed equally important. Stress relief (76%) and boosting mental health (72%) were both cited among the main reasons why people are using the platform, reflecting the multi-faceted health benefits LMOD offers at a time when much of the world is still enduring COVID-19 restrictions.
A new study, presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Conference revealed that regular sessions of new-generation yoga classes such as BODYBALANCE can be a useful active recovery solution for improving physical and mental health, increasing sleep quality and coping with the general pressures of daily life such as stress and anxiety. The study found that just six sessions can increase participants’ Heart Rate Variability (HRV) enough to gain key benefits such as a 39% increase in positive feelings relating to confidence and a 39% decrease in feelings of sadness and negativity.
Soaring levels of stress and anxiety are leading people to seek solace in their workouts, sparking a resurgence in activities like yoga that incorporates mindfulness and aid mental health. We are now seeing a huge uplift, with consumers saying the mental health and stress-busting benefits of these workouts are just as important as improving their fitness.”
In case you missed part one or part two of our fitness trends for 2021 series read them here.