Some gym owners will make millions from these…
Sup Gym World?
When I was a gym owner, I spent most of my time thinking about MY gyms.
At the time, fitness publications were written for health club and globo gym owners, and weren’t that helpful if you ran a coaching gym.
But that information focuses on the present; the entrepreneurs who will build real wealth over the next 5-10 years are focused on the future. They’re trying to predict how the wants and desires of the consumer are changing.
[Marketing] cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears, and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already-existing desires onto a particular product. This is the [marketer’s] task: not to create this mass desire—but to channel and direct it.– Eugene Schwartz, Breakthrough Advertising
So, if you’re a gym owner who wants to stay relevant, establish a strong position, and direct demand to your services, here are 3 trends that should be on your radar:
1. People are stressed
We’re seeing a shift in mentality. Fitness is no longer just about getting in shape; it’s about finding a balance between physical and mental health.
💡 Research shows that 78% of consumers believe wellness is “more important than ever.”
And big players are taking notice. The D2C fitness juggernaut, Beachbody, rebranded earlier this year to “Bodi.” According to Club Industry, “the company’s move to brand itself in the health esteem category is an effort to break from the legacy fitness and diet industry, and instead, focus on providing content that supports a positive mindset and health esteem.”
Additionally, studios that offer stress-fighting services like cold plunges, saunas, and breathing classes are rising in popularity:
At this year’s CrossFit Games, there were three different cold plunge sponsors—the last time I attended, there were zero.
Some people will do and pay anything to boost happy hormones.
That’s why different brands are riding this trend by creating luxurious experiences to help others feel their absolute best. Notable examples include:
- Sweathouz – For $149 a month, members get unlimited access to infrared saunas and cold plunges. Other recovery services include redlight therapy, hydromassage, vitamin-c showers, and hyperice.
- Othership – Marketed as an “otherworldly bathhouse experience,” Othership has two locations in Toronto. Inside, you’ll see hipsters in saunas and cold plunges learning how to regulate their emotions. It must be working because a single drop-in class will cost you $55 CAD (or ~$41 USD).
I am too old to go here.
- Remedy Place — This is the “world’s first social wellness club, combining tech-remedies with holistic practitioners.” The cost of feeling happy here? $2,500/mo for an All-Access Membership. That’ll get you access to classes, four monthly “practitioner visits,” and a suite of recovery tools like hyperbaric chambers and lymphatic compression suits.
- Massage gun maker Therabody opened six Reset wellness centers that offer services like percussive massage, sound therapy, and red light therapy.
2. People are dying sooner
Since the early 2000s, studies around the world have shown that today’s parents will outlive their children.
Yet a small but growing group of people are taking preventative measures to maintain their health, and we’re seeing more offerings within the fitness industry that promote longevity.
Tech entrepreneur Bryan Johnson is popularizing epigenetic testing, which is the process of looking at DNA to see how fast your cells are aging. Johnson has spent more than $4M in the past 3 years to reduce his biological age and slow his rate of aging. He also started the Rejuvenation Olympics where people compete to reverse their age.
Companies like Wild Health offer subscription-based preventive medicine services. Popularized by Dr. Peter Attia, this concept gives you access to a doctor who helps mitigate your risk of disease by doing extensive bloodwork, constant glucose monitoring, preventative screenings, sleep, nutrition, and exercise counseling.
Many longevity doctors are prescribing whole-body MRIs. Companies like Prenuvo offer MRIs that can detect diseases such as cancer early on, which can significantly improve patient outcomes. But at ≈$2,500, these scans aren’t cheap.
The technology is fascinating, but it’s certainly not affordable for the average US citizen. This was made pretty clear after Kim K shared her experience:
As this tech evolves and MRI systems further enhance, it’s estimated that costs will drop to the ballpark of “hundreds of dollars.”
3. People are lonely
Research shows that 61% of young adults in America feel “serious loneliness.”
So it’s no surprise that more people want to partake in community-based activities—particularly outdoor ones.
For example, over 500,000 people have started their morning by going to a sober dance party hosted by Daybreaker.
Gyms like West Village Athletics offer “squad training,” where a crew of 20 people hang out 2x a week to workout and participate in different community events throughout the month.
The Color Run is another huge hit, being the largest running series in the world with over 6M participants to date. The concept is simple: you wear white, run for 5K, and along the way, are doused in vibrant colored powders.
Going back to our first point, it’s clear that there’s an increased desire among people—especially young people—for community and connecting with others.
What can gym owners do?
People are stressed, they’re dying sooner, and they’re lonelier than ever.
Today, more and more people are willing to spend money on products and services that promise to improve their health and well-being. Research by McKinsey & Company shows that Americans are spending $450B/yr on wellness, with the number expected to increase by 5% each year.
The good news is, many gym owners are positioned to capture some of the upside in the booming business of helping people live better lives.
So how can you be one of them?
Study trends like these and figure out new ways to channel existing demand toward your products and services.
Looking towards the future, Anthony says many of the newest trends in fitness are influenced by Gen-Z (those born in the mid-90s to mid-20s). And while Gen-Z isn’t spending much money now, they’ll be a big part of the market in the next 10 years. If you want to future-proof your business, it pays to understand what they like.
P.S. If you or anyone is riding any of these trends, let me know. We’d love to have them on the show.