Despite post-pandemic recovery and economic uncertainty, 2022 was another big year for the fitness industry.
With more people returning to in-person fitness, reports suggest that 69% of boutique studios are back to earning at least 75% of their 2019 revenues. So, what can we expect for the upcoming year?
Several reports from 2022 offer us insight into fitness trends for 2023….
1. In-person classes will continue to grow –
During the height of the pandemic, gyms and fitness clubs were forced to close their doors. As a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns, many fitness professionals began exploring online classes as a digital solution while in-person classes were prohibited. Virtual fitness isn’t going anywhere. But, it may serve as a feeder for your in-person studio as clients have become eager to return.
Recent trend research from Les Mills reveals that 85% of gymgoers are interested in trying live, in-person classes at their respective facilities. As for in-person class occupancy, attendance has reached 120% compared to pre-COVID levels.
2. Tabata / HIIT Training –
Tabata is a form of interval training that alternates between 20 seconds of intense exercise and 10 seconds of rest. This type of workout can be adapted to any fitness level and is an effective way to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and burn fat.
Tabata training is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) method that is becoming increasingly popular. Moreover, research has shown that HIIT workouts can be as effective as longer workouts in improving cardiovascular health. As a result, Tabata training is likely to become even more popular in the coming years.
3. Mini Workouts –
Mini workouts have gained popularity as people realize that they don’t need to spend hours at the gym to see results. These quick, effective workouts can be done anywhere and fit easily into a busy schedule. Research shows that you get the same health benefits whether you do a single 30-minute workout or three 10-minute mini-workouts of the same intensity
Though people are busy most of the time, awareness around health and fitness is reaching new heights. People want to mend their ways toward health and fitness, and mini workouts are perfect for people short on time.
4. Outdoor Exercise –
Outdoor exercise became a growing trend during the pandemic and is here to stay. There are obviously huge benefits to exercising outdoors. Studies have shown that moving in nature can reduce mental fatigue while boosting mood, self-esteem and perceived health.
Many fitness studios and gyms continue to host outdoor fitness classes to allow members to workout in a group setting outdoors. These gyms have dedicated outdoor spaces for members that include outdoor specific fitness equipment and accessories that can be accessed year round. Outdoor fitness has gained more popularity the last few years, and wont be going anywhere in 2023.
5. Strength Training –
Strength training will be one of the top trends that take center stage in 2023. And the numbers prove it; weight training classes were one of the top 3 popular workout types in 2022.
One thing is clear – Building muscle is not just about aesthetics anymore. A 2022 review suggests that muscle-strengthening activities can decrease your mortality risk by 10-17%!
Regular resistance training also helps boost metabolism (and thus helps in weight loss), improve bone mineral density, lower your risk of sarcopenia, manage your blood sugar, and much more. Expect to see more kettlebells, dumbbells’, barbells and resistance bands in Fitness Centers come 2023!
6. Functional Training –
Functional training (exercises that mirror everyday movement patterns) will continue to dominate in 2023.
Functional training generally involves compound exercises that recruit more than one muscle group and can be done either using your bodyweight, free weights including dumbbells and kettlebells, or versatile equipment such as resistance bands. Think regular and weighted/banded versions of squats, push-ups, lunges, etc.
Functional training helps prevent injuries, enhances athletic performance, boosts mobility, and improves strength among other benefits. In response to the popularity of functional training, many gyms created functional training specific areas for members in 2022. We expect to see this trend continue into 2023!
7. Exercise as a Mental Health Tool –
The last few years have been difficult — to put it mildly — and it’s become key to find ways to prioritize mental health and self-care. As a result, more people are turning to movement as a way to protect and enhance their mental health. After all, exercise has been proven to reduce stress, help with depression and anxiety, improve sleep, and even improve brain function.
Aside from the proven physical benefits of working out, next year we’ll continue to see people using exercise as a way to connect with others, enjoy much-needed alone time, work toward personal goals, and build confidence, all of which are crucial in maintaining mental health.
The fitness industry as a whole is poised for more growth this coming year. Staying ahead of trends is the key to finding success in 2023 and beyond. Wishing you and your fitness center a fit and fabulous 2023!