Fitness Trends from IHRSA

by Blair McHaney, Gold’s Gym Wenatchee
GGFA Director Emeritus

For the first time in 7 years I was able to walk the tradeshow floor at IHRSA without being hurried.  I spent the entire day Friday walking the show and talking to vendors.  I decided I would take pictures of anything that had me think “that’s kind of cool” or anything that I thought was innovative.  My purpose was to see what the biggest trends are and try to predict where they will end up.  There are two things I felt that were the biggest trends.  The first is the continuing trend toward more functional training and the use of equipment to support it.  For gyms to deliver more and more functional training requires that we support it with space, equipment, and human capital.  I believe we are at risk of over-shooting on this one.  There is a lot of inertia behind this right now.  I do think it is important, intelligent, and urgent to create more and more programming around this kind of training.  But let’s not leave an entire market behind when we do.  We will fail at this if we over-dedicate space and if we allow our fitness staff to concentrate all their trainer development and exercise programming efforts here.   

The second trend is the attempt to capture and move exercise data.  A few companies look like they are going to do a fabulous job with this within their own product set. I don’t even want to get started on what I think one could do with the capture of all the exercise data in a gym.  But what is not happening is the creation of a standard.   In other words (and each of these companies is thinking about this!), if the only way to capture exercise data is to use one brand of equipment, then we will not have a standard.  It is the adoption of a single METHOD for capturing data across all companies and all exercises that can make this idea so powerful.  Having such a “standard” would be the innovation that would drive massive innovations for decades. 

So there is my insight and my thoughts.  The first trend we may be at risk of overshooting.  The second we are at risk of undershooting. 

Great to see you all in LA!

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About GGFA

The Gold's Gym Franchisee Association is the independent voice of the Gold's Gym franchisees.
This entry was posted in Fitness & Personal Training, From the Board, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Fitness Trends from IHRSA

  1. Blair – your two observations are on point. As to the data issue – perhaps you’ve heard of FIT-C, the Fitness Industry Technology Counsel. We need standards desperately, as you indicate, and FIT-C is trying to get those adopted. Check out http://www.fit-c.org . Great to see everyone at IHRSA this year.

  2. Mike Epstein says:

    Great insights Blair. Right on the money. The other thing that stood out to me was the improved use of technology for so many things around our industry. Cardio Entertainment, tracking repairs and maintenance, eliminating forms at the front desk, mobile apps, “racing” other people over the internet and sharing your ride on facebook just to name a few things I happened to see on the trade show floor this year. The way we entertain, engage, communicate and capture data is starting to really take some shape and technology is the driving force. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all develops and to see how we eventually use it.

  3. Love your thoughts, Blair. I was also overcome with suspension training devices, and sadly noticed missing poles for pole dancing … gotta love the trends …. they certainly come and go!

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