(Editors' Note: This article is part of Club Industry's report, "Trends That Will Affect the Fitness Industry in 2019," sponsored by Eleiko. You can download this report for free by going here.)
Time continues to be the commodity that we cannot just manufacture more of and is often the reason why people give up on new goals or habits they are trying to adopt. Practically speaking, it’s not that a new goal or a new habit consumes a tremendous amount of time; instead, it is the perception as to whether the investment is worth the commitment.
Member commitment, better known as retention, has been a challenge as fitness trends have come and gone over the years.
Several simple trends have stood the test of time. Often, those trends are ones that work with minimal amount of commitment to get started. Some have immediate success that breed more success and a habit, creating a commitment. One such trend over the years has been strength training. Past and present strength training trends have been delivered with many modalities, with technology used for programming, with tracking mechanisms, with increased accessibility, and with programs that can be performed anywhere at any time.
A trend for 2019 is not just strength training to get stronger but strength training that demands an increase in self-daily-performance. It is an "I" world. Our audience has inspired "iPerformance" while continuing to demand that training be accessible, safe, effective and have immediate return on the time investment.
Performance training using weightlifting (or the Big 5 moves: squat, deadlift, bench, clean and jerk and snatch) is an efficient way to increase performance in minimal training time. Programming for weightlifting satisfies individual performance needs, from fat loss to active aging to recreational sports.
This is great news for health club operators, who can see increased use in their strength-training areas. Facility free-weight areas may need some slight modifications to include some weightlifting spaces that are inviting to both the beginner and the well-trained athlete. These are low-cost investments that tend to outlast cardio equipment. Due to its efficiency, performance training using weightlifting advances members through the weight room more quickly for each training session. This gives the member more time to socialize in the café, participate in other recreation programs and engage in all the ways that help to increase retention.
For trainers, performance training using weightlifting is a great way to approach a more dynamic small group training session in minimal time. There is nothing boring or mundane about weightlifting performance programming. Your clients will engage wholly at each training session. That engagement will result in them achieving their personal performance goals regardless of their training experience, age, fitness level and strength/power goals.
Safety is of utmost importance for our members and participants. Injuries within the sport of weightlifting reportedly equal those of other sports but are less numerous for more serious injuries. The serious injury rate of weightlifters has been reported as low as 0.0018 injuries to every 100 hours of training, with less serious injuries reported as 0.3 injuries every 100 hours, which are typically overuse injuries that have not jeopardized joint integrity.
It’s evident that the benefits far outweigh the risk when it comes to weightlifting, and as long as participants follow professional guidance and use equipment in the appropriate condition, they should reduce any potential of injury from weightlifting activities. In fact, evidence suggests weightlifting activities actually reduce injury potential across all sports.
The fitness industry has long been prepared for this trend of weightlifting for performance now sweeping the globe. All facilities and all members getting the most out of the free weight area in 2019 is something to encourage and celebrate.
Kerri O’Brien is vice president of marketing, product development and education for Eleiko. She has more than 30 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. O’Brien has served in many roles including as COO for large multipurpose wellness facilities with medical and dental clinics, executive vice president for a certifying body, global director of education for the largest fitness equipment manufacturer, executive vice president for evidence-based weight-loss clinics and state president of the AZ Fitness Therapy Network. Eleiko offers complete strength solutions and helps club operators capitalize on the opportunities presented by the growing demand for strength and performance training.