Today's fitness enthusiasts are always looking for the next big thing. One way for today’s fitness businesses to come out on top with member recruitment and retention is to give fitness fans what they want. Gyms and health clubs all over the country are stepping up when it comes to the products, services, programming, facilities, and amenities they’re providing to their clientele. Here’s a closer look at how some of the country's most innovative gyms are differentiating themselves by staying on the cutting edge of the industry.
Bringing the Indoors Out
The research is resoundingly clear: Time spent in the great outdoors is good for the body and soul. To that end, many fitness businesses are taking programming out of the gym and into the great outdoors. For example, Denver, Colorado’s Red Rocks Fitness offers a summer series located in “the world’s only naturally occurring amphitheater.” Says Greatist of the experience, “With music blasting through the amphitheater as you exercise, it’s like your own personal concert, where you and your endorphins are the headline.”
Other ways gyms are getting in on the outdoor action? Paddleboarding, surf fitness and hiking yoga that combines scenic nature trails with yoga breaks all come to mind.
Bringing the Outdoors In
Some fitness businesses are taking the opposite approach by incorporating elements of the outdoors into their brick and mortar buildings. Take the Baja Body Athletic Club. Located in Oceanside, California, the gym has covered one of its workout rooms entirely with sand in an effort to amp up the intensity of workouts.
Meanwhile, Toronto’s “offbeat gym” Surfset makes it easy for wave-hunters to get their surf on in the city thanks to classes incorporating mechanized RipSurfer X boards that replicate the feel of surfing while offering multiple levels of resistance to keep participants challenged.
Another take on the theme? Upper Limits, a club in Bloomington, Illinois that replicates rock climbing in one of the state’s abandoned grain silos.
Hi-Tech Takes Off
Whatever unique initiatives innovative fitness businesses are adopting, one thing is clear: The intersection of technology and fitness spaces is only going to grow stronger. Wearables continue to be a huge trend with entities such as Orangetheory Fitness increasingly using fitness monitor technology, such as heart rate monitors, to keep members informed and inspired.
Gyms are also embracing technology in other ways, including through check-ins using fingerprints or facial recognition and through equipment that personalizes settings based on a user’s profile.
Two health clubs that are taking things to an even higher level are Singapore’s Gravity fitness club, which offers high-tech perks such as 3D body scanning and modeling, and Australian luxury gym Milon, which offers personal training via “smart” machine.
These businesses are just a small sampling of the gyms pushing the boundaries of the fitness industry to retain and attract members. If you are wondering how to take your fitness club to the next level and be seen as innovative and a leader in the field, put technology to work for your fitness business.
Aaron Eisberg is the vice president of marketing/sales for Accuro, a fitness technology company that strives to build an eco-system through cloud-based IoT technology to provide real-time, convenient recording of members’ activity and biometric data.