(Editors' Note: This sponsored article is part of Club Industry's report, " Cardio and Strength Equipment Trends, Technology, Purchasing and Maintenance." To download this free report, click here.)
It’s tempting to think that the world of strength training is not evolving. The truth is that fundamental movements central to building strength remain unchanged. However, access to information around training has increased, and equipment continues to evolve. The strength industry is experiencing high growth, which creates opportunities for anyone who is prepared to adapt.
The Key Trends
Obtaining information is easier than ever, including insights into how elite athletes train. This has led to a desire to train like an athlete, even among recreational members.
The increasing size of the strength market means that more providers are catering to it. Members now have a range of options for where and how they train. The bar is constantly raised, and businesses must adapt their offerings to stay competitive.
Strength Training for All
You can do some relatively simple things to ride the wave of increased interest in strength training. The first step is to forget stereotypes about who will use weights in your gym. Instead, deliver strength training for everyone. All ages and abilities can benefit from strength work. If you create an environment that welcomes them, they can all become your customers.
Everyone Is an Athlete
Members are increasingly sophisticated and aspirational, so support them by making them feel like an athlete when they are training. That doesn’t mean that they need to be lifting significantly heavy weights; it means helping them to train in the best way for their goals.
Free weight training focused on performance yields reliable results – in sports and in life. Strength is the foundation of performance. Concentrating on improving abilities provides a fun way to train with plenty of variety. Tracking progress is a great way to keep members motivated.
One key way to create an aspirational environment is to provide the right tools for the job. The days of a bent barbell and a few rusty plates being acceptable are long gone. Members want to use the same equipment they see their role models using in social media videos.
Equipment exits that has powerlifting or weightlifting specifications but also with the ability to survive constant use in a busy facility. Sound and vibration reduction platforms enable dropping weights without disturbing other members or neighboring businesses.
Investing in quality means happier members while also keeping the cost of ownership down in the long run due to longer-lasting equipment and minimal need for maintenance.
Training and Coaching Styles
An increased focus on technique and a desire for more sophisticated programming have opened opportunities for facilities that have staff with the right skills. Investing in education and development means that specialist strength coaches and the services they offer can become a revenue stream for your fitness business.
Group strength classes, often called barbell clubs, are an increasingly popular way to give members access to high-quality coaching in an affordable way.
The above trends are only the beginning. The market for strength training services will only expand and diversify. One example of this is efforts to encourage older people to strength train regularly. The importance of strength training for health is now well established, but we are only at the start of the journey of integrating it with other aspects of wellbeing.
Some forward-thinking health services are beginning to prescribe strength training as part of the treatment of a variety of health problems. As this trend expands, there will be opportunities for facilities and professionals who gain the required accreditation as providers.
We are also already seeing digital technology begin to enter into strength training. Apps are steadily replacing paper diaries as the preferred way to record progress. That is only the start. Devices of all kinds are becoming more affordable. That will mean the sophisticated monitoring and analysis that is currently the preserve of professional athletes will be open to everyone. Opportunities will exist for businesses that provide these services to members.
We are at an exciting time for strength training. The message that strength is important is getting through. As industry professionals, we are well placed to act on it. Let’s build a stronger world together.
Eleiko offers complete strength solutions and helps club operators capitalize on the opportunities presented by the growing demand for strength and performance training.