Current trends: How they're making gyms fit for the future

Here’s what to expect in the fitness world of the future if the current trends seen in the health and wellbeing spaces and within our gyms continue.

When the pandemic hit, fitness boomed as people got creative with new ways to stay active.

Since then, being in good health - and the steps that get us there - have taken centre stage. One of these steps is the gym, and the different functionalities that some of them include that can enhance our wellbeing.

As we continue to bounce back following the impact of Covid-19, we’ve adapted to fit these new habits and the trends that have come along with them.

Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, new to the gym, or simply looking to become a little healthier, there are some changes we’re embracing to ensure we stay up to speed with trends and your goals!

Larger focus on strength and functional training

Strength training is finding its way into the mainstream. Two years after the pandemic, it actually outperformed cardio as a typical gym activity among gym members!

It’s an area that only keeps growing. That’s why in many of our newly refurbished gyms, you may have noticed a larger shift over the years on our mix of cardio to weights machines. We used to design our gyms so that cardio machines would encompass around 70% of the gym, but now a much bigger range of strength kit is being introduced.

As gyms closed during the pandemic, fitness operators, social media platforms, and influencers focused on weight training exercises that could be performed at home. When gyms opened back up, that didn’t lead to people’s training routines stopping, the range of equipment meant more people had the knowledge to take their strength training to the next level.

Much of this change comes down to the increased popularity of weight training with women too, along with more people recognising the health benefits of strength and functional training. There are advantages for everyone!

From minimising the risk of osteoporosis, to improving your heart health, and lowering your risk of injury, it’s easy to see why strength training has become a fundamental part of many people’s exercise regimes – and many of our centres.

Technology-enabled health

Technology is helping people feel more empowered to take control of their health and wellbeing – all in the palm of their hand. Counting your steps? A smart watch can help. Want to get better at sticking to your habits? A habit tracker can do so. Need to monitor your glucose levels? There’s a wearable for that.

Creating tailored workout programmes, tracking your progress, and access to digital coaching are functionalities that are also included on many health apps – including our new one. You can access these features simply by tapping the ‘Digital fitness’ icon on the Home screen and then clicking on Places Tracker.

This doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone and rely on technology when you’re in the gym though. As always, the fitness team and personal trainers in our gyms are still on hand to help you in person!

Data is also on our side. When we’re thinking of how to design a new gym, we use insights from some of our key partners, Life Fitness and Sport England, to help us map out the demographic of our communities. This then gets us closer to aligning the priorities of our customers with what equipment we include in their gym. You know what they say, knowledge is power!

 More holistic wellbeing offerings

There’s more to wellbeing than exercise; nutrition, mobility, and sleep quality are equally as important.

Now more than ever before, customers are looking for convenience as well as affordability when making wellness-oriented lifestyle choices, and we want our gyms to be able to help our customers tap into as many of the holistic elements above as possible.

Where we’ve previously focused on cardio machines, free weights, and smaller strength areas in our gyms, we’re now investing in equipment that can do body analyses and fitness health assessments – such as EGYM’s Fitness Hubs, and Smart Flex and Strength ranges*.  With light and vibration signals that give you ideal exercise and rest times, as well as regular flexibility tests, members can use this range from EGYM to holistically measure and understand their workout success, flexibility, strength, and mobility. This may be coming to a gym near you in the future – watch this space!

We know that navigating the gym can feel daunting, especially if you’ve just joined or spotted an unfamiliar piece of equipment. A member of our fitness team or one of our personal trainers will be happy to show you around, get your started on your fitness journey, and take you through how different equipment works.

Sources: Spotlight State of the UK Fitness Industry Report 2023 (Leisure DB) | Patient empowerment: what is the role of technology in transforming care? (NHS Confederation) | Health Clubs Insights Webinar (Life Fitness)

*Featured in selected gyms