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What’s Defining Fitness? The Top Industry Trends for 2024 

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The fitness industry has seen significant transformation over the past few years, and that trend continues to be true in 2024. As consumer behaviors evolve, technology advances rapidly, and social responsibility takes center stage, the landscape is going through significant changes. For fitness business owners, adaptability is no longer just an advantage—it’s necessary for long-term success. 

To gain a deeper understanding of this dynamic environment, ABC Ignite conducted an online survey among health and fitness club members/users within the top 40 metropolitan statistical areas across the United States, helping to build our January Insights Data Report.  

With 40% of fitness businesses in the United States placing their trust in ABC Fitness, we’ve harnessed these insights to understand the future of the fitness industry.

In this guide, we’re going to break down:  

  • Key 2024 Demographics 
  • The Influence of Gen Z 
  • How to Connect with Modern Fitness Consumers 
  • The Most Popular Modalities For 2024 
  • And More! 

All the research presented in this article is sourced from the ABC Fitness Global Industry Trends Report, available to download now

Key 2024 Demographics 

To better understand the behaviors of fitness enthusiasts, we’ve broken down our survey respondents into four different categories:  

  1. Wellness Lovers 
  2. Fitness Explorers 
  3. Routine Lifers  
  4. Casual Consumers 

It’s important to note that we saw more people identify as Fitness Explorers and Wellness Lovers this year; a 4% and 6% increase compared to last year. 

The Rise of Wellness Lovers and Fitness Explorers 

With the emergence of Wellness Lovers and Fitness Explorers, we can see a significant change in how people approach health and fitness. Wellness Lovers focus on combining fitness with overall health, aiming for a balanced lifestyle. Fitness Explorers are always looking for new and exciting ways to stay fit. They represent the adventurous side of the fitness world. These groups aren’t just market segments; they show where fitness is headed. 

Interestingly, Wellness Lovers are mostly Millennials and older members of Gen Z. Compared to other generations, they prioritize their overall well-being and look for ways to support it. 

What Does This Mean for Fitness Business Owners? 

To keep your members engaged, create new experiences and encourage ongoing learning within your fitness business. This builds a strong community that will continue to return. 

The Influence of Gen Z  

The increasing influence of Gen Z in the fitness market is shifting industry norms. These consumers, known for being active, health-conscious, and socially aware, expect more than a traditional gym experience. They’re seeking innovative, flexible, and value-driven fitness solutions. Their preferences are reshaping the future of fitness offerings, prompting businesses to adapt and meet these changing expectations. 

What Does This Mean for Fitness Business Owners? 

As we continue through 2024, be sure to look towards the younger generations to boost your growth and revenue. In doing so, it’s also important to make sure your business offers a more holistic approach to fitness, ensuring that you are catering to the mind and body.  

Holistic Health is Here to Stay 

Holistic health isn’t just about being fit—it’s a way of life. Data shows that people are balancing their physical health, mental well-being, eating habits, and social connections all at the same time. 

Because of this, gyms and fitness businesses need to reevaluate their current strategies and ensure they’re offering personalized experiences that go beyond working out. Gym owners can avoid client churn by creating a fitness program that makes members feel good mentally, included, and part of a community. 

Give Members Convenience, Flexibility, and Personalization with ABC Ignite. Learn More Today.

How to Connect with Fitness Consumers 

Fitness is increasingly becoming a platform for social change, with consumers expecting brands to take stances on social issues. In fact, according to our latest report, 58% of members and users find it important for their fitness club to embrace social causes. This is a major shift in how people perceive their fitness providers and gym owners need to capitalize on this. 

January 2024 Innovation Report: Active Consumer Study Insights & Findings

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This shift represents an opportunity for fitness businesses to build deeper connections with their members, fostering a community that aligns with their values and beliefs, particularly in areas like mental health support, environmental sustainability, and social equity.  

What Does This Mean for Fitness Business Owners? 

Leverage your business as a catalyst for positive change and social progress. Whether it’s advocating for mental health awareness or promoting body positivity, your business holds the power to uplift and enhance your community, which in turn can bring in new members. 

The Most Popular Fitness Modalities of 2024 

Digital technology isn’t just altering the way workouts are done; it’s revolutionizing the entire fitness experience. From AI-driven personalized training programs to virtual reality fitness adventures, technology is creating new possibilities for engagement and personalization in fitness, making it accessible, enjoyable, and effective for a broader audience. If you’re still relying on pen-and-paper member sheets or manually managing payment details, it’s time to reevaluate your processes. 

Instead, imagine channeling that valuable time towards engaging with your members, fostering lasting relationships, delivering exceptional member experiences, and ultimately enhancing retention and member lifetime value. By streamlining administrative tasks through tech integration, you’ll free up resources to focus on what truly matters: your members’ well-being and satisfaction. 

Not sure what the future has in store for you or your fitness business? Read on to learn about the top ways we see AI impacting the future of business operations in fitness here

The Rise of New Fitness Modalities 

Post-pandemic growth relative to modality importance indicates that certain modalities have more growth and appeal than others. Emerging fitness modalities like pickleball, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and mind-body wellness classes highlight the industry’s dynamic nature. These trends are not merely fads but indicate a broader diversification of fitness offerings, which means you as a business owner need to provide more options to your members

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive range of both popular and lesser-known modalities. If you’re considering expanding your business offerings, this list is tailored to meet your needs. 

In-Person Fitness is Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels  

ABC Fitness’s data reveals a significant resurgence in the fitness industry.  

Check-ins are up 9% year-over-year and are up almost 90% when compared to pre-pandemic levels. This remarkable increase indicates a strong recovery and renewed enthusiasm for in-person fitness experiences, reflecting a broader trend of individuals prioritizing health and wellness post-pandemic.  

We’re currently experiencing the highest level of member activity and engagement to date. People are eager to invest more in their fitness journeys, attend more studio events, and actively participate in your community. 

If you’re not seeing these changes in your fitness business, then you likely need a fitness business platform that can help you engage with this highly motivated customer base. Learn More About ABC Ignite Today

Despite the overall positive trend in the industry, membership dynamics within North American gyms reveal a more complex situation. Based on our data, although there’s been an 8.2% rise in paying membership accounts compared to the previous year, there’s also been a decline in new memberships. 

This contradiction implies that while current members are becoming more loyal and potentially upgrading their memberships, there’s a challenge in attracting fresh members. This data could also indicate market saturation, heightened competition, or evolving consumer preferences. This highlights the importance for gyms to innovate and adapt their marketing strategies to attract new clients while retaining existing ones. 

What Does This Mean for Fitness Business Owners?  

For a gym to thrive in 2024, management must either strengthen its existing member base or develop a superior business offering compared to competitors. As discussed above, prioritizing authenticity and community-driven initiatives can greatly help in the efforts to attract fresh members. 

Transform Your Fitness Visions into Reality with ABC Ignite 

At ABC Ignite, we’re excited to bring the customers we serve to the Forefront of Fitness, with the innovations and insights that help them to advance and grow.  We empower owners and operators like you to cultivate memorable and lasting experiences with your members with our gym management software

If you’re ready to drive stronger member retention, strengthen your brand identity, and create a closer connection to your club, request a demo today


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