Fitness trends: Train like an Athlete
Train like an athlete
Star athletes used to live secret existences, far away from public gaze. However, the explosion of social media, specialist TV channels and the growing professionalism of sport has turned them into valuable commodities with huge reach.
Basketball superstar, Le Bron James, for example, has over 42 million followers on Twitter, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has nearly 78 million, an increase from 48 million just two years ago.
Where once athletes retired into obscurity when their sporting careers were over, they now plan carefully for life after sport, with their advisors and agents encouraging them to develop themselves as consumer brands, opening up opportunities for post-retirement success in areas such as business, fashion, and broadcasting.
This opportunity to be close to world-class athletes and to get regular insights into their lives enables us to understand everything from their training regimes to their nutrition programmes and is driving a trend we’re calling ‘Train like an Athlete’.
Ambitious gym members who want to push themselves to greater successes are demanding support in ramping up their in-club training regimes to emulate their sporting icons.
Example: indoor cycling
We’re already seeing this most clearly in areas such as cycling, where the incredible exploits of cycling pros have inspired a new generation of amateur cyclists to commit to intensive training schedules.
This, in turn, has prompted suppliers to invest in a radical overhaul of the supply side of the market, with a raft of new, high-end indoor bike launches in recent years.
This boom in indoor cycling is just the beginning of a far more widespread trend towards high-end, athletic training and we expect to see a new generation of sports-specific health clubs launching over the next five years, creating hybrid health club concepts.
Access to expertise
The Train like an Athlete trend is being boosted by the growing expertise of PTs, exercise professionals and sports scientists who are building strong careers in the industry, as they become more qualified and experienced.
This is creating opportunities for gym members to train under the expert eye of a coach on a more regular basis, giving them access to support with technique and motivation.
The Train like an Athlete trend will also impact the health and fitness industry in many other key areas, such as gym floor layout, programming, group classes, the specification of equipment, marketing and endorsements.
A wider reach
The trend will drive those who are inspired by their sporting heroes to new levels of fitness and blur the boundaries between the health and fitness and sports sectors, enabling operators to attract more sportspeople into membership and to coordinate with sports clubs for block membership and with sports events such as triathlons and marathons for community engagement.
Some of this activity is already established in the industry, but the Train like an Athlete trend will take it to a new level.
We will also see clubs reducing limits on the age of members to engage with younger teenagers who are just starting out in terms of exercise and sport and want to access the facilities on offer.
At the moment, many gyms insist on members being 16 and over, but we expect this to change in the next five years and for more staff training and programming to be available to support younger people in their training.
This trend will also benefit the health and fitness industry by bringing some of the determination, stoicism, discipline, and energy of sport into the gym setting, where members have a tendency to lack these behaviours.
Having high-achieving members exercising within a club motivates others and raises the level of intensity across the board, leading to better results and more engagement and reward for everyone involved.
Sport delights, inspires and unites us and will transmit its energy and discipline into the health and fitness industry and make a valuable contribution to its next phase of growth.
Ⓒ Cybertrek 2019
By Liz Terry, Redakteurin, HCM Magazin