I received an email from Pat Rigsby today that had his 10 fitness business trends for 2009. I would say that several of them are more than likely to take place and several have already begun. We’ve made changes to our local offerings because of these likelihoods, you may want to consider them carefully also… Check it out:

Everyone seems to be making predictions for the new year so I’m jumping on the  bandwagon;)

Here are my Top 10 fitness industry predictions for 2009…

1. There will be more health club closings than
in any previous year.  They have a broken business
model and will suffer because of it.

2. Health clubs will be eliminating the independent
trainer and taking the training in-house to try to
add revenue.

3. Most one-on-one only fitness pros will struggle.
Relying on such a small segment of the population
(the affluent) is risky with a turbulent economy and
the possibility of increased taxes on the wealthy.
If this is your main offering as a trainer you will want
to check out a program called “Clients are Everywhere.”

4. Low overhead facilities will thrive. Trainers &
coaches will trend toward places like Pam MacElree
& Jason Brown’s facility or Zach Even-Esh’s and
Away from the high end studio.

5. Non-traditional training like kettlebell training,
strongman training, band training and other out
of the ordinary methods will gain even more
popularity due to social media making more and
more people aware.

6. Trainers who don’t niche or have a hook will be
left behind.  With the explosion of social media, trends
travel faster than ever before and people are much more
able to find exactly what they’re looking for instead of settling for less.  If a mom wants help specifically
for her, finding a program like Holly’s Fit Yummy Mummy is
easier than ever before so no more settling for the crappy trainer at Gold’s.

7. Trainers will pass health clubs as a preferred
corporate fitness solution. By combining better results,
better service and more convenience trainers will be
able to better serve businesses’ fitness needs.

8. More trainers than ever before will run their
business like a business.  This is an easy one…this
has happened every year that I’ve been in the industry.
Each year trainers are becoming more and more interested
in improving their business education. The changing
economy will only accelerate that. In fact, I’d bet that
more trainers will start retirement planning in 2009 than
in the previous 3 years combined.

9. Youth fitness will once again be the fastest growing
segment of the fitness industry.  Every business mag from
Entrepreneur to Inc. has talked about one of the best
markets to be in is the youth / teen market.  Parents will ALWAYS invest in their kids.

10. Fitness bootcamps will continue to grow are a rapid
pace. The stars are aligned for this one.  The economy
will lead people to try to get more bang for their fitness buck.  Trainers are becoming more business savvy.
Clubs are moving independent trainers out. I predict a
250% increase in the number of fitness bootcamps
worldwide in 2009.

That’s it.  My 10 predictions.  I’m confident enough in these that I’m willing to adjust our businesses accordingly.  Give them some thought and decide if you should do the same.

In fairness to Pat for his thought and effort into compiling this list take a moment to check out some of his offerings at Fitness Consulting Group. Rumor has it he will be opening new slots in his bootcamp blueprint program in the near future. I’ll let you know if I hear. My experience of seeing him in the social media setting is that he’s not only experienced, but also an honest trainer and business coach, so do check them out.

Personal Trainers, there are a number of business and marketing programs available to you. Barry Lovelace has a new one that you can learn more about by going to “Clients are Everywhere“.

Have other trends you see coming? Add them to the comments.

Group fitness, yoga and sport coaches are often left out of these conversations, but many of the same influences will be effecting you. What do you see coming your way in 2009?

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