Feature Article - June 2009
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A Look at Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

Cutting-Edge Programming

The top programs offered among our health club respondents have not changed much since last year's survey. As one would expect, fitness programs and personal training top the list. Some 93.2 percent of respondents said they currently offer fitness programs, and 78.1 percent offer personal training. This is reflected, as well, in the much higher number of health club respondents who said they require some of their staff members to earn personal training certification. While around a quarter of all respondents require such certification, more than three-quarters of health club respondents do so.

The top 10 programs currently featured at health clubs include:

  1. Fitness
  2. Personal training
  3. Mind-body/balance programs like yoga and Pilates
  4. Nutrition/diet counseling
  5. Active older adults programs
  6. Aquatic exercise programs
  7. Holidays and special events
  8. Education
  9. Therapeutic programs
  10. Swimming

Dropping out of last year's top 10 programs are teen programs, which were eighth last year, as well as individual sports activities. New to the list this year are the No. 8 and No. 9 spots: educational and therapeutic programs.

"One overarching trend we're seeing throughout the fitness industry is a rise in popularity of specialty classes," Goudeseune said. "More and more gym-goers are seeking out different classes for specific workouts. In fact, that trend has gone even one step further this year as we witness a transition from specialty classes to specialty facilities."