What Generation Y means to the Fitness Industry
According to the third quarter IHRSA Trend Report from 2013, Generation Y (aka Millennials) now account for more than 27% of fitness club members. (http://www.ihrsa.org/home/2014/4/1/latest-trend-report-points-out-various-growth-opportunities.html) But what does this actually mean for the fitness industry?
Well, for one Millennials have a strong need for constant connection, online as well as offline. In fact, Gen Y makes up 50% of no-TV households, relying primarily on laptops and smartphones for news and other content. They are very committed to their local communities; favoring businesses they can walk to, but also have profound dedication to the digital community. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/shamakabani/2014/03/04/here-is-what-you-need-to-know-about-millennials/#34ae06f231f0)
For fitness businesses, this means keeping up with trends, but doing their best to avoid fads. As we’ve established, millennials are very tech dependent and with their influence in the fitness industry, it’s naturally had a major influence in the tech industry. As of January 2016, they are more than 50,000 health and fitness related apps in Apple’s App Store alone. Many of these apps offer personalization, allowing you to created your own workouts and track your diet and fitness progress, without limiting them to specific equipment or diets such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.
But the tech “niche” of fitness isn’t limited to the Instagramers and Youtubers and their “build-a-booty” workshops, companies of all sizes are jumping on this bandwagon. Even Under Armour as created an app (myfitnesspal) that allows its users to track their diets, with a simple scan and weigh process. Their databank stores the nutritional values of countless products from all over the world. By simply scanning the barcode via app and weighing the amount of the given food you can set goals and count calories while mainting your macros within your own kitchen, on your own budget (all for free).
But many of these apps are free, programs are home-based and coaching is done via email. While the fitness culture is exploding digitally, what impact could this have on the traditional personal trainer culture?