Fitness OnDemand works with all kinds of major fitness brands, content producers and experts around the world. This month we caught up with Will Brereton, founder of SH1FT and Ministry of Fit to get his view on the latest fitness trends.
Q: Will, you’re based in London and Paris with an international view of Fitness. What do you see has changed in the past year or so?
I think the key thing is really the incredible flexibility and adaptability of the industry. Clubs. Operators. Members. And content producers like our teams at SH1FT. It’s almost a bit trite to say everyone adapted to the challenge of the pandemic, because the major changes in fitness are actually more than that. Some trends started pre-pandemic and some got accelerated because of it, but there is a sea-change going on in fitness. There’s a focus by everyone on smart fitness: doing what you need for your body and your physical and mental well-being. Really balanced and personalized lifestyle fitness choices that are much more about promoting wellness and staying healthy than we’ve seen in previous decades and years where the benchmarks were all about performance and progress. Those metrics are always important but we’re going to see a much more holistic view of fitness for life going forward.
Q: What does that mean for content producers on the digital side and instructors in class?
More personalization for sure, will happen. We’re not immediately going to see heart rates and calorie burn on full screen in-studio panels, but gradually measuring individual biometrics and instructors having access to those in real time will come. In the much shorter term, there’s a more inclusive view of fitness happening: different ability levels, body types and recognition of people’s motivations and goals in working out. That’s bringing several changes: virtual, digital and live classes are beginning to incorporate more modifications, alternate moves and workout sets with recognition for where members may be on the ability and experience spectrum based on their age, goals and biomechanical capabilities. In choosing fitness instructors for live and even more so, digital content, classes we and other producers are looking to incorporate a more true, realistic and representative array of ages and body types from instructors to class participants. This trend is only going to accelerate as the fitness industry opens up to reach beyond highly motivated members to all people everywhere. That’s a huge business opportunity too for clubs when you realize penetration is only at around 20 percent of the population.
Q: You mentioned age, is there a bigger trend towards fitness for all ages coming?
Absolutely. At SH1FT we are incorporating programming for older active people and senior members. People are living longer into their 90s now and are active in their 70s and 80s. There’s a big shift toward functional fitness: things like core strength, balance, mobility and age-appropriate workouts. One of the most interesting developments is the pace of programmed fitness for young people: kids specifically. Working out from home last year popularized all-family fitness and exposed teens and children in the home to more formal workout content. They represent a huge growth category for clubs and content producers and will become an important part of a new club member landscape that starts in the tweens and goes all the way to our golden years. It’s an amazing time to be in fitness.
Check out the video below to see a preview of Will Brereton in action and try a new virtual fitness workout today!