Across the board, every gym and/or fitness brand sees a spike in memberships in the first quarter of the year, with consumers starting the year off strong with new year resolutions and a serious commitment to reaching their health and wellness goals. While this is a natural seasonal spike in the industry, here are the anticipated 2019 fitness trends in the $30 billon industry — with a mix of both new experiences and traditional standards back in popularity.

Multiple workout experiences for every fitness level

Consumers are seeking high-value, personalized fitness options and flexibility. We saw this with the success of services like Class Pass and people having more than one fitness membership. People want the flexibility to be able to catch a spin class with their friends, train for a team warrior competition and still enjoy a workout independently in a traditional gym setting. To avoid muscle memory and boredom, members need more than one experience to stimulate and challenge their mind and body. While they want their fitness level to improve, once the body catches up, they will need a new workout experience to tackle.

Big-box gyms can no longer just offer a ‘low entry’ membership and weights — they need to adapt to the demands of the consumers. We will soon see more gyms offering additional niche fitness concepts under their roof to match the shifting direction of the industry. The ones that do not pivot will be left behind or need to establish a key differentiator. Every generation is looking to get in shape and gyms especially need to make sure they have something for everyone from seniors to Gen Z. To cover a large range of ages and fitness levels, it is important the fitness industry supply it all — a variety of boutique fitness offerings and classes such as yoga, spin and Zumba, along with the option for small group strength training, team training and one-on-on coaching.

Intermittent fasting and coupling techniques

With more information available online and influencers who consumers have grown to trust, the industry will see more advocates for intermittent fasting and its benefits — everything from cognitive clarity, lower inflammation, weight loss and more. There are a variety of studies and books like “The Circadian Code” by Dr. Satchin Panda that have people interested in circadian rhythms and resetting their body clock, why it’s important, how it works and how to know it is not working. Whether it is ketogenic, solely cutting sugars or fasted cardio, people are more educated on what is out there and willing to try different methods to shock their system. People want to know what will work best for them and are getting better at listening to their bodies. While they should always be running information by their medical practitioner, people are more comfortable personalizing their routines — such as pairing time-restrictive fasting with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and heat shock therapy. Nutrition will always be 80 percent of the battle to achieve fitness goals, but meal planning and supplement planning are very individualized. People want results and enjoy seeing that they are changing and improving everything from memory to endurance.

Fitness Trends 2019 will see a mix of new experiences and traditional standards for health and fitness. Photo: Guido De Bortoli/Getty Images

Wearable technology

Wearable tech is advancing and becoming more acceptable. People want the data. Tracking tools are not seen as intrusive but rather beneficial to monitor one’s patterns. People are seeing that by modifying the patterns based on the information they are getting from the wearable, they can change their level of fitness, recovery time and improve overall activity. This segment has exceptional growth opportunity as more people want to cross-reference how well they have slept to how well they have performed that day. Even the non-fitness members are tracking their sleep and steps, competing with their friends, showing that they too are making an incremental indent to the growing population welcoming the devices. The wearable rings, Fitbits and heart rate monitors will only improve as brands continue to test new products. Social is also closely linked with wearable technology and another driver for consumers. They are eager to share their results and want people to know how many calories they burned in a workout session.

Group Training and Team Comradery

The desire for a team atmosphere and supportive environment will remain a top priority for a large population of consumers, especially women. Team training establishes accountability from day one and people need personal trainers and coaches to join them in their journey by checking in on them and highlighting their progress.

Small group training continues to be hot as it allows individual attention while still providing team comradery and friendly competition. Small-group programs typically have 2-4 members being coached on how to add lean body mass, improve muscular strength and change body composition. Team training will also remain a demand, which provides a high-energy training curriculum in a larger group atmosphere, between 5-20 people. From beginners to conditioned athletes, programs like these allow people to train at their own pace and set realistic goals and expectations with a support system that becomes their friends and family.

Every year, there is talk of the next big thing in fitness, but all are good signs for consumers looking for more ways to prioritize their health. People are meditating, demanding cleaner food options; companies are offering more fitness initiatives in workspaces; and healthcare programs are rewarding people for going to the gym. The industry will continue to grow and withstand every economic climate because people value what they can control and seeking fitness experts and leaders in the space to help them achieve balance by reaching a healthier physical state.

Eric Casaburi is CEO and founder of Retro Fitness.