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The Top 2021 Fitness Trends to Prepare for.

2021 Fitness Trends cover image

At the end of the year, every year, people ask what’s coming up for the upcoming year. This question is probably in the back of everyone’s mind coming out of the wild ride that has been 2020. In this article, we combine a little bit of common sense and digging to present to you expected 2021 fitness trends on platter. If you are looking to get ahead in 2021 as a fitness and health professional, this guide is for you.

The Standard of Hygiene for Fitness/Health Clubs.

If you are a studio gym owner, then you are probably sick of seeing and hearing about cleanliness and hygiene. Unfortunately, this is going to be a theme you and the general public will continue to hear about going into 2021 and more then likely
for the entirety of 2021.

One, the new normal established with hygiene and cleanliness will not go away anytime soon, even after we see broad distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The second point sort of follows up on the first point in that, even though we are seeing success with discovering an effective vaccine, it will still be several weeks or even months before the vaccine reaches far enough to make a large impact.

This combined with the first point means we will still be following sanitization guidelines laid out by health experts for some time. While this seems like common sense, this remains one of the biggest expected 2021 fitness trends.

Stay Familiar With Guidelines.

In America for example, the CDC has outlined specific guidelines for Gyms and Fitness Clubs.

The CDC recommends that you:

  • Develop a plan for how you deal with COVID-19 on a daily basis.
  • Implement your plan.
  • Continuously refine it.

Additionally, your plan should detail a normal routine that includes regular disinfecting of surfaces with soap and water. If you use disinfectant, make sure you reference the list of EPA-approved disinfectants. If EPA-approved disinfectants are not available, then using a disinfectant that is a specifically diluted solution of bleach and water or is at least 70% alcohol, then that will work as well.

An example of an acceptable bleach solutions is:

1/3 cup of 5.25%-8.25% bleach added to 1 gallon of water.
Note: Do not mix bleach and other cleaning chemicals.

In your plan, detail everything you can, such as schedules for cleaning, what cleaning supplies work best for what surfaces, and make sure you adjust the plan as different guidelines are announced for handling COVID-19 disinfection in public spaces.

Train your Staff.

Your plan is only as effective if it is carefully followed by your gym.

This means training staff on your disinfection routine and establishing standards that should be followed. Of your disinfection plan, staff hand washing guidelines are among the most important. Not just because they are limiting the risk to themselves through maintaining good sanitization practices, but also they are limiting the risk posed to others.

In addition, customers will look to the staff as the example. If the staff are leading through example, generally, other people will follow.

Educate Customer and Clients.

Maintaining transparency about your gyms sanitization policies can help educate people on what sort of protocols they should be following while at your gym and even in their own private day-to-day lives.

Make sure customers know your policies before coming to your gym or facility. Doing this through some simple email reminders can make a big difference as well as keeping your policies posted in your gym.

Additionally, posting your policies on your social media can help as well as people might share it to their network of fellow gym goers which can help in broader adoption of policies for your gym and other gyms.

Fitness Apps are Being Widely Adopted.

Due to shutdowns and general concern over the COVID-19 disease, many gyms and fitness/health facilities adopted technology solutions in order to stay a-float. Much like hygiene standards, the shift to digital fitness by large swaths of the industry will likely stay semi-permanently.

This is one of the biggest expected 2021 fitness trends.

Necessity Drives Adoption.

For the most part, fitness technology that supported virtual fitness was generally adopted by the fitness industry or parts of the industry. For most clubs, offering virtual fitness options was at least a thought.

Now, out of pure necessity, many gyms offer virtual fitness options, such as personalized programs delivered digitally or live fitness classes. It’s actually incredible how fast some clubs adopted fitness technology solutions. Especially when considering some clubs were pretty much purely an in-person facility and they were able to shift to purely digital, at least temporarily.

However, this is something that’s important to pay attention to because it drives consumer behavioral change. As with any new technology, there is typically a broad adoption curve that follows it. COVID has accelerated adoption curves for fitness technologies quite substantially and we are seeing adoption of fitness technologies become mainstream.

Why is this important?

Why this is important to pay attention to as a gym owner or a personal trainer is because the market demands for fitness services will change. Before, in-person services were the main thing people demanded. Whether that was in-person gyms or personal training sessions, people for a large part preferred in-person.

Gym goers were not really acclimated to using virtual fitness solutions such as live fitness classes or digital programs. Don’t get me wrong, there were people using virtual fitness solutions, but a large part of the market was in-person services.

Now, however, these things have been adopted through necessity and have created a new “normal” for many people and communities. Much like what we talked about earlier, the new “normal” will not just go away. In many ways, people and industry such as the fitness industry have changed permanently.

As a gym owner or fitness business owner, it’s your job to stay current with changes in the industry and to adjust your business practices based on how the industry changes.

Now this doesn’t say “completely change your business”. It’s rather saying you can continue doing what you typically do but try to offer a hybrid model at the minimum.

If you are a personal trainer, try offering some live classes, digital programming, and even consider getting your own app.

As a gym, it’s pretty much the same deal. Offering digital services whether it’s fitness video on-demand or better digital infrastructure for delivering fitness services, can help you expand your services and dip your feet in different delivery models. It helps you appeal to a larger crowd and you can still stay within your same niche.

While digital fitness and in-person fitness services can be seen as “different” your niche still applies to a specific market. So really, all you’re doing is appealing to a larger portion of your target market.

Additionally, digital services can be more scalable. If done correctly, you can leverage in-app marketing and marketing funnels to tap into new revenue sources that you didn’t have previously.

Expect Demand to Go Up For Holistic Health Programs.

As we move out of 2020 into 2021, the way we look at fitness has changed and will continue to change. Some changes are hard to point out. Others are a little more obvious like increasing demand for health programs that better encompass bettering the mind and body, holistically.

With the pandemic on everyone’s mind, there has been more emphasis in recent months on doing things that help you maintain a healthy life mentally and physically.

Holistic Health Programs

When you think of a typical fitness program, what do you think of?

Typically, as a coach, you might prescribe a fitness program based on the needs and goals of your client. Your main points of coaching might be in how the client is performing specific exercises and some coaching on what sort of mindset to approach the fitness program with.

Some coaches might advocate for lifestyle changes that benefit the clients health, however, for many coaches, this is not necessarily an explicit point in the fitness program.

When considering holistic fitness and health programs, there is not just coaching in regards to the fitness aspect, there’s a whole new aspect that dives into peoples lives, pulls the roots of bad habits out and re-plants seeds of better habits.

The whole point of holistic programming frameworks is to help people not just better their minds or their bodies but their general well-being.

Through holistic programs, clients learn how to better control bad habits, introduce new ones, and most importantly, re-work their mindset.

Holistic programs place emphasis on bettering overall health, through getting to know the client and helping them with:

• Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.
• Reducing stress in their lives.
• Introducing exercise as a way to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
• Approaching obstacles in life with a positive and realistic mindset.

All of these points (plus some I may be missing) culminate into helping people consistently strive to better themselves.

Holistic Programming is a New Paradigm.

While holistic fitness and health programs change the overall approach to the programming, it also changes many other aspects.

For example, the fitness aspect of it might not alway be primarily focuses on one channel of exercise like a typical fitness program. You might run your client through many different channels of fitness to create a more well rounded fitness program.

Because of this, the nutrition aspect will change too. If you were writing a program for someone focusing on

strength, then you’d probably give them nutrition programming or guidance that serves them best for getting stronger.

However, because holistic fitness and health programs don’t necessarily take that approach, the nutrition guidance would be different as well. It wall really depends on what the client wants.

Holistic Programming and Spiritual Wellness.

In addition to fitness and nutrition aspects, holistic programming can also implement spiritual practices, such as, practicing moments of mindfulness and establishing daily rituals that help you stay focused on what matters to you throughout the day.

For example, for some people, making coffee and sitting in silence with no distractions for 15 – 30 minutes or so may be a daily ritual. Some people may journal about their day at the end of the day with a cup of tea.

It really can be anything that helps you relax, release your stress, and form a clean mind.


2020 definitely set up the fitness industry for a year of change in 2021 (as if there hasn’t been change already). Really what we expect to see in 2021 out of the fitness industry is more adoption of virtual fitness programs and holistic fitness.

If you’re reading this and you aren’t familiar with holistic fitness and/or how to offer virtual fitness solutions, we recommend researching these topics and developing a plan for how you can offer them going into and throughout 2021. While it’s not like you’ll lose your business if you don’t, you are just likely to miss out on opportunities.

Stay tuned to our blog for more articles on topics like virtual fitness business models and holistic fitness programs.

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