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2024 Europe Fitness Trends & Opportunities: Holistic Technology 


Paul Bowman, Wexer CEO, sits down with Bryan O’Rourke, CEO at Core Health and Fitness and President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, to discuss the 2024 Europe fitness trends and opportunities for the fitness industry. Together, they shed light on key insights and developments shaping the industry.

Read more: 2024 Europe Fitness Trends & Opportunities: Holistic Technology 

From the increasing emphasis on health awareness to the integration of technology and the rising demand for personalized experiences, they unpack the transformative forces driving change in the fitness sector, discuss the latest findings from the European fitness trends report, and delve into the strategic considerations for fitness operators looking to thrive in this rapidly evolving environment.

The 2024 EuropeActive/Deloitte European Health & Fitness Market Report serves as a focal point for understanding the current landscape of the industry. The noticeable rise in health awareness among Europeans has been a driving force behind the growth of the European fitness market. As people become more aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, they are increasingly seeking out fitness options to support their goals.

The integration of technology is another significant aspect of the European fitness market. With advancements in digital health and fitness solutions, technology has become increasingly integrated into the fitness industry. From wearable fitness trackers to virtual fitness classes and mobile apps, technology is reshaping how people engage with fitness. This integration not only enhances the overall fitness experience, but also provides valuable data and insights for both consumers and fitness operators.

“I’ve always contended that Europe has the most sophisticated operators in the world. Both in technology adoption and business models.”

~ Bryan O’Rourke, CEO of Core Health & Fitness ~

In 2023, fitness facilities in Europe saw a 12.3% increase in membership, according to the EuropeActive Consumer Survey. This surge in interest brought the total number of gym members to a staggering 63.1 million, up from 56.2 million.

The same survey also revealed the growth in the number of fitness clubs across the continent. Europe’s fitness club numbers rose to 63,830 in 2023, marking a significant increase and demonstrating the sector’s healthy expansion.

The total revenue of the fitness industry also witnessed an impressive growth and reached €28 billion in 2023. The ambitious goal for the future is to increase the number of active members to 100 million.

The American College of Sports Medicine’s International Trends highlights the top fitness trends in Europe:

  • Personal Training
  • High-Intensity Interval Training
  • Small Group Training
  • Weight Loss Programs
  • Body Weight Workouts
  • Functional Fitness Training

These trends signify a pivotal change in health and wellness, highlighting the increasing focus on adaptability, customization, and community engagement. This movement is set to reshape the fitness sector, securing its key role in Europe’s evolving fitness scene.

Strategies To Attack Digital Fitness & Wellness Opportunities

1. Integration of Digital Wellness and Personalization

As the European fitness market stands on the precipice of significant evolution, the merging of digital technology with personalized wellness strategies is reshaping the landscape. The EuropeActive Consumer Survey underscores a marked increase in workout frequency and diversity, reflecting a dynamic shift towards integrated fitness experiences. With projections showing the digital fitness sector’s revenue reaching €14.23 billion by 2024 and wearable technology’s popularity surging, the blend of digital and physical fitness experiences is becoming increasingly central to consumer engagement.

O’Rourke illuminates the journey towards a digitally-transformed fitness industry, where the adoption of robust digital fitness and wellness platforms and digital marketing strategies become critical for clubs to thrive.

“If you already have a digital technology model in a facility and you already have a membership base, you’re not going to spend near as much money acquiring digital customers who are out there looking for digital content and personalized solutions.”

~ Bryan O’Rourke, CEO of Core Health & Fitness

This digital transformation facilitates a deep dive into personalization and customization, catering to the individual holistic demands of today’s fitness enthusiasts. Leveraging data analytics, AI, and machine learning, fitness clubs can now offer highly tailored fitness and wellness content, workout routines, nutrition plans, and more.. This level of customization extends beyond workout programs to the holistic user experience, from interface design to engagement strategies, ensuring fitness apps, websites, and devices are intuitive and seamlessly integrated into daily routines.

By embracing digital innovation and focusing on user-centric design, the fitness industry can enhance engagement, retention, and satisfaction, empowering users to take control of their fitness journeys in uniquely personal ways. As the industry moves forward, staying attuned to societal trends and consumer behaviors will be crucial for operators to seize new opportunities and maintain relevance in a rapidly digitizing world

2. Programming Opportunities 

Within the context of the European fitness market, well-designed programming plays a key role in ensuring the continued relevance and success of fitness clubs. Offering diverse and tailored programming options to cater to the evolving preferences and needs of consumers.

  • Personalized training programs tailored to each client’s specific needs and objectives, fitness clubs can differentiate themselves and provide added value to their members. Personalized training programs.
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) provides members with a more effective workout, delivering results in a shorter amount of time.
  • Small group training offers a balance between the personalized attention of one-on-one training and the camaraderie of working out in a group setting. By providing small group training sessions led by certified instructors, fitness clubs can foster a sense of community while delivering effective and engaging workouts.
  • Weight loss programs are also an essential component of club programming, reflecting the ongoing demand for structured weight management solutions among consumers. By offering comprehensive weight loss programs that combine exercise, nutrition guidance, and accountability support, fitness clubs can attract individuals seeking sustainable and long-term solutions for achieving their weight loss goals. 

Weight Loss Programming Challenges & Opportunities

Weight loss programs are also an essential component of club programming, reflecting the ongoing demand for structured weight management solutions among consumers. By offering comprehensive weight loss programs that combine exercise, nutrition guidance, and accountability support, fitness clubs can attract individuals seeking sustainable and long-term solutions for achieving their weight loss goals. 

O’Rourke highlights a recent report on the new GLP-1 weight loss drugs New Opportunities for Battling Obesity and Driving Growth for the Fitness and Wellness Industry.  The report shares, “GLP-1’s offer remarkable benefits along with potential drawbacks, including excessive loss of lean body mass. This drawback presents a significant opportunity for the fitness and wellness industry to offer strength training and other programs to cater to a previously underserved group intent on losing weight.” 

Weight Loss Programming Suggestions

  • Welcome Environment: Dedicated Private individual and group exercise areas.
  • Body Composition Assessments: Perform on a regular basis to monitor progress.
  • Resistance and Strength Training
  • Dietary advice: Specifically on protein intake. 
  • Certified Personal Trainers and Health Coaches

The cost and accessibility of GLP-1 medications like Ozempic highlight a broader discussion about opportunities in the US and Europe. Health equity is a topic to discuss with the different approaches regarding pharmaceutical reimbursement in the US and European healthcare systems.  

“The United States customer pays as much as 400-600% more on average for the same or suitable pharmaceutical solution.”

~ Bryan O’Rourke, CEO of Core Health & Fitness ~

In the US, where healthcare is largely insurance-based, the reimbursement for these drugs can be complex and varied, with some plans covering them under specific conditions while others may not, making accessibility for patients dependent on their insurance policies. This situation contrasts with many European countries, where national healthcare systems can negotiate drug prices and provide wider access to necessary medications, including for weight loss and diabetes management.

Time To Execute An Operational Excellence Strategy

Finally, O’Rourke underscores the critical importance of executing an operational excellence strategy in the fitness industry by adopting and integrating technology and human capital. Operational excellence should be a strategy for fitness operators to make foundational decisions based on what a business can excel at and the market it aims to serve. 

Align the company’s strengths with market opportunities in a way that’s both sustainable and profitable. This includes leveraging enterprise platforms for automation and ensuring that the team has the talent and skills necessary to deliver on a business value proposition​​.

Implement An Omni-Channel Approach

Omnichannel is a strategy that merges digital and physical member interaction points, including websites, social media, apps, digital content, and the traditional in-club experience, to deliver a ensuring a seamless and integrated fitness journey for members. It focuses on creating a consistent brand presence across all platforms, enabling customers to interact with the brand fluidly. Additionally, it supports personalized customer experiences, enhancing overall satisfaction.

It will be important for fitness operators to adopt an omni-channel approach to meet consumer expectations for personalized fitness experiences accessible across multiple platforms.

“When it comes to personalization, digital and thoughtful user experience design in and out of the club, Omnichannel is going to become the norm.”

~ Bryan O’Rourke, CEO of Core Health & Fitness ~

These insights highlight the multifaceted approach needed to drive growth in the European fitness market by adapting and innovating to remain competitive. O’Rourke and Bowman focus on strategic clarity, market alignment, digital transformation, economic flexibility, and executional excellence. Each will play a crucial role in navigating the complexities of today’s business landscape. By embracing technology, refining programming, and prioritizing tailored offerings, operators can navigate the digital transformation of the industry while effectively meeting the evolving needs of their members.

Ready to learn how to take advantage of the digital technology and wellness opportunities outlined in the 2024 Europe Fitness Trends report? Let us help you enhance your member experience, add virtual technology, and use data and AI to develop your fitness and wellness content strategy. Email usINFO@WEXER.COM

More Information:

Bryan O’Rourke

Core Health & Fitness

Paul Bowman

Europe Digital Live and On-Demand Fitness Trends




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