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2024 Group Fitness Trends & Strategies To Leverage Growth 


In 2024, several group fitness trends are shaping the fitness landscape. This article explores the growth of group fitness, emerging trends based on recent research, and strategies that fitness facilities can adopt to stay ahead in this dynamic industry. Group fitness has evolved tremendously over the past few years, moving beyond traditional aerobic classes to incorporate advanced digital solutions and innovative workout techniques.

Read more: 2024 Group Fitness Trends & Strategies To Leverage Growth 

The Growing Fitness Industry

The fitness industry continues to expand at a remarkable rate, with an annual growth rate of approximately 8.7%​​. This growth is driven by an increasing awareness of health and fitness, the proliferation of specialized fitness centers, and the rise of digital fitness solutions. The global health and fitness club market is projected to grow from $112.17 billion in 2023 to $202.78 billion by 2030​​, reflecting the sustained demand for fitness services.

Number of Classes and Instructors

In 2022, an estimated 5.6 million classes were taught by ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructors, highlighting the high demand for group fitness classes​​. This demand is supported by the retention rates in group fitness facilities, which average around 73%, indicating that these classes effectively keep members engaged and motivated​​​​.

Consumer Behavior & Motivation

Consumer behavior studies show that individuals who prefer group exercise are primarily motivated by a sense of belonging and competition​​. This underscores the importance of creating a community atmosphere in group fitness classes, where participants can feel connected and driven by the group dynamic.

Digital Fitness Impact

The impact of digital fitness solutions cannot be overstated. These solutions are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.1% between 2021 and 2027​​. Digital fitness platforms offer the flexibility of taking classes anytime, anywhere, and provide data-driven insights that help personalize workouts and improve member retention​​.

1. Digital Transformation

The digital transformation of group fitness is a major trend for 2024. The convenience and accessibility of online fitness classes has driven significant growth in this sector. Virtual classes are not only convenient but also cost-efficient, allowing fitness facilities to reduce overhead costs and scale operations more effectively​​.

2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT continues to be a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts. It combines short bursts of intense activity with periods of rest, making it an efficient workout for those with limited time. The global HIIT market is expected to reach $13.04 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 9.96%​​.

3. Inclusivity and Diversity

Inclusivity and diversity are becoming increasingly important in the fitness industry. Fitness facilities are adapting to cater to a diverse range of members, including different age groups, ethnicities, and fitness levels. This approach not only broadens the customer base but also fosters a more inclusive community​​.

4. Personalized Fitness Experiences

Personalization is another key trend. Using data from wearable technology and fitness apps, instructors can tailor workouts to meet the individual needs of participants. This personalized approach enhances the fitness experience and improves member retention​​.

5. Hybrid Fitness Models

The hybrid fitness model, which combines in-person and online classes, is gaining traction. This model offers the best of both worlds, providing the social interaction of in-person classes and the convenience of digital workouts. It also allows fitness facilities to reach a broader audience​​.

Strategies for the Future of Group Fitness with Mel Tempest 

Paul Bowman chats with industry expert Mel Tempest, a keynote speaker, podcaster, fitness business advisor, and founder of Ballarat Body and Soul Health and Fitness Studio. Mel was well into her 30s before she entered a gym, yet shortly after her first class, she went on to become an aerobics instructor and a fitness industry powerhouse. 

In the rapidly evolving world of fitness, group exercise remains a vibrant and integral part of many people’s health and wellness routines. Despite occasional claims about its decline, group fitness is not just surviving; it’s thriving and expanding in exciting new directions. 

Group fitness is experiencing a renaissance fueled by a deeper understanding of community needs, a renewed emphasis on mentorship, the smart integration of technology, and a commitment to inclusivity. Let’s explore how these elements are crucial for the continued growth and evolution of group fitness.

Emphasizing Health and Wellness

Beyond physical fitness, there is a growing emphasis on overall health and wellness. Fitness facilities can incorporate trends for wellness programs that address mental health, nutrition, and lifestyle habits. Offering workshops, seminars, and one-on-one coaching sessions can help members achieve a holistic approach to their health​​.

Leverage Digital Technology

To stay competitive, fitness facilities should leverage digital fitness solutions. Offering virtual classes and utilizing data-driven insights to personalize workouts can enhance member engagement and retention. Digital platforms also allow for scalability and cost efficiency, making it easier to reach a wider audience​​​​.

Technology’s role in transforming group fitness is undeniable. From streaming workouts to integrating wearable technology, digital advancements are making fitness more accessible and engaging. Tempest discusses the potential of technology to transform fitness centers, envisioning a future where clubs are more automated and personalized fitness experiences are enhanced through technolgy solutions. 

“I think as an industry we need to expose more products to club owners.”

~ Mel Tempest, Fitness Business Advisor and Founder of Ballarat Body and Soul Health and Fitness Studio ~

For example, apps and virtual platforms allow participants to engage with workouts either in a live group setting or from the comfort of their homes, catering to the growing demand for flexible fitness solutions. Moreover, data collected from these technologies can help fitness providers tailor their offerings to better meet the specific needs and progress of their clients.

Incorporate Advanced Technologies

Integrating advanced technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), can make workouts more immersive and engaging. These technologies can transform traditional workouts into exciting experiences that keep participants motivated and coming back for more​​.

Enhance Accessibility

Making group fitness classes accessible anytime and anywhere is crucial. This can be achieved by offering a mix of live and on-demand classes that members can access from their homes or while traveling. Ensuring that classes are available on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs, can also enhance accessibility​​.

Understand and Serve Community Needs

Creating a sense of community is essential for retaining members. Fitness facilities can achieve this by encouraging interaction among participants, both in-person and online. Social media groups, community events, and interactive virtual classes can help build strong connections among members​​.

The key to the longevity of group fitness lies in truly understanding and catering to the needs of the community. Tempest highlights that the perceived threat to group fitness often stems from a misalignment between what is offered and what the community actually needs or wants. 

“Your group fitness business model is only under threat when those who are running it don’t really understand the demographic and the community.”

~ Mel Tempest, Fitness Business Advisor and Founder of Ballarat Body and Soul Health and Fitness Studio ~

By aligning fitness offerings with the demographic and cultural characteristics of the community, fitness centers can create programs that resonate more deeply with participants, encouraging regular attendance and fostering a loyal community. This means not only offering classes that people enjoy but also scheduling them at times that are convenient and creating an environment where every member feels welcomed and valued.

Offer Diverse and Inclusive Programs

To cater to a diverse clientele, fitness facilities should offer a wide range of classes that accommodate different fitness levels, age groups, interests, and cultural backgrounds. This includes offering classes in various languages and ensuring that facilities are accessible to people with disabilities​​.

Perhaps one of the most significant shifts in group fitness is the move towards greater inclusivity. Inclusivity in fitness means creating spaces that welcome individuals of all ages, sizes, genders, and backgrounds. Tempest notes the importance of embracing every individual’s fitness journey, ensuring that everyone, from the elite athlete to the complete beginner, feels they have a place in the fitness community. This inclusivity extends to embracing different communities, promoting gender equality, and accommodating different physical abilities and health needs.

“Boomers have plenty of money to spend. We need to be thinking about them and not treating them like they’re in a wheelchair.”

~ Mel Tempest, Fitness Business Advisor and Founder of Ballarat Body and Soul Health and Fitness Studio ~

There is a growing significance of addressing the needs of aging populations within the fitness sphere and recognizing the demographic shift towards an increasingly older demographic worldwide. Designing inclusive and accessible fitness solutions will empower older adults to prioritize their health, well-being, and quality of life as they age. By integrating evidence-based practices and specialized programming tailored to the unique physiological and psychosocial needs of aging individuals, fitness professionals can facilitate positive aging experiences and promote lifelong vitality and independence.

Inclusivity also means addressing and incorporating diverse forms of fitness that appeal to various cultural interests and modalities. Whether it’s dance-based classes, strength training, aquatic workouts, or yoga, offering a variety of classes can cater to a broader audience and foster a more inclusive community atmosphere.

Utilize The Power of Mentorship

Another trend revitalizing group fitness is the focus on mentorship. Seasoned instructors are increasingly taking newer trainers under their wing, not just teaching them the ropes but also instilling in them a passion for fitness and community building. 

“Select role models who walk their talk. Don’t get caught up in the fanfare of social media.”
Mel Tempest, Fitness Business Advisor and Founder of Ballarat Body and Soul Health and Fitness Studio

This mentorship extends beyond simple instruction—it’s about building confidence, sharing experiences, and fostering a supportive network within the fitness industry. This approach not only helps in grooming the next generation of fitness leaders but also ensures that the essence and quality of group fitness instruction are preserved and enhanced.

A Bright Future For Group Fitness Ahead

The future of group fitness is bright, driven by the ongoing digital transformation and an increased focus on personalization, inclusivity, and community. By leveraging digital solutions, enhancing accessibility, and incorporating advanced technologies, fitness facilities can stay ahead in this competitive industry. 

As we move into 2024, these trends and strategies will shape the group fitness landscape, offering exciting opportunities for growth and innovation.

By understanding and adapting to these trends, fitness facilities can not only attract and retain members but also provide a superior fitness experience that meets the evolving needs of their clientele. The key to success lies in staying flexible, embracing new technologies, and continuously engaging with the fitness community.

Group fitness can continue to grow and serve as a vital component of public health and wellbeing by listening to the feedback from both participants and trainers, continuously updating and innovating the class offerings, and keeping a pulse on technological advancements. 

About Ballarat Fitness 

Ballarat Fitness provides an extensive timetable of classes, as well as personal training, small group training, and a spacious, diverse, and well-equipped gym floor. Add to this their awesome team, flexible terms, and supportive community and they offer everything anyone could want in a club.

Elevate your fitness business by tuning in to hear Mel share insights about marketing to the wealthy Boomer demographic, how education empowers, the impact future regulations may have on the fitness industry, and what 2024 has in store for her.

Additional Resources:

Wexer Virtual Fitness

Gym Owners Fitness Business Podcast

Mel Tempest on LinkedIn



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