The pandemic has had a massive influence on the fitness industry. Gym closures across the country forced consumers to reinvent how they take care of themselves. With the rise of at-home fitness, the future of gyms is somewhat uncertain.
Prepare your gym for the post-COVID world by investing in new types of fitness technology. These investments will help you retain members and get them excited about visiting your facilities.
Keep reading to learn:
- 10 must-haves fitness technology and gym equipment that are worth investing in
- The benefits of adding digital signage to your gym
- How UPshow makes it easier to modernize your fitness centers
1. Digital signage
Adding digital signage to your gym is one of the most effective ways to make it stand out. Screens powered by a digital signage solution can significantly improve your members’ experience in several ways.
To start, digital signage helps inform your members. You can use digital signs to share information about upcoming classes, your health and safety requirements and workout suggestions.
Digital signs your guests engaged while working out. For example, you can use digital signs to display pictures of workouts your members have posted on social media. You can also offer a wide variety of engaging entertainment channels to your guests, including news, sports and reality TV.
But digital signage can do more than keep your members engaged while at your gyms. It can also be a super-effective, new marketing channel for your company. You can use digital signage to display promotions that you’re running and advertise the products that you sell in your gym store, among other things.
2. Next-gen wearable technologies
The global wearable technology market already tops $32.63 billion. Analysts project it to grow even more in the coming years. Consumers find wearable tech valuable because they want to understand their fitness journeys on deeper levels. Wearable devices allow people to track progress over time. They can measure improvements in:
- Resting heart rate
- Endurance, speed and strength
The next generation of wearable technology will generate even more powerful insights as your guests progress on their fitness journeys. Selling them at your gym could make it a more attractive place for your members to workout.
There are a few ways to do that. You could purchase a set of wearable devices for users to wear while working out at your gym. Or you could update your existing services to make them compatible with wearable technology. By ensuring that your machines offer wearable technology integrations, you create new ways for your personal trainers to coach guests.
3. Smart gym equipment
Investing in smart gym equipment is the perfect first step towards creating a technologically inclined fitness center. These machines enable your members to connect with their preferred fit-tech solution. With that capability, your guests will be able to track their workout data over time regardless of where they work out on a day-to-day basis.
You don’t necessarily have to purchase all-new equipment to make this happen either. Startup companies like GYMSYM have built sensors that will retrofit existing machines with smart capabilities for a fraction of the price.
4. Gamified workouts
The gamification of workouts is a booming trend in the at-home fitness industry. Companies like Peloton have built multi-billion-dollar empires on the simple premise that workouts are more fun when they’re part of a game. This usually means turning a workout into a competition to see who can perform the best.
Adding gamified workouts to your gym could increase your members’ loyalty. They may be more likely to visit you consistently if you display real-time leaderboards on TV screens to encourage your guests’ spirit of competition.
Investing in wearable technologies will make this easier to achieve. But adding gamified workouts to your fitness center could also be as simple as purchasing machines for your members to use that include a built-in gamified fitness component.
5. Smart scales
Every gym needs scales so that its members can track their weight over time. But you can help your fitness center stand out from the competition by investing in smart scales that offer enhanced capabilities.
Smart scales are essentially just scales that connect with a smartphone. But they offer a bunch of additional features that traditional scales don’t. For example, a member can use a smart scale to track their:
- Basal metabolic rate (BMR)
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Body fat percentage
- Body water percentage
- Muscle mass
- And more
By offering smart scales, you give your members even more information about their fitness journey they won’t get anywhere else.
Smart scales aren’t super expensive either. You can purchase them for as little as $20 each.
6. Virtual reality coaching and classes
Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging technology with serious potential for the fitness industry. Big-name brands like Pure Fitness and Virgin Active are using it already to simulate the experience of personal training from anywhere in the world.
A fitness enthusiast can put on a VR device and connect with their personal trainer or take a class while at home or on the road. Consumers have grown more comfortable with working out at home through the experience of COVID-19. Investing in VR coaching and classes could help your gym continue reaching guests that prefer to continue their fitness journeys from home.
7. Online coaching
Online coaching became a necessity for gyms impacted by COVID-19 closures. But don’t expect the trend to die down now that fitness centers are reopening in the United States.
Across all industries, people are looking for services that offer greater flexibility. Online coaching is one of the best ways for gyms to respond to this growing consumer sentiment.
When your gym offers online coaching and classes, it gives its guests the ability to workout anywhere and any time that they wish. That’s a fantastic way to differentiate your company from the competition and to keep it front and center in its members’ fitness journeys.
8. Classes with a sense of community
Younger generations want to do more than work out by themselves. They crave interactive experiences and love to share those experiences with their friends. Integrating entertainment into your fitness classes offers the perfect solution. Look to companies like SoulCycle for inspiration.
Companies like SoulCycle excel because they offer a sense of community to their members. Your gym may want to look into doing something similar. If your guests enjoy themselves while completing your fitness classes, they’re much more likely to return to them in the future.
9. Fitness technology that enables recovery
Post-workout recovery is super important. The recovery time between workouts allows the body to repair micro-tears in muscles, reduce inflammation and increases performance in future workouts. Recovery takes time, but tools like percussive therapy devices can speed up the process. Percussion therapy devices are a new technology that can help your members get more out of their post-workout recovery.
These devices apply targeted pressure to massage sore, tired muscle. By reaching deep layers of muscle, these devices help speed up recovery.
When your guests use a percussive therapy device, they reduce their pain, increase blood flow to targeted areas and reduce muscle inflammation. Making these devices available to your members could make them more likely to continue working out at your fitness center. You can even advertise them on digital signage so that more of your members engage with them.
Float tanks are another fitness technology that can improve your guests’ post-workout recovery process. You’ll fill up these tanks with water and magnesium sulfate. The magnesium sulfate works to relax sore muscles and build up proteins in the joints. This leads to an accelerated recovery time.
Adding float tanks to your gym could make it stand out from the competition. They could even be a new source of revenue for your company. You could charge guests a small fee each time that they use the tank to pay yourself back for the investment you make when purchasing them.
10. A total fitness mobile application
The modern fitness enthusiast wants to track every part of their health and fitness journey. Your gym can take advantage of this trend by developing a total mobile fitness application for its members.
For example, F45 Studio has developed an app that includes daily meal plans, calorie trackers and even meal delivery. Investing in an app with capabilities like these can ensure that your guests remain in your fitness center’s ecosystem while working towards their fitness goals. Plus, advertising your helpful new app is easy with digital signage! You can track interest by including a QR code with your messaging. The QR code can deliver guests directly to the app download page, lowering the friction for your members while giving you plenty of information about engagement
Modernize your gym is easier with UPshow
Modernizing your gym is easier with UPshow
If you have to start with just one new investment in fitness technology, digital signage is the way to go. Digital signs provide new avenues of engagement, allowing you to communicate more effectively to your members about all your gym’s offerings. They also make it much easier for you to advertise personal training sessions, class sign-ups and products from your gym store.
UPshow makes bringing digital signage to your gym a breeze. We offer more than 500 channels of entertainment to choose from, along with several powerful marketing features to help your gym grow.