Posted on April 05, 2019 by Gordon Smith

We explore the latest trends in corporate gym equipment and how companies are responding to the need for more digitally-integrated workouts

Gyms are ever-evolving spaces that need to adapt to new trends. Just as your business needs to respond to changing market needs, so does the gym space. Equipment dates, wears out, goes out of fashion. As technology advances so quickly, equipment can fail to meet the evolving demands of the wearable tech-obsessed gym-goer. Gym users are quick to pick up on an out-of-date vibe in their gym space.

Whether you’re a commercial gym or a corporate gym, the need to attract and retain people is crucial. In almost all studies it is found that employees value aspects such as being appreciated, work-life balance and respect ahead of salary and holiday. The corporate gym can therefore become a key tool to attract and retain the very best people. Not to mention keeping them at the top of their game.

An empty gym at work could have the board questioning their investment. So it’s important to keep employees engaged and happy with the fact their workplace gym is up to date with membership gyms.

Reacting to gym trends

The fitness landscape is constantly evolving, which changes the way we workout. And there certainly has been a lot of change.

Since the fitness boom of the 1980’s, we’ve seen workouts like Jazzercise and Aerobics turn into Zumba, dance cardio and HIIT classes. We’ve also seen a rise in bootcamp-style exercising, the introduction of weights as part of a workout, which has eventually led to functional fitness.

With all these trends, it is still important to ensure the equipment is used regularly enough to get a return on your investment. This is why it’s important to ensure you keep abreast of latest trends and respond accordingly to keep employees using the gym.

The changing fitness landscape

The current thinking in the fitness industry is more space, less equipment. Gym users are increasingly looking to gyms to become more of a multi-choice, flexible workout space.

For example, zoning is very much on-trend in gym spaces at the moment, especially functional zones that are designed to help with functional training programmes. This is very much about better movement and function on a daily level, whilst reducing injury in the long term.

High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is just as popular as ever, so think about how employees can get their HIIT fix at the gym. The beauty of HIIT is that it is by definition fast. It works in bursts of high impact followed by short recovery periods. It’s ideal for employees short on time.

Having said that, cardio is still just as important as ever. Treadmills are making a comeback and people expect to see this equipment work with wearable tech. We are becoming a nation of fitness analysts and progress trackers. It’s important to respond to this demand.

Let’s get digital

The rise of wearable devices and smart phones is also revolutionising they way people workout. In fact, experts predict that the wearable market will be worth $25 billion by 2019. It’s a huge market that is growing more popular by the day.

Even gym equipment is wising-up to the power of wearables and workout tracking and analysis. Technogym, for example, have treadmills with Bluetooth and the ability to sync and connect with iPads.

Its UNITY touchscreen system is a “personal training experience”. It offers simulated outdoor routes as well as access to Skype where you can workout with friends or your personal trainer. It also syncs with smart phones and fitness apps.

Apps are also becoming the expected norm. More gym brands are offering apps as part of the membership package, which can create bespoke workout programmes or encourage friendly competition through performance league tables.

Spin classes are also increasingly using virtual instructors and realtime performance tracking to motivate and drive the class.

Gym-goers want smart technology on fitness equipment and want seamless connectivity with apps or online training programmes. Most, if not all, cardio equipment is web-enabled these days to help enhance the gym experience. So equipment that is made for digital native employees will give you that competitive edge.

Affordable upgrades

If you’re looking to upgrade, there are many ways to ensure you’re not losing money on existing equipment and can help you finance your upgrade.

Current equipment could be sold on to be re-used elsewhere. If you’re coming to the end of a leasing contract, then this is very timely.

Not only that, but some businesses finance their gym through employee contributions. This also helps ensure employee engagement over longer periods of time. Employees become stakeholders in the space and will obviously want to make the most of the gym.

Digital technology is increasingly demanded and expected by all gym-goers. Just because your company is providing the equipment it doesn’t mean your employees will be expecting less. In the highly competitive employment market, companies need to do all they can to attract and hold on to the best employees.

At motive8, we consult, design, install and manage gyms for hotels, businesses, student and private residential accommodation – click here to learn more.