Trends versus Trust

Trends | Von Peter van der Steege

17 June 2013 0 reactie

The fitness industry is a trendy world. Trends come and go. When you count all the trends that have been launched globally in the last twelve months, you will get lost. Trends help our industry a lot, but there are cons as well.

Fitness trends do help our industry, for example by keeping us in the media; TV, radio and magazines. They always want to bring news and the trendy fitness industry meets that expectation frequently. By this, it seems that the fitness industry only exists on trends. Nothing less is true: programs like BBB, bodypump, steps and various indoor cycling programs are still very popular, for decades. Trends help our industry by attracting new members. They motivate consumers to start exercising.

But trends can have some negative effects to. Many trendy fitness or training programs are launched without proper research on effects and perhaps side-effects. This contains physiological effects but also effects on motivation and adherence. For example: a large population of members uses vibration training, but little is known on the effects of this kind of training. The same for high intensity interval training. Very trendy and some studies demonstrate positive physiological effects, but we have almost no information on the effects on adherence.

The speed of trends in the fitness industry is so high that is sometimes conflicts with building trust and delivering quality and proven programs for the long term. We need to study our programs in more depth. This can sometimes provide us with unexpected results. Like a study in the nineties that showed that adherence (retention) was higher in group fitness programs with large group (70 – 90) compared to smaller groups (18 – 26). The explanation was that in large groups the participants have more possibilities to create subgroups with the same type of motivation and fitness level.

Let’s keep on innovating and launch new fitness trends, but also study the effects of new programs intensively to build trust for the long term.