The Top Fitness Center Trends of 2024

From hospitality infused design to data driven programming, here’s what’s trending at fitness centers in 2024.

As the focus on longevity and well-being continues to rise in today’s culture, staying up to date on fitness trends is imperative for commercial success. Consumer demands surrounding programming and services are continuing to evolve, and it’s up to the fitness industry to match those needs. Arch Amenities Group provides design and development consulting as well as strategic planning, operations management, customer experience enhancement, and more to more than 140 fitness facilities across the United States, incorporating data and trends into each location to ensure peak performance and results. Here, discover the latest trends Arch experts are seeing shape the fitness industry in 2024, equipping gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs to stay ahead of the curve and keep members engaged and motivated. 

What Are The Top Fitness Center Trends For 2024? 

1. Hospitality Infused Design 

With more than 113,000 gym, health and fitness clubs operating in the U.S., many facilities have taken to elevating their offerings to stand out in a saturated market. For example, when Arch Amenities was designing Fit@320, an Arch-managed fitness center in Chicago, the team opted for high end finishes not only in the center’s locker rooms but in the facility itself, creating an element of luxury not typically found in a gym environment. Beyond that, research shows guests are more inclined to stay in an environment that feels comfortable and welcoming. By infusing design elements from high end hospitality locations and brands, guests are more likely to increase their length of stay and frequency of visits.  

2. Combat Sport Workouts and Classes 

Fitness fans that have spent time online recently have likely seen an uptick in combat sport content. Pinterest reports that in 2023, search terms like mixed martial arts training and karate kumite increased by 200 and 190 percent respectively, while on TikTok, #boxing had more than 140 billion views by the end of 2023. In response, fitness centers are capitalizing on the trend as well. The Playground, a 35,000-square-foot Arch facility in New York City’s iconic Seagram Building, offers a Fight Club series as one of its complimentary fitness programs. Taught by world-ranked fighters and former Olympians, members of all levels can explore classes in Mixed Martial Arts (or MMA), Muy Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

3. Increased Recovery Options 

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are increasingly recognizing the importance of proper recovery for maximizing the effectiveness of workouts and achieving optimal results. Focusing on recovery and increasing recovery time post-exercise offers both physiological and psychological benefits, and as such, fitness centers and gyms have begun offering recovery opportunities to members. At Worldgate Athletic Club and Spa, an Arch Amenities facility in Herndon, VA, club members can enjoy Hydro Massage and CryoLounge chairs to recover after a workout, which utilize water, temperature, and muscle stimulation to increase circulation in the body, reduce and prevent soreness and stiffness, and more. 

4. Gamification and Virtual Reality Workouts 

An estimated 1 to 2 million people work out in virtual reality monthly, many of which are utilizing apps that incorporate gamification into their exercise offerings. Gamification is the idea that adding fun and competitive components to workout routines will inspire people to achieve their fitness objectives and maintain a healthy lifestyle. On Meta Quest, the virtual reality (VR) headset from Meta, 28 applications tagged “workout” are available to download, but almost all VR experiences require some level of physical activity. Though gyms provide everything needed to create an effective fitness routine, there are some scenes and experiences only available in virtual reality. To address this, many health clubs are adding gamification elements to group fitness classes and offering virtual reality experiences where applicable, keeping members engaged and providing them the option to try something new without the commitment of purchasing it themselves. 

5. Functional Fitness Options 

With interest overall well-being and holistic wellness on the rise, it’s no surprise that functional fitness training is trending as well. While there will always be fitness enthusiasts interested in HIIT workouts and bodybuilding, most gym goers are interested in ensuring they’re strong enough to live a fully functional, healthy and active lifestyle. Functional fitness focuses on exercises that mimic real-life movements and enhance overall functionality, like squats and lunges. Several large fitness chains including LA Fitness and Planet Fitness offer functional training circuits and classes, and even celebrities are hopping on the trend with brands like Pvolve, Jennifer Aniston’s functional movement company. 

RELATED STORIES: What Are The Top Hotel Spa Trends for 2024? 

6. Cross Generational Marketing, Programming, and Equipment 

A recent report from Upmetrics revealed that the average age of a gym member in health clubs and fitness centers ranges from 20 to 64 years old, so if your facility isn’t offering (and promoting) programming and equipment accessible for a variety of age groups, you’re leaving money on the table. The Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center, an Arch-managed health club in Pennsylvania, not only offers youth programming such as swim lessons and summer camps, but also offers the Cameron Kids program, babysitting services for children up to 11 years old, so parents can utilize the facilities without worrying about finding a sitter. They also offer a host of low impact group exercise classes suitable for seniors. 

7. Data Driven Programming 

Most gym management softwares offer valuable member insights by tracking usage patterns like peak hours, preferred equipment, popular classes, and retail purchases. This data allows facilities to optimize offerings and cater to member needs. Leading fitness centers, however, take data utilization a step further with advanced tools that can monitor and optimize the success of a member’s workout. Worklife Wellbeing, an Arch-managed facility at Merchandise Mart in Chicago, offers guests technology from DariMotion, InBody, and MyZone to track personal data such as heart rate, motion analysis, body composition and more to gain personalized insights they can use to tailor their workout routines for optimal results. Profiles by Arch, a first of its kind, data-driven insights tool from Arch Amenities Group, pairs current mobility data with Experian Mosaic® segmentation to anticipate the behaviors, attitudes, and preferences of club members so fitness facilities can create compelling and targeted programming designed to engage their specific population. 

8. Increased Focus on Overall and Holistic Well-Being 

According to McKinsey & Company, 82 percent of U.S. consumers now consider wellness—including health, sleep, fitness, nutrition, appearance, and mindfulness—a top or important priority in their everyday lives. One Arch Amenities facility in New York City, Fit@Ease, has witnessed this shift over recent years and adjusted its offerings accordingly. The fitness center was developed with a massage room that went underutilized for two years. Upon noticing its lack of utilization, the team at Fit@Ease repurposed the room into a Self-Guided Meditation and Recovery Room, equipping it with a Tatami mat, meditation pillows, a yoga mat and blocks, Hyperice massage tools, Privai muscle therapy lotion, and a speaker for guest use. The new offer is available as an add on to standard membership, and the once hidden room now has bookings two to three times per day and is a key selling point during club tours.

9. Biohacking 

Biohacking—referred to by some as “DIY biology”—is a growing trend that empowers individuals to optimize their health and performance by incorporating various methods from biology, genetics, neuroscience, and nutrition. Fitness centers and health clubs are embracing this movement with tools and technology ranging from more common experiences like cold plunges and red light therapy to more unique options like Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMFs) and Neurofeedback therapies. Some facilities, such as Upgrade Labs, focus entirely on biohacking options and do not offer traditional fitness training options. By tracking their health markers and experimenting with diverse approaches, “biohackers” create personalized routines for maximum efficiency, paving the way for a healthier, more energized lifestyle. 

10. Purposeful Partnerships 

Strategic partnerships boost a fitness center’s credibility by associating with established brands while simultaneously expanding their reach to a new but relevant audience. Many gyms and health clubs have taken to collaborating with local doctors offices to offer integrated services like physical therapy and nutrition coaching, in addition to partnering with retailers that offer healthy products like supplements or snacks that appeal to members and increase retail sales. Arch Amenities Group has partnered with Les Mills and Trainerize to produce Exceed by Arch Digital, an app that offers members access to one-on-one coaching from a network of personal trainers and registered dietitians, curated world-class wellness and recovery programs, and on demand group fitness classes. Another partnership Arch has is with Forbes to create service level standards for our corporate, residential, and hospitalitybased fitness centers to elevate the guest experience. All of these partnerships elevate the Arch brand and provide Arch locations additional access to the tools they need to exceed the expectations and needs of their members and curate an environment that members want to return to.

While fitness trends may come and go, one thing is certain: health will never go out of style. Ensuring your facility offers the latest and greatest in health and wellness amenities will increase utilization across the board. Reach out to Arch Amenities Group to make the most of your space today. 

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