Joel Gottehrer, Co-Founder & COO at Lifepro Fitness.
Demand for fitness and self-care tools for the home was on the cusp of a major renaissance just before 2020. Many consumers across the board, from gym goers for casual walkers, they became increasingly aware of their overall health — and ways to improve it. Fueled by advances in high-tech equipment, integrations, and virtual and augmented reality, the home workout experience was more like that of major gyms than ever before. Consumers wanted products that fit their lifestyle, and a wide variety of them. As a result, a more diverse and high-quality set of home appliances and other tools emerged in markets around the world.
Then came the pandemic, which started the trend of home training a hell of demand for equipment and services those were vital to so many consumers desperate to improve or maintain their health while being forced to stay at home. Faster than ever expected, consumers embraced the change, evolving their lifestyles and reinventing what health and wellness at home could look like. In fact, according to a GoodFirms Survey of 410 people, including fitness professionals and enthusiasts, 44% said they bought appropriate fitness equipment to work out at home after the pandemic started, and 56% said they were still working out at home.
As a personal trainer and the founder of a line of fitness and recovery products for the home, I’ve experienced these trends firsthand.
With the world trying to return to a sense of normalcy, with many revisiting their favorite gyms and leaving behind dusty resistance bands, how can fitness brands stay relevant while continuing to serve their home customers? I believe the answer is hybrid fitness: an integrated mix of virtual, in-person and home health and wellness offerings to support consumers wherever they want to exercise.
Support Home Recovery
Even when people physically return to gyms, they often rest, recover, and address other self-care needs at home after a good workout. According to our survey of 1,000 American adults, 70% practice recovery methods after a workout and 67% practice pre-workout prep prior to. Of With the right tools, this is often more convenient and even easier to achieve at home or at work than the training itself.
Home fitness brands need to find effective ways to support people with equipment that can accelerate warm-up and recovery efforts at home. Even when many return to the gym, they think about reconditioning, injury prevention and overall longevity. Brands can gain invaluable insights from their user feedback, enabling them to quickly adapt with more accessible, creative offerings to meet this demand.
Adapt to more accessible, creative offers
As consumers embrace the benefits of their at-home workouts, more and more inventive ways to engage them are popping up. From gamification to “effort(mixing entertainment with exercise through VR, AI, or other interactive elements), finding ways to engage consumers that align with other activities they enjoy is critical. Fitness equipment and home offerings provide unique opportunities to sync with streaming channels or other lifestyle activities consumers already enjoy, fostering their positive experience and relationship with each brand.
The rise of wearables complements the hybrid fitness approach, giving users the ability to track results both in the gym and at home so they can see the combined results of their efforts. According to GoodFirms, 53.7% of those surveyed said they use a wearable device to track their fitness activity, so ensuring your home fitness resources can sync with these tools is essential for continued loyalty, engagement and ultimately survival in this industry.
What’s more, or should I say less, tools that can support mini-workouts be where it is. Mini-workouts can be ideal for those who are short on time or for those with chronic problems such as fatigue. It’s just a new way of exercising that helps people see potential effects in less time and with a little less effort. These short bursts of five to ten minutes of activity energize both fitness and therapeutic applications, helping people improve their overall quality of life.
Lean into holistic wellness
Home fitness has really expanded its reach over the past two years, 85% of those surveyed by GoodFirms emphasized “the importance of emotional, mental and spiritual health to promote overall physical well-being and quality of life.”
Successful brands must look for ways to integrate their products into a wider range of wellness, looking at all forms of healing, from meditation to skin health, relaxation and sleep, to rehabilitation and recovery.
Hybrid fitness becomes the standard
Many consumers are already thriving during the shift to health and wellness at home, and they are likely to continue to benefit from fitness brands’ increasingly sophisticated tools.
Who will be the brands that will do well? Those with the vision to adapt, innovate and diversify in the concept of hybrid fitness. Brands with a desire to support customers looking to complement or enhance that class or time at the gym. They will gain loyalty by giving consumers more choice, more flexibility and more direction in applying these tools, resulting in better results overall.
Now that home fitness and recovery are a fixture in the health and wellness industry, hybrid fitness is more than a concept or theory – it’s a lifestyle, an integral part of how much people thrive in their daily lives.