By Kiera Carter, Special FBA Contributor
Sponsored by Wix Fit
Every decade has a workout trend that defines it. The 90s were all about the VHS workout. Road races surged in popularity in the aughts. And the 2010s are known for the boutique studio boom. The 2020s will be defined by hybrid fitness.
You’ve heard of hybrid fitness, but here’s the official definition, so we’re all on the same page: Hybrid fitness is a mix of traditional in-person workouts, like those done at a gym or fitness studio, and virtual sessions. This blend became a necessity during the pandemic as people reduced their social interactions and started doing just about everything at home, including working out.
But many trainers are asking themselves, how long will this movement last? Will people just go back to their gym routines once COVID-19 rates start declining for real?
My theory, as someone who reports on fitness industry trends? No. Two years is a long time. Long enough for people to develop new habits—habits that stick. Many people invested big bucks in their home gyms and got used to life without a commute. Even personally, I traded my daily gym sessions for at-home workouts on my smart training system—and I’m a big fan of group fitness. Even still, my favorite fitness classes are a weekly treat more than a daily habit.
In my mind, the question isn’t “does hybrid fitness have staying power?” It does. Almost half of businesses on Wix Fit created since 2020 are either hybrid or completely virtual, and they doubled their revenue in 2021. One yoga teacher recently told me that she’s found more ways to serve her community online, in that she’s able to offer more specialized sessions that she wouldn’t have dedicated studio space to before. Another trainer was able to take on more clients since he no longer needed to commute to each session.
So, the question instead is How do I adapt my business to this long-term change in the market? Some advice, based on our data at Wix Fit:
Video is an absolute must.
You can build your video library using Wix Fit and easily integrate Zoom into your bookings calendar. But the quality of your content matters…a lot. There are millions of workout videos online. What makes yours stand out? Check out our piece on how to shoot video like a professional producer for some advice on this front. For instance, you’ll need to bring extra energy to your video workouts to make up for the physical distance.
Hybrid fitness isn’t just about working out at home or in the gym.
It’s about working out anywhere. A mobile app, like Fit by Wix, will help your clients keep up with those video workouts wherever they go.
Embrace online programs and challenges.
These were popular long before COVID-19, thanks to online trainers like Kayla Itsines and the Tone It Up Girls, but they became a necessity during the pandemic. Online programs and fitness challenges allow your clients to follow a plan on their own time, outside of their in-person sessions with you. FYI, you can build these on your Wix Fit site.
The best trainers will create compressive training plans that take people’s new schedules, equipment, and concerns into consideration.
Your clients aren’t only working out with you…and that’s actually a really good thing. Say COVID-19 rates are spiking in your area. Can you switch your in-person sessions to virtual ones until they level off a bit? This is not the time to be stuck in your ways.
Kiera is a certified personal trainer and the editor of Wix Fit. In a past life, she was the executive digital editor of Shape magazine and has held editorial positions at Women’s Health, Fitness, Prevention, and Men’s Health. She’s been reporting on health and fitness topics for over a decade. She lives, runs, boxes, and hikes in New York.