From getting your heart rate up in an Amazon jungle to training like LeBron to tiny tools that work out all the knots, fitness centers are using technology to provide a superior experience for members. Below are five fitness center innovations that may be coming to gym or recreation center near you.
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Virtual reality technology is starting to permeate many aspects of life. The fitness industry is no different. Fitness centers are using VR headsets to allow members to pedal or run through a variety of settings including mountain passes, tropical rainforests, or the Boston Marathon. A company called VirZOOM has developed a VR exercise bike that allows you to navigate a variety of landscapes and even fly on a Pegasus, all while burning calories. Of course, VR tools can be combined with fitness tracking technology to monitor a variety of data points, including heart rate.
In speaking of fitness tracking, fitness centers are taking a page from the personal fitness industry and integrating wearable technology into their program offerings. Examples of this trend are emerging across the United States, including at CKO Kickboxing, which uses punch trackers to measure punch count as well as the speed and strength of punches. Some gyms are using clothing with sensors to monitor an athlete’s form and technique while performing certain exercises.
Wearable technology is also being used to gamify exercise activities. Orangetheory has become famous for using sensors to track calories burned and posting them on the big boards during workouts.
Wearable technology can be connected to apps allowing members to check their progress and physical conditioning over a series of workouts.
Fitness consumers are focusing on recovery as much as the workout itself. Gyms, whether boutique fitness palaces or community recreation centers, are meeting the demand by dedicating a portion of their space to a variety of innovative recovery tools. This includes gear like the Theragun G3, a handheld device that provides deep muscle treatment by using percussive force. The Theragun G3 is said to create blood flow in the treated area and avoid the pain of massage.
Other recovery innovations finding their way to fitness centers include IV drip stations, high tech compression stockings that massage limbs while you are wearing them, and the Hypersphere Mini. The latter is a pocket-sized sphere with enough power to provide a deep tissue massage.
Sports Performance Training
An emerging trend in the fitness industry is gyms that not only offer traditional workout classes and tools but also provide opportunities to train like pro athletes. High end facilities such as the The Bridge Sports Complex in Bridgeport, WV have areas designed to help members improve their speed, strength, and agility.
Certain gyms include turf areas, 60-yard dash tracks, power hurdles, and 3D body scanning (a tool to test fitness metrics) among their amenities, and at the Athletic Republic chain of gyms, members have access to innovative treadmills used to increase speed and build endurance.
Fitness Beyond the Gym
Finally, fitness centers are starting to recognize the importance of building a lifestyle for their members. This helps keep members in shape and deepen their connection to the gym. Fitness centers are hosting classes in parks, providing meet and greets for members, and developing competitions like the ones that members of F45 gyms take part in against other gyms. Fitness centers like Barre3 offer weekend fitness retreats. SoulCycle integrated live DJs into workout classes in certain locations.
If your recreation center has a fitness component, engaging members with innovation is critical to outpacing the competition. To receive other recreation center management tips or to enhance the performance your recreation or fitness center, contact us today at 727-474-3845.