2009 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends

14th Annual Trends Data:

2009 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends

How to Read the Numbers

The percentage (%) reflects the number of survey respondents who answered yes to a given survey question. All percentages have been rounded up at 0.5 and down at 0.4. Percentages do not necessarily total 100, because of multiple or missing responses.

The mean, or average, is all of the answers added together and then divided by the number of respondents. An average can be influenced by extremely high and extremely low numbers. In some cases, the extremely high and extremely low responses were eliminated to present a more accurate number.

The median is the midpoint, meaning that half of the respondents answered above and half answered below. A median is useful because, unlike an average, it is not influenced by high and low extremes.

Methodology

In February 2009, four e-mails were sent to IDEA business and program director members who gave IDEA permission to contact them. Respondents linked to a Web-based survey. There were 130 completed questionnaires from the United States and Canada, for a 7% response rate. At a 95% confidence level, the margin of error is ±5%.

Survey Respondents

The demographics of the businesses where the respondents work.

  • According to industry definitions,“multipurpose”health clubs have fitness facilities and racquet courts.“Fitness-only” health clubs have fitness (group exercise and/or a fitness center with equipment), but no racquet courts. Either type of club may have a swimming pool or a gymnasium.
  • Respondents were 55% owners, 7% general managers, 27% fitness directors and 8% group fitness directors/coordinators. The rest had a variety of titles.
GEOGRAPHIC REGION  
West USA 34%
North Central USA 24
South USA 19
Northeast USA 15
Canada 9
LOCATION OF BUSINESS  
Large city 40%
Small city or town 37
Suburb 18
Rural area 5
TYPE OF BUSINESS  
Yoga or Pilates studio 17%
Personal training gym 16
Multipurpose health club 12
Fitness-only health club 11
College/university 9
YMCA/YWCA/JCC 9
Corporate fitness center 7
Parks or recreation program 5
Personal training in trainer’s home 4
Group exercise studio 4
Hospital fitness center 4
Personal training in clients’ homes 2
No facility, satellite classes 2
NUMBER OF MEMBERS/CLIENTS  
Mean 3,394
Median 300
 
Under 300 47%
300–1,499 21
1,500–3,499 8
3,500 and above 23
APPROXIMATE SIZE OF FACILITY, IN SQUARE FEET  
Mean 22, 494
Median 2,700
 
Under 2,500 48%
2,500–9,999 18
10,000–31,999 16
32,000 and above 19
Customer Profile

How owners and managers describe their clients.

  • Percentages in this section are likely the respondents’ estimates or observations. Respondents may not have had reference data.
  • Owing to respondents’ estimations or to rounding, the estimated percentages do not equal 100%.
AVERAGE FITNESS EXPERIENCE OF CLIENTS
Beginners 35%
Intermediate 46
Advanced 19
AVERAGE AGE OF MEMBERS/CLIENTS
Under 18 years 6%
18-34 20
35-44 24
45-54 26
55-64 18
65 or older 12
Program Profile

How owners and managers describe their businesses and programs.

BUSINESS FACTS

  • 37% have a swimming pool available for fitness classes.
  • 47% sell products or have a pro shop.
  • 35% charge dues plus a separate fee for some classes or programs.
  • 52%ask clients to pay for individual sessions/classes or packages of sessions/classes.
  • 29% ask clients to pay monthly dues.
  • 19% ask clients to pay annual membership dues.

WEEKLY PROGRAM SCHEDULE
Number of sessions conducted and number of classes scheduled per week.

  Mean Median
Personal training sessions 68 40
Group exercise classes 39 30
Pilates or yoga classes 14 10

WEEKLY NUMBER OF PERSONAL TRAINING SESSIONS
Counting all the trainers, how many personal training sessions do you conduct in an average week?

1-9 sessions 11%
10-19 13
20-29 17
30-49 15
50 or more 45

AVERAGE CLASS PARTICIPATION
How many people attend an average group fitness class or an average yoga or Pilates class?

  Group Exercise Yoga or Pilates
Mean 14 13
Median 12 10
 
1-9 participants 36% 46%
10-19 participants 40 33
20-29 participants 16 14
30-49 participants 8 7

AVERAGE LENGTH OF CLASSES AND SESSIONS
How much time do you schedule for these activities?

  30 minutes 45 minutes 60 minutes 90 minutes
Personal training sessions 32% 17% 63% 3%
Group exercise classes 14 23 59 5
Pilates or yoga classes 6 14 59 7
Programs and Activities
  • Personal training is once again the topranked program offered, with 91% of respondents providing individualized instruction for their clientele.
  • Boot camp classes, both indoor and outdoor, have experienced a significant growth over the past 9 years.
  • In the group exercise room, combination/ hybrid classes have experienced the largest decline, while dance has demonstrated the largest growth.
  • The numbers of fitness professionals using online client reminders and online training programs have increased over the years.
  • The term combined means that subcategories have been added together. “Personal training, combined” adds together one-on-one, 2 clients share and small-group. “Strength training, group, combined” includes no music, background music and choreographed to music. “Aerobics, combined” adds together high-, low- and mixed-impact

MOST FREQUENTLY OFFERED PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

Do you offer the program? % of all respondents
Personal training, combined 91%
Personal training, adult, one-on-one 89
Strength training in group, combined 83
Strength training, individual, nongroup 81
Fitness assessment 81
Stretching and/or flexibility 81
Personal training, 2 clients share 79
Abdominals 71
Strength training, group, background music 71
Pilates 70
Core-conditioning classes 66
Circuit classes 66
Personal training, youth, aged 18 or younger, one-on-one 64
Clinics on special topics 64
Yoga 62
Personal training, 3–5 clients share 60
Stability ball–based programs 59
Small-group classes, 8 people or fewer 58
Community outreach 57
Aerobics, combined 57
Pilates or yoga training, one-on-one 56
Seniors’ classes 55
Small-group circuit training 55
Step aerobics 53
Sport-specific training 52
Boot camp classes, indoor 51
Online client reminders and information 51
Body weight–only training 49
Nutrition assessment 48
Small-group boot camps 47
Nutrition counseling or coaching 47
Strength training, group, no music 47
Exercise for chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, coronary heart disease 46
Back pain prevention 46
Social activity groups (walking or running clubs, group trips, organized group activities) 45
Cycling-based classes, indoor 45
Postrehab following injury 44
Health fairs 44
Pilates and yoga fusion 43
Strength training, group, choreographed to music 40
Dance (e.g., urban street, funk, hip-hop) 39
Lifestyle coaching 38
Weight management classes 38
Combination/Hybrid classes 36
Water fitness 35
Walking 34
Boxing-based/Kickboxing sessions 33
Small-group classes on machines 32
Boot camp classes, outdoor 32
Group activities, outdoor 32
Personal training sessions, outdoor 31
Kids’ fitness (e.g., classes or after-school camps for 10 years and younger) 31
Teen fitness (e.g., classes or after-school camps for 13–17 years) 30
Sports clinics 26
Tai chi 25
Meditation 23
Branded choreography 22
Martial arts–based aerobics 20
Very slow strength training 19
Parent-and-baby classes 18
Prenatal classes 17
Mind-body fusion 16
Online training programs 15
Gyrotonic® or Gyrokinesis® exercise 1
PROGRAM TRENDS

Based on your experience, are these programs or activities growing, remaining stable or declining?

  Yes, my company offers this program
or activity, and I think it is:
  Offer Growing Stable Declining
Going Outdoors
Boot camp classes, outdoor 32% 45% 42% 11%
Group activities, outdoor 32 49 46 3
Personal training sessions, outdoor 31 31 60 3
Walking 34 27 60 5
Water fitness 35 32 55 8
Group Classes
Abdominals 71% 34% 58% 3%
Aerobics, combined 57 22 61 10
Boot camp classes, indoor 51 49 42 7
Branded choreography 22 48 35 9
Circuit classes 66 36 53 3
Combination/Hybrid classes 36 54 39 3
Core-conditioning classes 66 43 54 3
Cycling-based classes, indoor 45 38 53 6
Dance (e.g., urban street, funk, hip-hop) 39 52 43 2
Small-group classes, 8 people or fewer 58 49 44 3
Small-group classes on machines 32 55 46 0
Stability ball–based programs 59 34 61 0
Step aerobics 53 11 66 20
Martial Arts
Boxing-based/Kickboxing sessions 33% 31% 59% 5%
Martial arts–based aerobics 20 18 73 9
Mind-Body
Gyrotonic or Gyrokinesis exercise 1% 0% 100% 0%
Mind-body fusion 16 81 19 0
Pilates 70 43 51 5
Pilates and yoga fusion 43 40 51 2
Tai chi 25 26 63 7
Yoga 62 47 49 4
Personal Training
Online client reminders and information 51% 57% 33% 4%
Online training programs 15 40 47 13
Personal training, adult, one-on-one 89 42 44 10
Personal training, 2 clients share 79 36 52 3
Personal training, 3–5 clients share 60 47 41 8
Personal training, youth, aged 18 or younger, one-on-one 64 36 38 14
Pilates or yoga training, one-on-one 56 44 42 10
Small-group boot camps 47 52 40 6
Small-group circuit training 55 45 52 3
Special Interest
Clinics on special topics 64% 34% 52% 7%
Community outreach 57 45 48 0
Fitness assessment 81 28 55 11
Health fairs 44 20 67 8
Lifestyle coaching 38 36 48 0
Meditation 23 42 50 4
Nutrition assessment 48 30 52 13
Nutrition counseling or coaching 47 23 55 11
Social activity groups (walking or running clubs, group trips, organized group activities) 45 55 37 6
Sports clinics 26 35 52 7
Sport-specific training 52 37 49 7
Weight management classes 38 41 48 5
Special Populations
Back pain prevention 46% 44% 46% 2%
46 35 52 2
Kids’ fitness (e.g., classes or after-school camps for 10 years and younger) 31 44 47 3
Teen fitness (e.g., classes or after-school camps for 13–17 years) 30 61 27 6
Parent-and-baby classes 18 20 70 0
Postrehab following injury 44 40 50 6
Prenatal classes 17 32 47 11
Seniors’ classes 55 55 39 2
Strength and Stretch
Body weight–only training 49% 35% 53% 2%
Strength training, group, choreographed to music 40 44 52 5
Strength training, group, no music 47 44 44 7
Strength training, group, with background music 71 46 48 4
Strength training, individual, nongroup 81 38 55 3
Stretching and/or flexibility 81 36 61 1
Very slow strength training 19 20 75 0

MULTIPLE-YEAR TREND COMPARISON: PROGRAMS OFFERED

Program 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 %Point
Change*
Abdominals 67% 72% 66% 57% 56% 61% 62% 74% 71% +4
Aerobics, combined 72 85 73 60 55 49 47 49 57 -15
Back pain prevention 45 38 47 40 33 41 43 48 46 +1
Body weight–only training - - - 35 31 39 36 54 49 +14
Boot camp classes, indoor - - - 28 35 36 36 47 51 +23
Boot camp classes, outdoor - - - 14 16 16 30 28 32 +18
Boxing-based/Kickboxing sessions 64 71 50 42 48 39 36 39 33 -31
Branded choreography - - - - - - 22 - 22 0
Circuit classes 69 69 66 57 56 51 48 69 66 -3
Clinics on special topics 67 68 74 63 64 60 58 66 64 -3
Combination/Hybrid classes 71 70 65 45 48 43 38 47 36 -35
Community outreach - - - - - 54 51 61 57 +3
Core-conditioning classes 61 72 75 64 63 62 65 73 66 +5
Cycling-based classes, indoor 39 44 48 38 45 39 37 46 45 +6
Dance (e.g., urban street, funk, hip-hop) 19 30 33 24 27 31 34 40 39 +20
Exercise for chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes or coronary heart disease) - - - 30 32 35 31 40 46 +16
Fitness assessment 66 85 85 77 82 84 77 76 81 +15
Group activities, outdoor 43 44 44 35 34 29 50 36 32 -11
Gyrotonic or Gyrokinesis exercise - - - - - 3 4 2 1 -2
Health fairs 55 60 53 46 44 43 38 44 44 -11
Kids-specific fitness 40 44 45 40 41 - - - - -
Kids’ fitness (classes or after-school programs) - - - - 37 33 36 - - -
Kids’ fitness (classes or after-school programs for 10 years and younger) - - - - - - - - 31 -
Lifestyle coaching - - - 32 27 34 27 33 38 +6
Martial arts–based aerobics 41 43 40 20 19 29 20 21 20 -21
Meditation 34 37 27 17 18 17 16 19 20 -11
Mind-body fusion - - - - - - 27 20 16 -11
Nutrition assessment - - - 51 55 55 45 51 48 -3
Nutrition counseling or coaching - 48 67 48 47 48 44 53 47 -1
Online client reminders and information - - - - - 30 32 45 51 +21
Online training programs - - - 8 7 5 5 9 15 +7
Parent-and-baby classes 18 32 25 17 17 18 15 19 18 0
Personal Training
All types combined 83 87 90 89 88 85 82 89 91 +8
One-on-one 80 87 87 83 87 - - - - -
Adult, one-on-one - - - - - 84 80 87 89 +5
2 clients share 56 66 71 65 71 68 71 83 79 +23
3–5 clients share 34 43 54 42 43 44 44 58 60 +26
Youth, aged 18 or younger, one-on-one - - - - - 60 55 63 64 +4
Personal training, outdoor - - - 26 24 27 60 32 31 +5
Pilates 47 63 65 63 66 64 68 68 70 +23
Pilates and traditional strength training fusion - - - 34 27 29 - - - -
Pilates and yoga fusion - - - 31 30 32 38 40 43 +12
Pilates or yoga training, one-on-one - - - 55 60 59 48 48 56 +1
Postrehab following injury - - - 46 38 47 42 48 44 -2
Prenatal classes 20 28 26 21 18 17 19 20 17 -3
Seniors’ classes 45 61 54 47 49 45 39 51 55 +10
Small-group boot camps - - - - - - - - 47 -
Small-group circuit training - - - - - - - - 55 -
Small-group classes, 8 people or fewer - - - 41 44 45 48 55 58 +17
Small-group classes on machines - - - 24 28 28 24 35 32 +8
Social activity groups (walking or running clubs, group trips, organized group activities - - - - - - - 43 45 +2
Sports clinics 33 33 38 24 24 25 16 31 26 -7
Sport-specific training 57 55 57 53 47 56 42 67 52 -5
Stability ball–based programs 60 61 71 67 58 55 54 61 59 -1
Step aerobics 66 82 67 52 59 50 44 46 53 -13
Strength training, individual - - 75 74 76 74 67 82 81 +6
Strength training, group
All types combined 72 87 79 79 80 77 74 88 83 +11
Background music 50 69 61 64 60 58 58 74 71 +12
Choreographed to music 30 60 45 45 42 41 32 47 40 +10
No music 28 45 37 30 32 32 29 48 47 +19
Stretching and/or flexibility 67 82 82 72 70 73 68 81 81 +14
Tai chi 34 35 37 26 24 20 22 24 25 -9
Teen fitness (e.g., classes or after-school camps for 13–17 years) - - - - - - - - 30 -
Very slow strength training - - - 17 17 22 22 30 19 +2
Walking 33 38 44 36 33 34 30 36 34 +1
Water fitness 37 56 45 35 43 34 27 38 35 -2
Weight management classes 49 56 51 33 36 35 32 31 38 -11
Yoga 69 85 73 60 66 58 56 61 62 –7 69 85 73 60 66 58 56 61 62 -7
Yoga and traditional strength training fusion - - - 23 21 21 - - - -

*Based on 9 years of data in many cases; fewer years in other instances.

Equipment
  • Small equipment again tops the survey this year,with resistance tubing or bands (94%); stability balls (92%); barbells and /or dumbbells (91%); and foamrollers and small balls (81%) reported as being the most frequently used equipment.
  • Cardiorespiratory equipment—such as cycles, both upright and recumbent, elliptical trainers, stair climbers and treadmills—has shown some of the largest declines in usage over the past 9 years.
  • Large strength equipment has also declined in usage over the past 9 years, with the largest declines reported for plated-loaded machines and pulley equipment.
  • Mind-body equipment has shown mixed results over the years. Pilates equipment has experienced growth, while there has been a slight decline in the use of yoga mats and equipment. Gyrotonic equipment has remained stable over the past 4 years.
MOST FREQUENTLY OFFERED EQUIPMENT

Which of the following types of equipment are provided to your clients?

  % of all
respondents
Resistance tubing or bands 94%
Stability balls 92
Barbells and/or dumbbells 91
Foam rollers and small balls 81
Balance equipment (e.g., BOSU® Balance Trainers, disks, wobble boards, balance boards) 80
Medicine balls 79
Steps and platforms 74
Treadmills 71
Yoga mats and equipment 70
Cycles, recumbent 68
Elliptical trainers 67
Weighted bars 65
Pulley equipment 64
Selectorized (pin-selected) machines 64
Cycles, upright 61
Plate-loaded machines 50
Stair climbers 48
Cycles, for indoor classes 45
Pilates equipment 44
Indoor rowing machines 42
Water fitness equipment 35
Boxing equipment 32
Suspension training apparatus (TRX®, Inkaflexx® straps, etc.) 25
Arm ergometers 24
Computer workout tracking 17
Nutrition analysis software 16
Computerized strength machines 11
Pneumatic machines 10
Computer training programs, interactive (exergaming) 10
Gravity trainers 9
Child-sized machines 5
Gyrotonic equipment 2
EQUIPMENT TRENDS

Based on your experience, is the use of this equipment growing, remaining stable or declining?

  Yes, my company offers this program
or activity, and I think it is:
  Offer Growing Stable Declining
Cardio Machines
Arm ergometers 24% 4% 88% 8%
Elliptical trainers 67 39 59 1
Indoor rowing machines 42 13 72 15
Cycles, recumbent 68 16 77 5
Stair climbers 48 4 72 25
Treadmills 71 27 71 1
Cycles, upright 61 6 83 8
Computer
Computer training programs, interactive 10 40 40 20
Computer workout tracking 17 37 58 0
Nutrition analysis software 16 28 56 11
Special Interest
Balance equipment (e.g., BOSU Balance Trainers, disks, wobble boards, balance boards) 80 55 40 2
Boxing equipment 32 26 57 9
Cycles, for indoor classes 45 38 56 2
Foam rollers and small balls 81 48 50 0
Gravity trainers 9 0 78 11
Gyrotonic equipment 2 0 50 0
Pilates equipment 44 43 53 4
Steps and platforms 74 12 70 13
Water fitness equipment 35 14 77 3
Yoga mats and equipment 70 32 59 1
Strength and Core
Barbells and/or dumbbells 91 33 62 1
Child-sized machines 5 40 40 0
Computerized strength machines 11 0 100 0
Medicine balls 79 36 60 2
Plate-loaded machines 50 9 82 6
Pneumatic machines 10 10 70 20
Pulley equipment 64 24 69 1
Resistance tubing or bands 94 28 64 6
Selectorized (pin-selected) machines 64 12 81 3
Stability balls 92 31 65 2
Suspension training apparatus (TRX, Inkaflexx straps, etc.) 25 52 32 0
Weighted bars 65 17 78 3 65 17 78 3

View Chart

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July 2009

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