Hi Amara. I believe that group exercise is definitely growing – particularly in these economic times. When you combine two very real issues facing us 1. the current economy, and 2. the obesity rate and need for regular exercise, I think that this gives rise to the need for “inexpensive” regular, programs of exercise and activity. This points to group exercise activities which can 1. be affordable, and 2. offer regular exercise.
I hope this helps.
I think one thing that could be hindering the potential for growth is the desire for privacy. Some people are intimidated by the group exercise atmosphere, feeling disconnected or embarrassed to interact in this way because they might be inexperienced, uncoordinated, or somehow different from others in the group. The more accepting and comforting the group exercise environment is, the more growth we can see in this area.
I have noticed a heavy increase in small and large group training, mainly over the last 2 years. The increase in small group training (in my experience) is due to affordability. This growth is good though, as its not showing a decrease in training. The increase in class/large group training has almost seemed to be a continuation of an era. Gone are the days of typical aerobic classes and basic circuits; today is more about specifics (kickboxing cardio, abs labs, dance fitness, etc.) because the public has grown to expect it. Niche training is highly sought after in all aspects of fitness, leading to an overwhelming flood of fad programs and specialty certifications. This has been both good and bad for our industry; providing new opportunities for fitness professionals to flesh out there skills while maintaining their own style, as well as providing a seemingly endless stream of product developement based solely on profiteering. Either way, its showing an increase of in terest in the fitness industry.
its a leverage issue. Trainers can get more per hour and clients can get cheaper rates. Why do one on one for $60/hr when you can train 30 people for $150-$300/hr depending on the class rate. I offer small group sessions (no more than 5) at progressively cheaper session rates. For example I charge $60/hr but if two sign up for the same hour it is $75 split between them, $60 down to $37.50 and my rate goes up $15/hr. win win