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How to get ahead in the fitness industry

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Just in case you hadn’t noticed, the fitness industry is booming. Figures from 2017[1]showed one in seven people in the UK have a gym membership, which totals over 9.7 million people, if you assume they all actually use it (were optimists).

And things are set to get better. By 2020, membership is expected to exceed 10 million and market value should hit £5 billion. Thatsa lot of cash for a bunch of sweaty gym buffs.

 So theres never been a better time to consider a career in fitness. The only problem seems to be the success of it all – how do you stay ahead of the game in an industry that is developing at such a speed? Its simple, really. Pay attention to whats happening, especially with science.

 Yup, science and fitness go hand in hand and to succeed in the latter you need to be brushed up on the former. New research is being published constantly by scientists looking to understand more about how the body burns fat, builds muscle, stays lean and functions at its best. This then feeds into the new ideas being thrown around and developed within the fitness industry itself.

“The more we know about the body and mind, the better we can attend to the needs of both through diet, exercise and everything in between.”

With this in mind, heres something to chew on. A study published last month signalled the demise of calorie counting in place of high intensity training. Researchers in New Zealand discovered major differences in the way the body burned calories when doing steady cardiovascular exercise (pedalling on a bike) compared with a Les Mills BODYPUMP resistance training class. The results showed that the body produced 56% more Human Growth Hormone the lead fat burner and muscle builder in our body after resistance training.

 The effects of HGH on the body are long term, and pretty much make calorie counting obsolete. Anyone sporting a fitness wearable wont be able to track these underlying yet powerful adaptations to the body, which no doubt make a lot more difference to how we look naked – aka body composition.

 So what does this mean for those of us looking to make our mark on the fitness industry? If the research prevails we might see a sharp decline in current calorie tracking devices, in favour of something more advanced that can pick up on these hormonal changes. The science creates a technological demand which in turn shapes the trends of tomorrows fitness crowd.

 The point is this. In order to know what the fitness industry might want next, we need to be aware of the scientific studies being published, the technology being developed and the trends taking over the real and digital fitness world. The more we know about the body and mind, the better we can attend to the needs of both through diet, exercise and everything in between.

Les Mills

Les Mills


[1]2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report