How the fitness industry is changing in 2022


The future of the Australian fitness industry is looking bright. Over the last few years, we’ve seen an unprecedented rate of innovation in the market. And for those fitness businesses that have been able to adapt, leverage technology, and continue providing value to their clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, their effort is well and truly paying off. The trailblazers are now perfectly positioned to springboard into a whole new era of health and wellbeing.

At XTEND, it’s our job to have our finger on the pulse of fitness industry shifts – not just on a macro global and national level, but also at a grassroots level. Whether you’re considering joining Australia’s growing fitness industry – now worth over $2 billion annually – or you’re looking to expand your existing portfolio, knowledge is power. Keeping up to date with the latest fitness trends means you’ll be ready to adapt to changes quickly, and keep your offering relevant. To help you get up to speed, here are the top changes that we see impacting the fitness industry in 2022.

Top changes in the fitness industry in 2022

There’s a shift towards mind-body fitness

A big shift we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic is a focus on mental health and mindfulness, and an increase in demand for exercise that takes care of the mind, as well as the body.

This has resulted in a massive spike in popularity for mind-body exercises like yoga, Pilates and barre. ‘Barre’ was even the most searched term out of all fitness trends globally between 2005 and 2020 (Compare the Market 2021).

We’ve seen this firsthand at XTEND. From June 2020-May 2021 our membership grew by 78%, and we saw a 68% increase in our average monthly revenue. With no signs of the mind-body movement slowing down, we expect this growth to continue.

Employment in the fitness industry is rising

In 2021, employment in the Australian fitness industry began to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic, with the Australian Industry and Skills Committee reporting a huge increase from 61,000 employees in 2021 to 104,200 in 2021.

This growth has been boosted by a more diverse range of roles becoming available across the industry, and we expect this will continue throughout 2022.

Older demographics are more engaged

Right before the pandemic, Fitness Australia found that Australian baby boomers clocked up around 364 hours of physical activity a year, while people under 40 averaged only 281. This highlighted an opportunity for businesses in the health and fitness industry to adapt and tailor programs to this demographic.

As we move into 2022 and memberships increase, data has shown that it’s the older fitness club members who are returning to the traditional gym set up. Historically, marketing in the fitness industry has targeted people under 40, using aesthetics rather than health as motivation points, missing a group that’s projected to soon make up 20% of the population.

In 2022, as our focus shifts towards health, the fitness industry will likely point efforts towards this emerging economy of baby boomers, with specific programming for older adults. Mind-body exercise programs like those offered at XTEND are a perfect example of the lower impact exercises that will suit the needs of this demographic.

Home workouts are on the rise

A new year means new resolutions, and many people resolve to get in shape. This means there’s a spike in memberships every January, and despite many gyms and fitness studios being closed, this year was no different. This is largely due to the explosion of online classes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses across all industries to adapt fast, and move their offerings online. In the fitness industry, this meant a huge increase in virtual coaching and online classes to help members maintain accountability and allow people to continue working out through lockdowns.

At XTEND, we’ve adapted to offer an online experience to our clients with our Xtend @ Home program, where we live stream over 40 classes a week.

Interestingly, as restrictions ease, Australians are still sticking to their virtual workouts. 71% still prefer in person workouts, but 60% claim they plan to integrate online classes into their routine for the sake of convenience. The Australian Institute of Fitness predicts that in 2022 fitness establishments will begin rolling out more and more hybrid offerings, mixing in-person, virtual, and pre-recorded content to offer flexibility and cover the new needs of the market.

How XTEND is changing in 2022

With the predictions in for 2022, it’s XTEND’s time to shine. We’re constantly reacting to changes in the market to make sure our offering continues to be relevant, leading-edge, and is always resonating with our members.

Mind-body fitness is taking off, and we’re on a mission to bring mindful exercise to suburbs across Australia. It’s our ambition to extend our network across Australia in the coming years – and we’re well on our way to making it happen.  

Want to join an emerging fitness franchise raising the bar?

If you’re looking to invest in the growing mind-body fitness industry in Australia, we’re offering the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an emerging and expanding franchise with XTEND. See our available territories – and if you’re ready to learn more, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.

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