Fitness market: evolution, challenges and trends for 2023

One of the fastest-growing sectors in the last decade has been the fitness market.
And a good explanation for this is the growing awareness of healthy habits for disease prevention and better quality of life.

From this movement, the sector took a breath and, even in the face of crises, remains an interesting alternative for those who want to invest or open their own business.

Whether in the traditional or franchise model, there are several options regarding the business model. In addition to varied segments that meet the demand for body care.

Fitness market: evolution, challenges and trends for 2023
Fitness market: evolution, challenges, and trends for 2023

If you want to know more about the area, keep reading this article.

From now on, we are going to talk about concepts, progress, trends, and insights to overcome the challenges of a market as promising as it is competitive.

See the topics covered throughout the text:

What is the fitness market?
How is the fitness market in Brazil
The evolution of the Brazilian fitness market in recent years
How does the fitness market work?
What are the main sectors within the fitness market?
What are the main challenges of the fitness market?
What are the biggest companies in the fitness market in Brazil?
Fitness market: what are the trends for 2021?
If the topic interests you, go ahead and do a good reading!

What Is The Fitness Market?

The fitness market is a broad area that includes businesses focused on health and well-being in general.

Borrowed from English, the word fitness is related both to good physical conditioning and to the practices that lead to this state, that is, gymnastics.

Therefore, gyms that include aerobic activities and weight training, along with sports centers, are the most common representatives of this market.

However, companies that work with healthy eating, supplementation, guidance for weight loss or gain, specific fashion for exercising, and aesthetics are also gaining relevance in this segment.

Even dance and fight gyms can fit into the fitness market, after all, they offer preparation and conditioning for their students.

In the global context, the fitness market is dominated by the United States – a country that, until 2019. Had a turnover of around US$ 30 billion a year with businesses in the area.

The US and the other 9 largest markets in the sector account for 71% of the sector’s total revenue.  Which corresponds to US$ 64.9 billion, according to a survey by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.

Released in 2019, the study revealed the top 10 nations that have the biggest fitness markets:

United Kingdom

How Is The Fitness Market In Brazil

In terms of revenue, the national fitness market reached the mark of US$ 2.1 billion in 2019. Being the third largest in the Americas. Behind only the US and Canada (with revenue of almost US$ 3 billion), according to the IHRSA.

Another number that draws attention is the number of gyms present in the country.

There are 35,000 official units, which places Brazil as the second nation with the most gyms in the world – the first is again the United States, with 40,000 units.

When we evaluate the market from the point of view of the number of customers. Brazil appears in fourth place, with 9.6 million registered users.

The USA (more than 62 million), Germany (11 million), and the United Kingdom (9.9 million) are on the podium in the category, corresponding, respectively, to the first, second, and third place.

Despite being significant, the share of the Brazilian population that uses gyms and sports centers is no more than 5%. Which gives an idea of ​​the growth potential of the fitness sector in the country.

But not everything is perfect.

It is worth remembering that the area was impacted by the health and economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, therefore, the expectation regarding the 2020 data is a fall in these numbers.

An initial estimate by fitness management startup Tecnofit found that 65% of students stopped training during the first few months of the pandemic in the country.

However, the fitness market signals a rapid recovery. As 88% of dropout subscriptions were reactivated once gyms reopened in August 2020.

The Evolution Of The Brazilian Fitness Market In Recent Years
It is interesting to return to the ranking of the largest fitness markets on the planet, which we mentioned above.

A few years ago, Brazil was part of this list, appearing as the tenth largest market in 2016, with annual revenues of US$ 2.4 billion.

At the time, the sector was beginning to consolidate in the country, in the face of greater demand for options for places to work out. Achieve health goals and achieve the desired appearance.

However, the national fitness market had been expanding since the end of the 2010s. With the entry of major players. Such as the Bodytech and SmartFit gyms – which reached thousands of customers with their plans starting at R$50.

In addition to the aggressive pricing strategy, the sector has evolved in terms of the type of service offered.

In the beginning, the modalities were restricted to the traditional, encompassing weight training, aerobics, and functional classes, carried out with several students in the gyms.

Businesses then had a mass approach, with the aim of attracting as many customers as possible to ensure profits.

In recent years, a wave that started in the US has reached Brazil, making smaller and segmented companies popular, as reported in this report by Exame.

Brands such as Spin n’Soul (focused on spinning classes) and Action 360, which offers functional fitness and pilates classes, have emerged.

Another interesting move took place with the launch of a novelty by the Gympass network in 2012: plans that, through a single monthly fee, allow access to a network of partner gyms.

As the practice of physical exercise increased, so did the interest in products and services related to the sector, such as restaurants, items for supplementation, cosmetics, fashion, and nutrition.

As a result of this range of solutions, business models were modernized, with emphasis on franchises aimed at healthy living.

According to the Brazilian Franchising Association (ABF), they went from 3% of the total franchises in the country, in 2013, to 8% in 2016, or 6,000 businesses in this format.

How Does The Fitness Market Work?

The market works based on three business models: new companies, licensing, and franchising.

For those who decide to venture out and undertake in the sector. There are varied options, which makes many follow in their area of ​​training.

This choice is interesting, after all, one starts with specialized knowledge about physical education, nutrition, fashion, or gastronomy, for example.

But, alone, technical training in these segments is not enough to manage a company.

Hence the importance of learning about business administration and management, and looking for a partner who has this knowledge or the support of specialized consultants.

The licensing option has as its main advantages the possibility of adapting the business and the fact of working with consolidated brands in the market. Eliminating steps in the process of winning customers.

When the brand is not yet known, it takes a greater marketing effort to publicize it and get closer to the target audience. While those consolidated already have a reputation and presence in the target’s mind.

In the franchising model, it is necessary to follow the determinations of the brand owner, who plans the design, products, and services offered and also assumes communication and marketing.

What Are The Main Sectors Within The Fitness Market?
As you can imagine, there are a number of sectors that drive the fitness market.

We list the most popular as of now.

Traditional representatives of the sector, gyms continue as an option for regular training, especially in cities, where outdoor spaces are scarce.

Currently, many networks have made adaptations to attract more customers, including differentiated classes, competitive prices, and greater guidance from physical educators.

There are also highly segmented businesses, which focus on certain types of training to maximize results and serve a select audience.

Personal Trainer And Consulting
People who have hectic routines and want more attention may prefer to hire a personal trainer or even a consultant if they need specialized care.

The personal trainer is a professional who works in different locations, from the client’s home to parks or gyms. In order to motivate and monitor training closely.

This makes it easier to follow the schedule and get the expected results.

The consultant is usually an experienced professional who, after years of career, has acquired in-depth knowledge to guide high-performance training.

It can also work with interdisciplinary teams, formed by professionals such as nutritionists. Endocrinologists, and neurologists.

Includes brands and stores that produce and sell fitness clothing and accessories.

Every detail is designed to ensure comfort, reduce perspiration and not interfere with movement. In addition to representing a healthy lifestyle.

Maintaining the health of the body requires a combination of a balanced diet, supplementation, and physical activity.

Therefore, the fitness market has services and products focused on nutrition.

Consultations and supplementation are examples of these solutions, which are intended to enhance the performance and effect of training.

The digital strategy and accelerated growth make the São Paulo company Integralmédica stand out in this market. A reference in products such as creatine and glutamine. It is worth checking!

Aesthetics And Cosmetics

Procedures and products dedicated to improving appearance are other segments that integrate the fitness industry.

Facial peeling, skin cleaning, waxing, and treatments for varicose veins, stretch marks, and cellulite are some of the most common procedures.

In general, these processes use cosmetics, which can also be purchased directly by the consumer.

Eating well and healthy doesn’t mean giving up pleasure during eating, do you agree?

It was with this premise that the restaurants specialized in balanced, colorful, and tasty dishes were born.

There are from places focused on haute cuisine, with low-calorie gourmet dishes, to establishments that prepare food for everyday life – the famous fitness lunchboxes.

What Are The Main Challenges Of The Fitness Market?

At the present time, major challenges are related to the effects of the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus.

While part of the establishments in the fitness universe remains closed, others have reopened. But they need to follow safety measures to avoid contagion to students.

Among the businesses that remain closed, the most pressing issue is keeping in touch with students and preventing the cancellation of services.

It is an objective that requires the digitalization of training, classes, and special conditions for consumer loyalty.

Those who can return to work face barriers such as the need to keep the environment airy, the distance between people, and cleaning equipment frequently.

Uncertainty hits the entire fitness market as the pandemic has not yet been brought under control, which means venues could be closed again if the situation worsens.

Therefore, the challenge is to plan financially and ensure the provision of quality online services.

Serving specific niches, such as the elderly population, is another issue on the agenda, in addition to valuing services and maintaining student interest in the physical activities performed.

What Are The Biggest Companies In The Fitness Market In Brazil?

Among the large companies that integrate the fitness market in Brazil, it is worth mentioning:

  • SmartFit
  • Gym pass
  • BlueFit
  • Bodytech
  • Athletic Company
  • Centaur
  • BioRhythm.

Under the influence of internal and external factors. The fitness market is expected to grow as restrictions due to the coronavirus are relaxed and people feel safe in public again.

However, the sector must continue with the lessons learned and the improvement required to remain standing in 2020, such as digitalization, attention to consumer needs, and planning to survive crises.

Follow, the below, details about 7 trends that should impact this market in the coming years.

Physically distant from the places where they used to exercise. Many people turned to lesson plans and online content to guide them during training.

Some of this content is easily found for free, but thorough planning benefits from apps.

With that in mind, apps have emerged dedicated to disseminating information, connecting professionals to customers, and selling food, clothing, and accessories, among other functions.

This technology tends to remain active. Adding services of interest to the fitness business target audience.

Online Classes
As we mentioned above, digitalization is a reality that has been reaching several sectors and has been accelerated by the pandemic, including in companies focused on health and well-being.

Those in sales were more used to online dynamics, creating virtual stores and marketplaces to increase reach and revenue.

The same could not be said of the gyms, used for personal contact with customers.

Even these places had to adapt to a new dynamic, with most individuals at home to preserve their health and, paradoxically, seeking to strengthen immunity.

A smart way to continue delivering the services was online classes, in recorded or live mode.

In addition, profiles on social networks that broadcast live classes have multiplied to engage customers and attract new interested parties.

Due to its convenience and reach, this online routine should be maintained and even expanded in the short term.

Outdoor Exercises
The need to protect yourself from a respiratory virus has also popularized outdoor walks, which allow moments of relaxation while maintaining the distance recommended by health authorities.

So why not use these places for physical activities?

Before the pandemic, they were already used for meetings of gym students, for example, or for days of aerobic activities, guided by a personal trainer.

Now, it is likely that gyms, sports centers, and personal trainers will continue to arrange meetings in open places and close to nature, such as squares and parks, which guarantee greater safety for customers.

Adaptation Of Workouts
Instead of offering only fixed plans, companies and professionals in the fitness world are learning to adapt services to different contexts, availability of time and space on the part of users.

Health Coaching And Online Consulting
Preventive approaches and an integrated view of body and mind are on the rise, directing consumers to places that provide integrated medicine, health consultations, and personalized guidance through coaching.

The idea of ​​these services is to go beyond physiological issues, working on emotions to improve training performance and personal satisfaction.

In this way, it is possible, for example, to treat eating disorders, create customized and adaptable diets, prevent injuries and enhance the use of food.

Greater Customer Autonomy
As they get used to taking online classes and training with distance guidance, customers become empowered, acquiring autonomy to choose the services that best suit them.

They are also better informed about the advantages and modalities of training, nutritional education, and procedures to improve their appearance.

In this scenario, companies that are dedicated to listening to the consumer and adapting their solutions according to this feedback come out ahead.

Plans are formed only by basic training, online classes, and packages that allow you to mix different services or products.

These are examples of flexible solutions, designed to attract different student profiles.

Another trend has been individual classes, which do not require signing contracts or purchasing a package, giving the customer more freedom.

Despite times of crisis, the fitness market remains a promising option in Brazil.

With a population of more than 211 million people and only 5% of them enrolled in gyms and sports centers, the chance of expansion and space for new ventures in the sector is undeniable.

However, it is worth investing in knowledge about managing companies and people before venturing into this segment, which is quite competitive.

Do you have any questions or suggestions on the topic? Then write a comment below.

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