How Companies Can Appeal to the New Generation of Fitness Enthusiasts


In 2008, entrepreneur Edgard Corona noticed that the fitness industry in Latin America had little resemblance to the industry he had seen in the United States. In the U.S., low-cost gyms seemed to be everywhere. They gave people access to vast fitness-related resources like workout equipment and personal trainers, all in exchange for monthly fees that were around $20 at the time.

Latin America, on the other hand, wasn’t able to enjoy these luxuries. Going to a gym gave you two options: You could either visit the most expensive location or the cheapest, with virtually nothing in between. This realization was part of what motivated him to start Smart Fit, a business that has since grown into the fourth-largest of its type in operation worldwide.

In the 25 years since the company was originally founded, Edgard Corona and COO Diogo Corona have witnessed the entire industry change around them. Indeed, it appears to be happening yet again. But how do the established players reach out to the next generation of fitness enthusiasts? How do they appeal to a younger group of people in a way that inspires both action and long-term loyalty? By keeping a few important things in mind along the way.

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The Next Generation of Fitness Has Arrived

In the opinion of Edgard Corona and the other professionals at Smart Fit, appealing to a new crop of fitness buffs means emphasizing three things: personalization, engagement, and above all else fun.

Personal trainers are a must for those operating in the space, for example, because not every gym-goer is the same. One person might be trying to lose a significant amount of weight while another may simply be trying to tone up. Understanding the difference and adapting is key. Yet at the same time, it’s also possible for personal trainers to get a bit too personal. This can make people feel generally uncomfortable.

It’s up to legitimate fitness professionals to walk that fine line between giving someone the care and attention to detail they need while still providing the freedom required to take control of their own journey.

To speak to the “fun” aspect of the equation, one trend that is picking up steam among the younger generations involves the use of virtual reality to turn fitness into what is essentially a game. People can immerse themselves in a virtual world of their choosing, all while still getting the full-body workout they crave. Suddenly, they can break free from the gym in an exciting and adventurous way—and one that will certainly keep them coming back for more.

Finally, it’s imperative for fitness organizations to take advantage of new technologies like online classes. They provide a great way to give younger people the freedom to work out how they want, when they want. If they prefer to go into the gym, they can. If it doesn’t fit their schedule, they can still remain engaged—even from home. It’s an especially attractive option for people who prioritize convenience, and it’s an opportunity that fitness businesses cannot afford to overlook.

Related: Shares rise 35% on the stock exchange, and fortune of billionaire founder of Smart Fit soars

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