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    Future trends: it's all in the numbers

    Phillip Mills

    Behind the scenes data showcases what’s hot in the world of group fitness… and what will be popular down the track.

    LES MILLS 12 New Zealand clubs are consistently a hotbed of activity. It is within these clubs’ studio walls that the Les Mills team pilot new programming and trial all new quarterly LES MILLS workout releases. The quarterly releases are trialed and edited up to 50 times before being released worldwide to the 18,000 clubs that license them. New programs are usually piloted in the New Zealand market for 6-12 months before being released into other global pilot clubs for a further 6-12 months.

    During this extensive trial and piloting process we record detailed attendance statistics. Not only does this data help us modify existing programs and improve clubs’ timetables, it gives us a strong understanding of current and emerging trends. This data shows that while the levels of program popularity vary across our clubs, the national macro trends are fairly consistent. We consider this information alongside the data we collect from 1,000 clubs internationally – and we find that the patterns we see in New Zealand are typically echoed in most, though not all, clubs around the globe.

    So what does the data show? The numbers from Les Mills New Zealand show these are the current trends:

    Slow strength classes (like BODYPUMP and CXWORX) and intense cardio workouts (like the high-intensity interval training of LES MILLS GRIT and BODYATTACK) are the first and second highest performing categories.

    BODYPUMP is the highest attended class, but LES MILLS GRIT has grown rapidly into second place, attracting a predominantly young Millennial crowd and reversing a previous aging trend in our clubs. In some clubs LES MILLS GRIT is offered free to all members and in some clubs it is provided as paid small group training classes. The former is far more successful.

    The cycle category (which includes RPM, LES MILLS SPRINT and THE TRIP) is the third best performing category, and showing an exciting resurgence. Note that we charge a booking fee of NZ$5 for live cycle classes. Price modelling research shows that attendance would increase by 50 per cent if we were to lower that booking fee to $2.50. We are likely to do this in the future for off-peak classes.

    Mind/Body programs rank fourth in popularity, and are showing strong growth.

    Virtual class attendance continues to grow slowly, most notably in the cycle studio where virtual workouts are enabling us to run more classes in off-peak times. In our newest club however – one-year-old Les Mills Newmarket – virtual workouts make up 20 per cent of all group fitness attendances, despite a very high number of live classes. We believe that this is due to the club's ground-breaking studio design innovations, and I plan to cover this further in future editions of Fit Business.

    THE TRIP (Immersive Fitness) has only been installed in one New Zealand club, but in this club it attracts our highest average cycle class attendances. We plan to install it in at least two more clubs this year and are confident that it will become one of the most popular classes within 2-3 years.

    With these insights in mind, now’s the perfect time to consider the ideal timetable for your club – what should your timetable look like?

    Read the full attendance report here.

    Want to track your attendance better? Find out more about our CLUBCOUNT programme, available to all our UK club partners.

    What's CLUBCOUNT?

    Member Insights