It’s been a year since things took a turn for the, what shall we say, worse? I think that’s fair enough, because although many fitness businesses and professionals have reinvented themselves, adapted and found new opportunities, the same cannot be said for everyone. One year on, however, it’s positive to note some degree of return to pre-pandemic activity, including the reappearance of some face-to-face industry events.

One of the prominent themes at the virtual FILEX event, meanwhile, is training the ageing population, a topic also addressed by a couple of features in the Autumn 2021 issue of Network magazine (Training the invisible generation, and Does sex matter? Strength training outcomes for over 50’s). Despite the fact that we have an ageing population, the fitness industry continues to disproportionately market and cater to a younger audience. For fitness businesses and professionals looking for growth opportunities in the years ahead, there’s a market there ready for the taking – and often with a disposable income to invest in services that meet its needs. It will be interesting to see whether it will be the big players or the independents that up their game to service this growing demographic.

On the subject of looking to future markets, acclaimed industry innovator Emma Barry reflects on why bricks and mortar fitness businesses need to carve out a ‘phygital’ future, Sally Illingworth looks at how to more effectively influence prospective clients and Annette Franz asks how the fitness industry can learn from ‘The Amazon Effect’ to enhance customer experiences.

Elsewhere in the Autumn 2021 issue of Network, Clare Hozack explores the benefits of going deeper with client pre-screening, combat athlete coach Hays Daewoud looks at boxing pad technique, and our featured Real World PT, Bek Strachan, shares some insights into her business operations and growth as a fitness professional.



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