How Les Mills & Its Gym Partners Are Meeting Fitness Trends in 2024

Les Mills’ plan for 2024 and beyond includes a deep dive into the fitness preferences of Gen Z, leading to the brand’s Limited Edition Collection of science-backed workout programs
This article is adapted from a version that originally appeared in ATN’s 2024 State of Fitness & Wellness 2024 report, available for download here

Few fitness and wellness organizations keep their ears as close to the ground as Les Mills.

The international fitness brand makes identifying and studying consumer demands a science, At the forefront of those efforts lies its Limited Edition Collection, a series of science-backed workout programs built around up-and-coming fitness trends. 

“As an organization dedicated to driving the success of clubs, we’re always tracking the latest fitness industry developments,” said Sean Turner, CEO of Les Mills US. “Limited Edition is changing the game for operators, who can now get their hands on trending workouts that deliver the enjoyment and results that keep members coming back for more.”

What’s Popular With Gen Z

Les Mills goes through an exhaustive process to gather these findings and deliver results with Limited Edition. 

Most recently, the brand conducted the largest-ever study in Gen Z fitness, merging quantitative and qualitative insights from more than 4,000 people across the globe aged 16 to 26. After that, Les Mills Head of Research Bryce Hastings and his team tested different programs that were informed by the findings. A series of trials and a feedback process then took place. 

“Gen Z told us their likes, dislikes and barriers to entry – and we’ll use this information going forward to ensure we’re creating programs that service clubs with the ability to reach all age groups – especially Gen Z,” added Turner. “Nothing is left to chance. We’re listening and reacting to our participants’ feedback so we can deliver an incomparable workout.”

Sean Turner (credit: Les Mills)

Les Mills views Gen Z as a “must win” demographic for gyms moving forward, hence this point of concentration. 

“As the largest generation ever and the next big global spending power, Gen Z are the next big battleground for operators,” Turner noted. 

Strength Training, Pilates & More 

Proof that Les Mills is on the right track with their research already exists. With strength training’s clear increase in popularity, the brand brought this to life in the Limited Edition Collection with the launch of LES MILLS STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT.

The group training program combines heavy compound lifting, sports conditioning and performance training techniques to deliver a one-of-a-kind exercise regime. Smart equipment and a “build as you go” style of lifting make it applicable to those new and familiar with strength training. Coaches are also present to ensure a safe environment and progress in the gym. 

credit: Les Mills

“It gives members who may feel intimidated in that space a safe place to master form and technique,” explained Turner. “For members already comfortable with strength, there’s a chance to push themselves, as well as make new gym buddies to take back to the squat racks.”

Even with this commitment to strength training, Les Mills can pivot fast should it need to. Trends can change in a flash, and the Limited Edition Collection stays ready for whatever might pop up next in the fitness space. That flexibility benefits members and operators. 

“We can’t expect movers to be happy doing the same thing for the rest of their lives, which is why it’s crucial to inject variety into their activities,” said Turner. “Show them that you know what they like, need, and want. Show you’re committed to keeping it fresh and you’re on to a winner – why else would they need to look elsewhere?”

The Limited Edition Collection also includes LES MILLS SHAPES and LES MILLS FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH. While FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH also plays off the strength training trend, focusing more on seasoned lifters, SHAPES features elements of Pilates, barre and power yoga. All are trending upward in the fitness sector

This programming flexibility also plays into Les Mills’ targeting of younger gym goers. In its recent report Gen Z Fitness: Cracking the Code, Les Mills found 64% of Gen Z members strongly agree they like to choose different workouts and discover new ones. 

“Choice is a must-have for all age groups,” said Turner. “Being able to service that requirement at speed is crucial as operators evolve to meet their members’ demands.”

All Roads Lead to Increased Engagement

Les Mills partners are welcome to incorporate the Limited Edition Collection and its findings in whatever way works best for them. Doing so only adds to the variety of offerings the brand can present for gym and club operators, which spurs engagement. 

“We designed the Limited Edition Collection to support clubs and enable them to offer a timetable that surprises and excites,” added Turner. “We’re seeing our partners increase engagement by using Limited Edition Collection programs in a variety of ways. Some are running them as ‘challenge’ based workouts: limited-time offerings that attract new faces into the studio with something they’ve never tried before, or to reinvigorate tricky timeslots. Others are running them as small group training add-ons to generate secondary revenue. There’s ample flexibility built in to ensure that every club can benefit from the programming and support their goals.”

The post How Les Mills & Its Gym Partners Are Meeting Fitness Trends in 2024 appeared first on Athletech News.


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