After two years of on-again, off-again gym closures and a workout-from-home boom, we asked industry executives for their thoughts on the future of fitness.
In this Q&A, we spoke with Liteboxer CEO Jeff Morin about trends in at-home exercise, the rise of immersive exercise, and increasing access beyond expensive equipment.
Digital/connected fitness is facing headwinds. How will the category evolve?
Jeff Morin: The market is certainly saturated, especially at the top of the household income pyramid where there are only so many people with $2,000 to spend on hardware and the space for it.
Companies will need to tap into the lower part of the income pyramid to find their next set of customers.
Omnichannel or hybrid fitness is gaining traction. How does it play out?
JM: I believe hybrid fitness will thrive, just like work-from-home practices are here to stay.
Brick-and-mortar studios during the pandemic were forced to provide a digital offering. Now, as in-person studios and gyms are coming back, consumers are still expecting the digital option.
Brands need to find ways to keep consumers engaged in different omnichannel touchpoints with immersive content.
From VR to web3, immersive exercise is trending. How will it impact fitness?
JM: Liteboxer is all-in on VR. In the month since shipping our VR product, we have doubled the number of hardware subscriptions we had achieved over the last two years.
While VR hardware is in its early stages, the immersive experience and tracking capabilities bring home fitness to the next level. We also believe that augmented and mixed reality will make it so that old hardware can be used with new content.
What trends will shape the future of fitness?
JM: For one, more celebs/influencers/athletes will merge with brands, like HighPost Capital merging Inspire Fitness and Chris Hemsworth’s Centr, for example.
From a tech aspect, AR/VR/MR hardware will continue getting better. Computers used to take up entire rooms. Now, they fit in your pocket and everyone has one. This is just the beginning.
Lastly, in realizing the advantage of omnichannel, major gym brands (Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, etc.) will push harder into the hybrid/digital space.