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IHRSA 2024: How Data Creates the Ultimate Wellness Experience

March 25, 2024

On FINN’s Consumer Lifestyle and Sports team, we believe it’s important to live the lifestyle of our clients in the fitness and wellness space. Recently, we had the opportunity to join fitness brands and enthusiasts from across the globe to see the latest and most advanced equipment and innovation in the industry at this year’s IHRSA Convention in Los Angeles.

To kick off IHRSA 2024, President & CEO Liz Clark revealed an all-new name for the organization: Health & Fitness Association. The next chapter reflects the Association’s commitment to modernizing and aligning with the evolving industry landscape to better serve its global membership and promote the vital role of physical activity in improving both physical and mental health.

On day two, the exhibitor floor was buzzing with excitement, with EGYM showing competition energy as they invited attendees to take part in their fitness challenge, giving guests the opportunity to try their equipment and understand the benefits of personalized workouts based on biometrics. Life Fitness, TechnoGym, Matrix and Realleader USA displayed their workout equipment – providing trade show attendees with a first-hand experience of their products. Other brands like WellnessSpace, Next Wellness, and Therabody offered high-tech workout and muscle recovery equipment to assist users post-workout.

Enhancing the Exercise Experience Inside & Outside the Gym

As the show continued, we attended a speaking session with Life Fitness titled ‘Running Towards Innovation: Energizing Your Cardio Space with Engaging Exerciser Experiences.’ This talk included Life Fitness’ Global Training & Education Manager Leigh Wierichs, Fitness Entrepreneur and Coach Don Saladino, and Sprint Coach Derek Hansen as they discussed how research and insights on innovative biomechanics and technology can impact an exerciser’s cardio experience. Additionally, they offered facility owners with some advice on how to create engaging exercise-related content that can positively impact member retention and overall facility profitability, including three golden rules: understand your audience, ensure all content is user-friendly, and create content that is interactive so the user feels a sense of accomplishment post-workout.

Back on the trade floor, brands like Keiser created just that in an in-person bike ride session which turned into virtual content for riders to partake in at home. Les Mills provided attendees with a more interactive experience through virtual reality – one with a dance workout and the other with a more combat-related class – depending on the user’s needs and preferences.

The Advantages of Data-Driven Training

I had the opportunity to attend TechnoGym’s session with Aerobic Capacity Founder and CEO Chris Hinshaw, where he discussed the importance of maintaining consistent energy levels for runners. Chris advocated for athletes to gather performance data before races to decide on a sustainable pace. This approach informs his coaching methods, where he prioritizes understanding an exercisers’ fitness limitations and utilizing science and data to enhance capacity.

Chris outlined three key pillars of his methods: having a purpose at the heart of an athlete’s fitness journey, providing a scientific foundation to assist athletes with their goals, and data collection and analysis as fundamental building blocks to predicting athlete profiles. This guidance was in line with what many of the exhibitors and speakers, who focused on the benefits of collecting personal data to enhance fitness goals and the exercise experience.

As our passion for wellness and healthy living remain at the core of our work on the Consumer Lifestyle and Sports team, the 2024 IHRSA Convention left our team excited for “the next chapter” in health and fitness.

TAGS: Sports Marketing, Consumer & Lifestyle

POSTED BY: Amber Roman, Blake Bellucci

Amber Roman Blake Bellucci