Rethinking the fitness industry

The fitness and wellness category is one of the most exciting entrepreneurial growth areas.

Here's the funny thing about the fitness industry - it is globally focused on attracting and catering - just to people that are already fit.

If you're not ripped and flat as a plank - you're not really welcome.

But the number of people in the world that fit the classic profile of what a traditional gym classifies as their core market - is tiny.

'More than three-quarters of Americans don’t currently hit the CDC’s recommended minimums for regular exercise, and the fitness industry is a graveyard of once-buzzy businesses that abruptly stopped growing—much to their investors’ chagrin—at least in part because they never had a plan to turn anyone into a customer who wasn’t already pretty fit.' - via

Millions of people who really need to start moving more, are simply not catered for by the traditional industry model.

The industry is literally modelled to ignore their most important potential audience. Unbelievable right?

What this means is that the fitness industry is ripe for disruption*.

Pic courtesy of - swimwear for people who are not targeted by traditional swimwear brands.
'For decades, exercise instruction for adults has functioned on largely the same principle. What the fitness industry calls a “beginner” is usually someone relatively young and capable who wants to become more conventionally attractive, get swole, or learn a trendy workout such as high-intensity interval training or barre. If you’re a novice looking for a path toward these more intense routines, most of the conventional gyms, fitness studios, and exercise experts that offer them don’t have much for you—come back when you’ve developed on your own the endurance and core strength to avoid barfing, crying, or injuring yourself in the first 10 minutes. The situation is even worse if you have no designs on getting ripped and instead just want to build a baseline of capability, whether that’s for hoisting your toddler, shaking off the stiffness of a desk job, or living independently as you age.'

Spotting this opportunity - some fitness instructors, fashion brands and gyms (particularly in the US) are packaging products and services that are a bit more welcoming to people who simply want to be more active.

Pitching his offering more as general wellbeing, Hampton and his brand Hybrid Calisthenics - helps people simply move better and get active.

He's pleasant, doesn't shout at anyone and wears ordinary t-shirts and shorts in his wildly popular videos.

He's pretty much the antithesis of an instructor at Virgin Active, and because of that - it's more likely that people will keep going back to enjoying their time simply moving their bodies, rather than feeling like they're not hitting some kind of delusional fitness goal.

What now?

The fitness and wellness category is one of the most exciting entrepreneurial growth areas; mainly because of the opportunities that exist thanks to a rethinking of the traditional models that are so heavily reused blindly.

The new conversations are only starting now - most certainly an area to watch closely.

*Disruption meaning that an overlooked segment of the market - largely ignored by existing brands - is finally catered to by a bold upstart that is not subjected to the curse of marginal thinking.

What the Fitness Industry Doesn’t Understand
A new generation of fitness instructors teaches simple skills that make a difference. Why is beginner-level exercise treated like a niche?