Will Digital Disruptions impact the Fitness Industry?

Many questions have been asked whether digital disruptions will change the way we think about the fitness industry and the concept of how fitness training will be used in a digital media age. Before I continue to evaluate the impact of digital disruptions in the fitness industry, it is only fitting to apply the theory behind digital disruptions. When defining Digital disruptions, Skog and his colleagues argued in 2018 that the concept of the framework is based around the type of environment, normally turbulenced by a digital innovation that leads to enrolling the boundaries, approachable production and capture of value.

Now with that being said, digital disruptions has challenged the thinking and adaptable approaches for Personal Trainers and gyms to work around digital technology. With new fitness technology players raising the bar and entering into the market, digital technology will disrupt many other industries but many others see the fitness industry lagging behind. Even though critics are suggesting that the fitness industry is lagging behind in the digital technology phase, many different companies have utilised the approach the new technological advances to evolve the fitness industry.

It’s interesting to know that the fitness industry has managed to adapt to the new technological advanced with devices such as Fitbit and the Apple Fitness+. Companies like Apple have found different ways on how to disrupt the traditional fitness industry way of life from a gym membership to possibly paying a Personal trainer to train the client or even create a training programme for them. With that being said Lopez-Gonzalez and his colleagues even argued this case in 2017 when the user experience would become fragmented/individualised. The consumer might decide they want to become directors themselves, where the augmented realities could provide extra information for the consumers to allow further monetisation.

Lopez-Gonzalez and his colleagues interestingly discussed in 2017 that new tech companies have found new entrants into the sport media ecosystem; where they would purse niche positions in social media platforms to amplify consumers with short clips and monetise via advertising.

With the disruptive nature of companies like Apple, Peloton and Mirror, they have become a massive trend for being useful and motivating as they have provided gym users the option to train while at home but also stay connected to professional trainers. These virtual programs are succeeding, but also bring along the accountability and support for consumers where the members share progress along with their journey.

Lets put it into perspective, Miah stated in 2017 that new layers of interactivity would add into new technologies, but its not a simple substitution in regards to in person workouts because the digital mediated experience seems to be far more superior to the in person experience.

In 2020, there was a massive disruption within the fitness domain as Covid 19 forced gyms and boutique studios to close for months on, allowing creative freedom for consumers and companies to think outside the box. While using in home connected equipment to digital fitness tools, it was offering on demand workouts and real time performance data. The digital services provided cheaper alternatives then the typical gym membership, where the consumers would integrate these into their daily routines long after the pandemic subsides.

The digital offerings has also offered self-conscious consumers to try different workouts and fitness routines they might not have been confident in do before. It makes the digital disruption more interesting because the same consumers would even combine the virtual workouts to the in person workouts when the pandemic is finished. So much overlap in regards to the social functionality of digital fitness products, it may prove to be the most effective and meaningful difference for the increasing discerning and price conscious consumer. Thorburn and Jenkins agreed that in 2004 all media formats would eventually converge at some point but new techs are being used and reflected upon; however the newer media imitate and remediate shows what has been done before.

So real question is: Will the fitness industry be impacted by digital disruptions? I’ll let you be the judge of that. Let me know in the comment section what you think.


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