Is your Bootcamp prepared for the Boomer Explosion
There is a Booming Giant sitting at our doorstep, but 85% of the Fitness Industry is not paying attention!
In 2013 Baby Boomers will be turning 68 years old. The largest segment in our economy, with the largest percentage of wealth will be turning to the fitness industry for help with their aging bodies. The estimates are that 75% of the U.S. wealth is controlled by Baby Boomers, if you add in the people over 68, that doesn’t leave much money for those under age 47. My hunch is your bootcamp isn’t much different than others and you target people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. But after I just told you all the money is in the hands of those over age 48 and they are in desperate need of your fitness attention, is it time you consider them? What do I mean by desperate need– The number of quote “special populations” that will be seeking out fitness professionals is about to reach a tipping point. Here is just a sampling of some of the conditions a boomer client might present with: Joint replacements (often 2), osteopenia, sarcopenia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, arthritis, Parkinson’s, peripheral neuropathy, cancer. Many will present with multiple challenges, this all on top of a deconditioned body with limited fitness ability. However the situation is not bleak or discouraging if one is readily prepared for the challenge. This is not your average client seeking a flat tummy, or sexy love handles.
All these various medical conditions don’t mean you need unique knowledge or training, just a basic understanding that they aren’t walking in like the “apparently healthy” 35 year old who you can just pound into the ground. You will need to treat them with a little more care a little more patience and realize that it may take them a month to get up to speed for a full session of bootcamp. Think about it if you haven’t been exercising for 30 years your body has some serious rust on it! That doesn’t mean you will kill them or break them as far too many trainers are afraid. It actually means you have the biggest opportunity for life transformation. Lets face it a 30 yr old client is out of shape and can probably get back in shape in 6 months, and then often doesn’t appreciate you like they should and off they go to get lazy (and fat) again. But a 60 yr old client may take a year to get back in shape, and you will so dramatically change every aspect of their life, they will be so thankful and never want to leave! Are you starting to see the difference.
This model I use in every consultation with a client over the age of 55. This really shows that as individuals there is a tremendous range of function that our future may hold, and exercise may be the difference between golfing in our 80s-90s or a nursing home.
This chart depicts the trajectory that you are on as you age. You notice there are two trajectories pictured one that drops below the disability threshold and one that stays above it, which one would you choose? I fully believe that most older adults should follow the higher trajectory, and in many cases lifestyle is the significant separating factor…..so in a simple sense that choice is up to each individual. I actually believe this should make for a lifetime client. If you sign someone up to train at the age of 65 you might have them as a client for 5-20 years! This is not the 34 year old looking to drop weight and then drop you as a trainer.
Does this mean you have to entirely redesign your bootcamp business? No absolutely not! One simple suggestion, add a time slot in the middle of the day for 55+ folks. And then ask all of your current clients if they have a parent or uncle that they think would benefit from a basic bootcamp for boomers? If your clients love you they should have tons of referrals for you. Who doesn’t want their mom or dad or aunt or uncle or neighbor to start feeling better and getting their strength back.
I believe the “new senior” client will want nothing to do with the senior fitness programs we have seen in the past. Boomers are not taking aging lying down, to give you an example two recent clients we had training for outcomes such as climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (current client age 55) or riding bikes for several hundred miles in France countryside (current client age 70).
I believe the Fitness market for Boomers and Seniors is poised to explode for those fitness professionals that are prepared. This isn’t going to be a small niche market, but it will be where the most successful and stable fitness businesses will thrive for years to come. Keep in mind the young baby boomers are still late 40s early 50s and will want to stay young and active for 40 more years (or your entire career).
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