The fitness industry isn’t without its flaws, but what it lacks in regulation and consistency it makes up for in opportunity and promise. Capitalism can sometimes get a bad rap, but the principles that are most prevalent in the fitness industry represent the beauty of entrepreneurship and the ability of ideas and businesses that best serve clients to flourish.

Capitalism can be loosely defined as “an economic system controlled by private owners for profit, instead of by the state.” There are a handful of characteristics that define capitalism and having a grasp on how the examples below impact the fitness industry is pivotal for those looking to have an impact on the future.

Free market economy

Minimal intervention and regulation in the industry means a low barrier of entry and a wide range of service quality being provided. The downside of this greater disparity can be poor client experiences that taint their view of trainers as well as price undercutting from lower quality and higher volume business models.

The upside however is the ability to shine through in the darkness. Contrast allows for differentiation, so fitness pros need to spend less time complaining about the state of the industry and how poorly regulated it is, and focus more time leading from the front. Great marketing might lead some customers astray, but the best should be able to stand out and rise up.


Capitalism promotes competition and the industry becomes better because of it. Due to the free market economy and freedom of enterprise, fitness industry competition rivals that of restaurants. This is not the same industry as it was ten to fifteen years ago. Being passionate about training and helping people is not enough to make it.

Not when you’re competing with savvy corporations that have a mastery of customer experience, internal processes, and marketing. You have to be great and overdeliver in all categories and then the market will determine your value. The principles of supply and demand apply and thankfully in many areas of the country fitness is in very high demand.

Business owners should embrace this idea of competition knowing that it won’t allow them to sit back and get comfortable. Not when things are moving this fast. Competition makes us all better and will force studio owners to continue to find their edge against corporate through service delivery, relationships, and niche creation.

Evolution and change

Fail to evolve and stay ahead of the curve and you will not survive. Trends come and go quickly in the fitness industry so being on top of emerging technology and services is essential. It doesn’t mean change who you are every six months, but businesses must work tirelessly to get feedback, understand their numbers, and be able to shift their approach before losing customers to a competitor who’s doing it better or for less.

This means creating a culture and team that’s current and spending time on the front lines of the industry. Business owners that embrace this concept and work tirelessly to improve for customers will find themselves the ones shaping that evolution and change rather than scrambling to keep up.

All politics aside, capitalism may have its drawbacks but that’s usually dependent upon which part of the mountain you are sitting on. Those looking to capitalize need to embrace the opportunities it presents and know it can make us better in the pursuit of the ultimate results for our clients.