Fitness meets Physio: Innovative Business Areas for Studio Operators

In the fitness sector, the term ‘hybrid’ has been associated since the Corona pandemic with the simultaneous offer of classic, analog and digital training options, for example via live streaming, app or on demand. But hybrid originally means ‘of two origins’ or ‘composed of different things’. Therefore, the term can be perfectly applied to the combination of physical therapy and physical training under one roof: a business model with many more interfaces than opposites.

Due to the corona pandemic and the measures taken to deal with it, things that used to be taken for granted, such as the Opportunity to train regularlyone today new value. Established patterns of thought and behavior had to be rethought.

the the authorities have by decrees and announcement “Gyms must remain closed” Y “Physiotherapy is left open” a clear line drawn between first and second health care market.

the The first and second health markets successfully benefit from each other, when patients transition from therapy to medical training or go directly to an affiliated physical therapy practice for injuries and complaints.

Misunderstood Health Order

In the fitness and health industry, the closure of facilities caused misunderstanding and anger. The industry sees itself from the policy that health aspect of training apparently in the studios too little knows and appreciatemisjudged.

Supervised training for obesity, sarcopenia, back pain, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and many others doesn’t seem relevant, just like that preventive effect of physical training.

Blockade for ten million athletes

Furthermore, the importance of social place “fitness and health studio” for psyche A lot of people have. The consequences of the prescribed closure of studies for the approximately ten million trainees were accepted, and the question whether prescribed physiotherapy with subsequent training therapy would not be more sustainable was left unanswered.

refute stereotypes

the The pandemic has created a discrepancy between how the health and fitness industry sees itself and how it is perceived by the public. made painfully clear. Of protective and preventative benefits of regular exercise indisputable and scientifically proven.

From the outside, however, our industry is still associated with stereotypes based on old prejudices. the highly qualified services in the fitness and health sector they are underestimated and this sometimes creates a wrong image in public.

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Positioning as health care providers

To promote a rethinking in the population, the industry be activated and through a clearer positioning their role as healthcare provider consolidate and communicate.

From the growing importance of the ‘health in society’ factor results in one great opportunity for fitness and healthcare providers. To do this, the benefits for customers and the solutions offered must be made clear: Strengthening of the immune system, weight reduction, prevention of orthopedic diseases Etc.

Offers real added value

Crucial to success is that customers feel real added value to their health and that they are in good hands. If he Health mission with passion lived and helped high quality concepts implemented, the image of the industry can be permanently corrected.

The factor ‘Support by qualified personnel’ plays a very important role and can Interconnection of fitness and physiotherapy offers show up more clearly.

More and more people of retirement age

In addition, the demographic development towards a aging society an essential point. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of people of retirement age in Germany will increase significantly by 2035: “The number of people over the age of 67 will increase by 22 percent between 2020 and 2035, from 16 million to an estimated 20 million” (2021).

Growing interest in health education

The corona pandemic has made it very clear how important personal fitness level is for a strong immune system. This gives reason to believe that interest in health education also in target groups it growsthat you wouldn’t normally work out in a gym. The health training offer will lower the threshold of inhibition to become a member.

use synergies

Many health and fitness studio operators have used their experiences of closures and new perspectives as an opportunity to clearly clarify to position themselves as healthcare providers, doing that Complement your own offer with physiotherapy. – cooperating with an existing practice or opening your own practice.

the synergies of both areas they are well known and are already being successfully implemented in the industry.

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Successful hybrid business models

In an interview with fitness MANAGEMENT international, Christian Graupner, owner of the aktiVital health center in Dessau, and Daniel Gier, CEO of MedAix training and therapy centers, show the opportunities that exist in designing this hybrid business model.

About our two interview partners

What is particularly interesting about our two interlocutors is that they arrived at a similar portfolio from two different starting points. Of Sports scientist Christian Graupner began physical training in the course area and expanded its health center to include a physical therapy practice in 2012.

Daniel Gier against him as Sports scientist for prevention and rehabilitation. he initially worked in physical therapy facilities before expanding the offering with his business partner in 2007 to include health-oriented training. Today, the sports science training centers are affiliated with six of MedAix’s ten physiotherapy practices.

Interview with Christian Graupner

Therapy and training under one roof: the interview with Christian Graupner, Managing Director of aktiVital in Dessau, about the hybrid facility concept combining fitness training and physiotherapy You can read here.

Interview with Daniel Gier

“Both levels need full attention”: In an interview, MedAix CEO Daniel Gier talks about which design options itself for the hybrid system concept Offer.


Federal Statistical Office (2021). By 2035, the number of people aged 67 and over will increase by 22%. Retrieved 4/1/2022.


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