It is evident that social media has had a monumental impact on the majority of industries, from fashion to even logistics. Although, as many in and out of the industry know, fitness is one that was impacted most, with workout videos, progress pic’s and ‘athleisure’ being a common sight among many social media feeds.
In the UK, the fitness industry has been on a huge rise over recent years, with the industry even achieving a worth of around £5 billion; proving that fitness really is becoming part of our daily lives, even for those who don’t partake in fitness activities.
This huge growth has not only changed the industry for clients and consumers, but it has also transformed the definition of what it is to be a Personal Trainer, and what is expected of fitness professionals in a rapidly growing industry.
Becoming a Brand
When it comes to the digital world, social media has created a demand for professionals across all industries to become more than just what their job title suggests. Professionals are now expected to be their own brand by offering things beyond what is expected of them. A prime example of the way trainers are going beyond the norms is with meal plans and tracking macros, as trainers who are genuinely passionate about client progression are doing everything in their power to maximise results and optimise the process to get there.
As the UK fitness industry grows, clients are looking to trainers beyond the gym and studio; viewing them as more of a health and wellbeing coach rather than a plain old trainer. An example of this is a study carried out which focuses on how trainers are supporting their clients with other aspects of their lives such as their mental health and nutrition, with 55% of Personal Trainers saying they have seen an increase in the number of clients approach them with mental health related concerns.
Growing Industry Standards
With the fitness industry rapidly evolving, so are the standards of training required to stand out from the crowd. Personal Trainers are doing everything in their power to find a way to offer new and exciting classes and services to their clients.
This is why many professionals choose to pursue CPD courses to expand their skill set and increase their clientele. CPD and specialist courses are allowing Personal Trainers to delve into areas of fitness that may have been previously inaccessible for them.
Beyond CPD courses, many trainers are also harnessing the huge potential of social media for gaining quality exposure and expanding their client base, with pages raking in tens, even hundreds of thousands of followers. The power of social media is huge, and if fitness brands and personal trainers aren’t using it to gain more clients, they are using it to keep up with the industry and engage with their clients and followers, which then again adds to the whole personal brand that is required of today’s Personal Trainers.
Beyond social media changing the way fitness professionals gain exposure and engage with the community, the way that trainers manage their trainer-client relationships and client progression is also adapting, as 78% of trainers spend up to 5 hours per week helping and advising clients out of their paid one-to-one time. Pioneering trainers are now exploiting the potential of technology to manage things such as client diets with tailored training and progression plans, which allow professionals to seriously boost their reputability.
When it comes to staying afloat within the industry, it is no longer enough for trainers to simply do just any qualification, as reputability of courses becomes more of a problem across the industry. Furthering this, those looking to specialise in a certain area now also have higher standards to meet, with specialist and CPD courses now being a requirement for professionals looking to pursue niche aspects of fitness such as padwork training and aqua fitness.
Overall, the definition of being a Personal Trainer has evolved massively, with the days of simply offering a one size fits all session being long gone. Dependent on the trainer, this huge industry boost can be seen as negative, with extra requirements meaning more work; or it can be seen as positive, with huge potential of growth and career progression being opened up.