Health & fitness has changed a lot in the last 20 years, from body builders in the late 1970s and early 1980s to sports people such as marathon runners in the late 1980s and early 1990s to modern day exercisers who want to look athletic, lean, and are more health conscious. To know what’s going to happen next in fitness it’s important to know what’s happened so far, and be aware of different trends and ideas that are being shared all around the world. The more you know as a PT, the better you will be able to communicate with clients, share your enthusiasm for the best training techniques and motivate them to achieve their goals.
The more you know as a PT, the better you will be able to communicate with clients, share your enthusiasm for the best training techniques and motivate them to achieve their goals.
Gone are the days of rows and rows of single station resistance machines and dozens of X-trainers and treadmills. Consumers want space to exercise and tools to help them achieve these goals. Suspension trainers, kettlebells, ViPR, Bulgarian bags, zones where they can train and move with friends – these have all increased in popularity over the last few years and will continue to do so. Just look at how much space these training zones have in gyms compared to a couple of years ago. Often we see that it’s the PT’s job to introduce people to this kit, but once they’re on it they’re hooked. The beauty for a PT is that it’s much more about the programming than the limited scope of old-fashioned equipment – and that’s where a PT’s knowledge and expertise comes in.
Consumers are no longer happy to do the same routine or use the same machines as everyone else. This has led to the rise of the single concept facilities such as Cross Fit, indoor cycling studios and Bikram Yoga becoming more and more popular. They operate very differently from a traditional gym setup, so if an exerciser wants to do spin on a Tuesday and a weights session on a Friday they will go to different venues that specialise in the exact activity they are after, and only pay for what they want. Everything is more bespoke for their wants and needs and this includes how they are communicated with, as well as what they expect when they come into a gym or health club. They expect information from experts on their fitness, their nutrition, and their lifestyle and are much better informed than they used to be.
Larger health clubs and gyms have to adapt with the times, but it’s important to realise that there will still be people who want the all-inclusive offering. There are lots of very interesting GroupX concepts on offer, and the rise of the small group format means instructors have more opportunities to share their knowledge and offer a more personalised experience. Updating equipment with functional training zones transforms a gym into a fitness playground, perfect for the growing group of people who want some of the fun of Cross Fit but in a slightly more friendly environment. Good instructors, motivators and trainers are more important than ever as this type of exercise has become mainstream, as good form and programming are so important. It’s an exciting time for fitness and an exciting time to be a PT.
Rob Beale, Head of Sports, Health & Fitness, David Lloyd Leisure
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