Just a few short years ago, the future looked bleak for the fitness industry — but things are looking up.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow a whopping 24 percent between the years 2010 and 2020. This growth rate, the Bureau notes, is “faster than average.”
The news doesn’t surprise Steve Hayes, the chief operating officer at BILT by Agassi and Reyes, a Las Vegas-based manufacturer of fitness equipment designed by tennis legend Andre Agassi and his longtime trainer Gil Reyes.
“I think with people’s health and healthcare being such a hot topic, people are becoming more cognizant of personal training,” Hayes said. “People want to get the most results as quickly as possible and taking that one-one-one personal approach is the best way to do it.”
With the rising popularity of initiatives like Exercise is Medicine, which includes industry sponsors TechnoGym and Anytime Fitness, there is an increasing focus on prescribing exercise instead of medication to get people’s weight and health under control. It’s not always easy to exercise on one’s own, so personal training has become the go-to to get motivated.
Hayes said he sees a trend of health clubs and fitness centers offering personal training as part of membership packages. The SNEWS team found that while signing up for a membership at a 24-Hour Fitness in Denver, Colo., personal training was offered at a discounted rate for first-time members. It was $35 per one-on-one session.
“The club market is extremely strong, and they’re understanding the consumer and understanding the need for that personal training aspect,” Hayes said.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the workspaces of personal trainers range from hospitals to gyms to recreation centers and even specialty fitness retailers.
Given the rapid growth in the field, Vince Trujillo, a Denver-based personal trainer and owner of Fitness Together Denver Tech Center, cautions consumers to check a personal trainer’s certifications and qualifications before hiring them on.
“I’m very weary of personal trainers who are not certified and don’t have a commitment to do what’s necessary to get a certification,” Trujillo said.
Certifications to look for include those from organizations accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Those agencies include the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American Council on Exercise, the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Federation of Professional Trainers.
This growth could be good news for specialty fitness retailers, as several pieces of equipment are designed with mobile personal trainers in mind. They might be shopping at your stores for products like the Fit In Fitness three-in-one stepper, a rocker and wobble board designed by personal trainer Jason Richards.
The Bureau’s growth projection also includes yoga instructors, which are in high demand right now.
Los Angeles-based Yoga Fit, a yoga instructor training program, has trained more than 200,000 yoga instructors worldwide since its inception in 1994. Founder Beth Shaw said the organization trains about 15,000 new people each year because consumers are seeing the benefits of the exercise, plus more “hybrid” yoga programs are being established.
“People are seeing yoga as the ultimate cross-training tool as well as a great standard exercise,” Shaw said.