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Fitness Industry Trends for Personal Trainers 2017

Fitness Industry Trends For Personal Trainers 2017

Estimated reading time: ∼ 25 min

In the recent years, there has been a drastic inclination of people all over the globe towards adopting a healthier and fitter lifestyle. Media along with the social campaigns have made everyone become more responsible towards their health and lifestyle choices.

This means that people now are more aware of the kind of food they need to eat and the physical activity they would have to indulge in to have relatively healthier bodies. With all this in consideration, the fitness industry is now experiencing a boom like never before.

The UK and the US market have created a good analytical background on how much growth and changes the fitness industry has seen all together in the past couple of years.

This fitness industry report will help us analyse and consequently make predictions for the trends that would be seen for the fitness industry in the year 2017 for the personal trainers and fitness trainers.

Fitness Industry: What is it?

While we are on the subject, it would be a better approach to come to terms with the basic understanding of the industry that we will be talking about in a great deal from now onwards.

Against the contrary belief, the fitness industry is not merely about gyms. It is, in fact, more about everything which is a part of the gyms and the weight loss centers.

Since our concern here is to get an overview of the fitness industry as a business, we will also include all the equipment, space and the training teams which are an integral part of the fitness industry. Some of the most important jobs which are a currently a part of the fitness industry are:

  • Assistant and the Athletic Trainer
  • Physical Therapist and assistants
  • Medical Assistant.
  • Aide for Sports Medicine
  • Sports Massage Therapist
  • Nutritionist for sports and fitness

With the changes in behaviour, the traditional exercises are either becoming replaced or changed with the addition of new types of exercise programs. Some of the latest trends in exercising include Tabata, palates, strength training, body weight training and yoga to name a few.

This would mean newer and better equipment, changes in space utilisation plans and the training programs as well for the fitness industry. All this has affected the overall industry a lot and hence need to be taken into full account when predicting the trends of the fitness industry.

Common facts and figures for the fitness industry

To begin with, it would a useful step to take an overall look at the facts and figures for the fitness industry on the whole and UK and the USA in particular

  1. The global market doesn’t have any particular chain or brand dominating the industry. Each region has its own market leaders which are only known locally for that particular region.
  2. The United States is considered the be the biggest contributor to the fitness industry in terms of revenues as well as the members who are a part of the fitness clubs and gyms. By the year 2015, the fitness industry was generating over 80 billion USD annually and when you come to think of it, US alone was contributing around 28 billion USD to this overall share. Of this overall figure, the European fitness industry was generating around USD 29 billion and the net worth of the fitness industry on the whole in the UK is over £3.92 billion.
  3. There are over 186.000 fitness centers that are operational all over the world and in the US alone there are around 36 thousand such centers making it a country with one of the highest numbers of fitness centers all over the world.
  4. Apart from the US, Latin America, and Brazil, most of the countries around the world have less than 9000 fitness centers. The UK is no different in this regard and had only 6000 such centers by the year 2015.
  5. On the global front, over 150.000.000+ people subscribe to gym or fitness center memberships and amongst them, around 55 million subscriptions are from the US alone: the highest in the world. As per a survey, around one-quarter of the Americans state that exercising is a part of their regular lifestyle and thus have enrolled in one form of the fitness center or the other. Then close to two-thirds of these people acknowledged the importance of physical exercise and said that they exercise regularly and at some point in their life were a part of the gym or fitness center in their life. On the other hand, more than 14% of the UK population is now a member of a gym or a fitness center for the matter.
  6. There is expected to be an overall 8% increase in the employment opportunities for the trainers and fitness experts in the industry. With obesity and health problems that are associated with weight gain on the rise, people are looking for more personalised plans and attention that would help them lose weight and bring quick results in a short span of time.
  7. It is the latest trend why the US has become one of the biggest consumers of health and fitness products in the world recently with the UK too following the suite and following up with the trends of the industry.

With all these facts in mind, it would be safe to say that this current boom in the fitness industry is on the boom and is not coming down anytime soon.

It has been estimated that over 60% of the Americans today take part in some sort of recreational and sports activity that requires them to attain certain levels of fitness.

This would mean more people heading towards the fitness centers working out.

Fitness is not just about losing weight but it is also about maintaining health and improving one’s stamina, fitness, performance and endurance levels.

Qualities that were once sought by the people of the sports industry only are now every normal person’s goal but definitely, the levels do vary. Another major difference which has been seen in the attitudes lately is because of awareness.

Well, call it the magic of the digital realm but we all seem to have access to large and deep pools of knowledge which wasn’t possible a decade ago to this extent.

Before joining a fitness center, a yoga class or a gym, we are fully aware of what we need to do and what kind of training we would need to improve our overall look.

Statistics regarding fitness experts and personal trainers 2017

With these changes in mind, the number of people seeking the help of personal trainers and fitness experts increased.

A personal trainer is more concerned with the weight loss journey and helps the member with the exercises he needs to follow to reach his goals. The fitness expert, on the other hand, is certified and qualified to assign diet plans, health advice, prescribe fitness products based on the health conditions.

It would be safe to say that the fitness expert is at a more advanced level than the personal trainers and rightly so since most of them come with a four-year college degree.

Let us take a look at some of the interesting facts that will surely grab your attention regarding the fitness experts and personal trainers who are an integral part of the fitness industry.

  1. With over 200 thousands jobs in the USA available for the personal trainers, the median pay on average is around $58 thousand annually while those who are on the higher end of pay scale get more than $80 thousand annually. On average, an hour with a personal trainer can cost anywhere from $10 to $50 depending on the experience and qualification he has. In the UK, the salary ranges are a bit different. While the median income is £19,346 the maximum earnings can go to £62,972 inclusive of all the other benefits that come with the salary. However, in the London, the average salaries were 4% higher than the rest of the country. On hourly basis, a personal trainer in the UK makes anywhere around £6.78 – £40.50. Some of the many factors that affect the pay scale of personal trainers include:
    • Geographical location
    • Experience
    • Education which also includes certification
    • Specialization
  1. The responsibilities of a personal trainer vary from the organization he is a part of. It is more of an umbrella term nowadays which is used interchangeably with fitness experts. People who are entitled to this position either are responsible for heading the whole group of individuals on a one-to-one It could be on a corporate level, as a part of the wellness center or at a local gym. So anyone who has the motivation and the drive to succeed should expect a growth of 24% over a span of three years. It is a motivation on its own to aspire better professionals to become a part of this field
  2. It might come as a surprise but being physical trainers do get exhausted and tired as well. Like every normal person they get to train, they feel stress and the heat of the moment too. Of all the trainers who are a part of the field, over 30% claim that they feel work stress from continuously working indoors or at the same location. But despite it all, there is no denying that currently, it is the best time to go out there and be a part of this field which holds a lot of promises for everyone. You would be surprised to know what worth some of the most renowned personal trainers hold today.
  3. Jake Steinfeld, who was the one responsible for introducing personal training programs back in the 1980s and helped formed the basis of the fitness industry as we know of today, has worth over $600 million at least. On the other hand, Stacy Anderson who is known to be an exceptional celebrity fitness trainer has the net worth of over a 100 million. She is an expert at what she does and is truly good at it. Over the course of three days, while she had to film one of the fitness DVDs that she does, Stacy performed over 11, 690 glutes toning exercises. Fabrice Le Physique is a personal trainer based in UK and charges around £1000 per hour. He is the personal trainer for many celebrities including Matt LeBlanc and a number of other billionairs.
  4. Currently, there are over 231,000 personal trainers employed in the USA. However, the profession of personal trainers is more heartily pursued by the men as it does by the female. It was recently reviewed that of the 22,000 personal trainers who are currently registered in the UK, only 35% of them are women.
  5. Personal training is being motivated, determined and qualified. To succeed in the field, there are a lot of certifications that you need to acquire first. As of the current list, some of the most important certifications that one requires to become a good physical trainer are:
    • ACE
    • ACSM
    • NASM
    • NESTA
    • NCCPT
    • NCSF

It is after all these qualifications only that a personal trainer is able to succeed and touch newer heights of success. You might not know but only the certified personal trainers are permitted to teach formally. Although the number of freelance trainers, which is around 80% and alarmingly high, shows that one always has good chances in this field to make some extra money. It is after all these steps have been taken that this profession offers a high degree of job security.Over 42% of the personal trainers who were currently in the field confided that they were happy and felt secured in the line of the profession they had adopted.

  1. However, it is a common misconception to believe that most of the personal trainers tend not to succeed in the job despite having all the required certifications. The industry does attract an astounding number of newcomers who are smart enough to get the right certifications but it is not as easy a road as one would assume it to be. A few months in the field and some of them will be seen quitting or moving to different avenues.
  2. Well, it is because they lack the basic art of personal training: the lack the skill of selling themselves to the right clients. While some of the high-end trainers seem to be making over $50/hour, some are seen bidding their goodbyes in just over a month where they fail to get any clients for themselves. So, for anyone to be good at this field, what one needs is the right background, experience along with the necessary exposure to hit the right chords. There are several other factors that contribute to this change of professions such as maintenance of one’s personal health and fitness. While the personal trainers are working hard on their clients they need to be extra careful on how they choose to carry their own selves. This would mean taking care of their diet, fitness levels and health at all times no matter how tough the schedule is.
  3. A personal trainer can either choose to get employed by a studio or go his separate path and decide on working as a freelancer. Each one has its own pros and cons that are both attractive and worth considering. In order to make more profits and enhance their worth in the market, many personal trainers decide to go as a part-time freelancer only a few months after they take up a full-time job at a studio. It does get tiring but is helpful to cover up the overhead costs needed to run their own studios. Most of these personal trainers choose to work as a travel guru where they offer their training sessions on the go. It helps them save big time while keeping the job fun for them and interesting all year round. Personal training as a freelancer, even if it is on a part-time basis can help the trainers get a better perspective on the market and improve their marketing skills before they go full time on it.
  4. A personal trainer’s job is never done and he is in fact always looking for ways that would keep him fully motivated and ahead of his competitors. This means that the trainers are in training themselves to all their life learning the new trends and acquainting themselves to the latest training techniques.
  5. The fitness industry saw a mega boom of 75% during 2000 and 2011 making it one of the most sought-after professions today. Above all thefact that it is fairly easy to become a part of this line has helped bring in a lot of trainers to the industry. The fact that only the good and the most competent of them got to stick around is another story.

These are just some of the many facts that we thought would be interesting to evaluate and better judge the prospects of the fitness industry in the UK and USA in particular. This industry has its own ups and downs and allows for the trainers to make a lot of money if they follow the right guide.

Fitness industry trends

So when discussing the facts that circulate this industry, it is no surprise that we all arrive at the same conclusion: what now?

With the industry showing such promising future, one is bound to know more of the latest trends that will help any individual be a part of the long haul in the industry.

Now, we will be discussing some of the trends that are a part of the future of the fitness industry and are sure to become the talk of the town in the year 2017.

Wearable health monitors

This whole decade has been marked as an era of smartphone, smartwatches, and gadgets that digitised everything we have. Taking all this into perspective, it was assumed that it would be the end of all the inventions but we were all in for a surprise.

The technology which everyone seemed to have huge doubts about previously was suddenly becoming the favourite of all the leading brands such as Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin. Wearing health monitors on the wrists had everyone questioning the accuracy of the technology involved but this seemed to be changing at the start of this year.

It now not only tracks the heart rate and calories but is also good for recording distances, tracking GPS routes and much more.

It has been estimated that Apple would have sold over 485 million of such devices by the start of 2018. Click To Tweet

But it is not the end of it. Work is being done to introduce smart fabric, interactive glasses too in the hopes of bringing something new to this industry.

Body weight training

It might be something new to have made it to the fitness industry in the past couple of years but the whole concept of using one’s own body weight for weight training has been lurking around for centuries.

People have been using it as a form of resistance training but it was not until 2013 that it made it to the list of the top most trends of the fitness industry and that too at no.3 spot.

Now after all these years bodyweight training is being introduced as an individual program by most of the gyms and fitness centers. While we only know of pushups and pull-ups as the only form of body weight training but there are so many other moves that you can choose from such as lunges, squats, and planks to name a few.

What makes body training such a popular trend is the fact that it is fairly inexpensive as compared to the other fitness trends. It is this reason and that it brings quick results that it is one trend which you need to be looking out for in 2017 and the year to come.

High-intensity interval training

While jogging, have you ever tried to increase your speed or maybe even run on the track for a few minutes only to bring your speed back to normal after a while? Have you noticed how it takes more of your energy and raises your heartbeat to unbelievably fast rates?

Well, this is what HIIT is supposed to do for you. It is an expensive short interval of cardio training which helps pushes your boundaries for the better and helps build up your stamina.

What is even better about this trend is that it is easy to mix it up with all the other sorts of fitness training from Pilates to cross fit, you can incorporate HIIT in all forms of training. What makes this trend such a hit is the fact that it can be done in no more than 30 minutes helping you burn calories like a hot coal.

Well, it does have its reservations too. Many people who have used this form of training in their record have complained of the risks of injury this form of workout proposes. With you working out at frivolous speeds for thirty minutes, you are bound to hurt yourself one way or the other. Even too much of a speed can have you strain your joints.

Moreover, others often grew bored of it and wanted to shift to something else after a while.

But despite these concerns, it still remains to be one of the most popular trends in the fitness industry in 2017. If you haven’t tried it out yet, then now is the time to enrol yourself with a fitness trainer who is trained to handle it like a professional for you and ensure that you make it through with optimum results and no injuries.

One way to do that is to book yourself a workout session. Go for lunges for 45 seconds and give yourself a rest of 20seconds. Then you repeat it with pushups for another 45 seconds and slow it down for 20seconds again.

In this manner, you will have to introduce new exercises or maybe repeat the same ones after a while for short intervals. Make sure that you perform them at maximum speeds and really push yourself during those 45seconds. It is straining and tiring but certainly worth it.

Strength training

Haven’t we all grown up believing that lifting weights can cause us to gain weights?

This misconception is more common amongst women who have always thought that weightlifting is linked to increasing muscle mass and achieving a bulkier look but it is not the thought of the town anymore.

Recent events have led us to believe that strength training is one of the best trends to emerge out of the fitness industry. It helps improve the immunity, aids with diabetes, back pain and hypertension while helping you improve your metabolism and lose fat at a much faster rate.

It is these qualities which have led the women to grow really fond of this trend and incorporate it into their workout routines. Personal trainers are particularly keen on introducing this trend in their regimes so that most of the clients can benefit from it.

After all, the more latest trends they follow the better it would be for them. After all, the clients are looking for trainers who are up to date with the current happenings of the industries and can bring maximum benefits to the table.

Education and certifications

This may have dropped from number 3 to number 5 in the trends that are taking over the fitness industry but it still continues to be one of the most promising trends that are meant to last.

It is no surprise that the personal trainers today have more knowledge, are more trained and experienced when it comes to their job.

All thanks to the excessive need of certifications and education that they require moving ahead in their career. There are companies that are offering third-party certifications, and that with without much hassle at all.

With the fitness industry experiencing such a promising boom this decade, we see more of the personal trainers making their way to the fitness centers and as freelancers as well. The fact that they are all certified and properly educated adds to the overall package.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) has been providing certifications and accreditation to the personal trainers for a while now.

Be it through community colleges or universities, the personal trainers now have easy access to all sorts of certifications they need to have to progress in their careers. Moreover, CAAHEP has many academic programs of one or two years that the personal trainers can benefit from.

Personal Training

It is a luxury the Americans have been affording since its launch since 2006. From then onward there has been no looking back. People continue to book one to one sessions with the personal trainers.

It brings in more motivation, attention, better results and certainly a more knowledgeable session. What further adds to the charm is the trend that we just discussed previously, personal trainers being certified and educated. This means that they are trained to give their full attention to all the individuals that come for training under them.

This is made even more possible by the fact that the employment rate in the fitness industry will be seeing a book of 8% from 2014 to 2024 as per a survey. It ensures that there are enough personal trainers for each individual willing to pay for the luxury at hand.

With more people making their way to the fitness industry as personal trainers it seems like this trend is bound to see more light of the day.

Group Training

But what do you think? Can everyone afford to pay for a personal trainer?

It is a luxury that not everyone can afford but everyone would surely want to avail. This is the reason why group training sessions have made it to the list of trends to watch out for in 2017.

The personal trainers instead of giving one-to-one basis end up training a small group of individuals who are working towards the same objective and happen to share the same personal goals. In fact, there are some forms of exercises like CrossFit’s, strength training, yogas that bring out better results when a group of people is performing them together.

The round of buzz and energy with all of them together in the room is something which you cannot have in individual sessions. What makes it fun is the fact that the creativity personal trainers bring to each session to make it exciting for everyone.


As they say, yoga is not an exercise but a form of lifestyle which helps to bring harmony in our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health.

Not only does it enable us to lose weight but helps us become more aware and mindful of our surroundings. Something that was introduced in the east has been taking over the west for quite some time now.

For the past decade or so it has been moving up and down the fitness training list but still remains a part of the list nonetheless.

Against the common misconceptions, there is no one form of yoga but rather a whole lot of them that help spice things up in the yoga studios. Some of the most common forms of yoga include Power yoga, Bikram yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Kundalini Yoga.

Make sure to check them out the next time you decide to hit a yoga class near you.

Functional Fitness

What is the use of having a muscular body and strong build when you still have to rely on others around you to take care of your daily life chores for you?

Be it moving furniture, carrying a heavy load up a flight of stairs or simply or carry your toddler for you. It would not only defeat the whole purpose but would also be a waste of time and money. This is the reason why functional training continues to gain such rounds of applause even in 2017.

With functional training, we get to have the strength, the stamina, flexibility, and power needed to get through all the tasks of your day to day life independently.

No more relying on others when you are trained professionally to do things on your own. Moreover, the fact that it helps with balance and coordination is something you get to appreciate once you have entered the later years of your life.

Fitness programs for the elderly

We have entered an era, where the Baby Boomers have begun to age and have entered the elderly community. It is sad to see people who made the US what it is today now in the later years of their life.

This is why it is important for us to do something for them as a payback of the years of service they did for all of us today.

The fitness programs for the elderly are meant to benefit every old person around us who is struggling in life and has too much of self-respect to ask others for help.

These programs are becoming a hit among all such people who want to prepare themselves for the tough years ahead so that they can still live an independent and healthy life on their own.

However, it is sad to see that this trend has taken precedence over another, the more alarming issue in our society: the obesity rate in teenagers and kids today.

While the fitness programs for the elderly have made it to the list, we have yet to see something similar being done for the kids and teenagers.

Wellness coaching

All we have been talking about is how the personal trainers have been helping their clients achieve their fitness goals, but let’s not forget the role of the fitness experts here. They are also an integral part of the fitness industry.

Fitness experts, like the personal trainers, help their clients reach their personal goal with the exception that this time around the goals is more related to their health, disease prevention and wellness in general. With the stressful lives that we all are living, it is no surprise to see this trend moving up the ranks for the hottest trends to look for in 2017.

With all these trends making their way to the fitness industry, there is no denying the importance of the roles the fitness experts and personal trainers play in all this.

Be it as a freelancer, at a gym or a personal studio, these trainers are helping people a healthier and more active life.

The people in the UK are yet to adapt to this change while those in the US are already helping the industry generate huge revenues.

However, we should not be only concentrating on the boom the industry is experiencing and ignore some of the areas which would require our immediate attention. Work needs to be done to ensure that the personal trainers continue to receive all the education on a mandatory basis that would allow them to be better at their jobs.

After all, they are in a business where they are playing with the health and lives of the people and this is not something we can take chances on. It should not start with them jumping heads on in the industry but rather with them getting the internship of some experienced personal trainer who would train them and prepare them well for the industry ahead.

It would also be a good measure to drive out the ones who are in it on a temporary basis from the ones who want to adopt it as a proper profession.

Moreover, work needs to be done to ensure that personal trainers are not taken as a quick fix to weight loss goals but rather a crucial part of one’s lifestyle. They not only help with weight loss but also improve lives for the better.

This is something they need to given due credit for. It is only then that the right people will continue to be a part of the industry and help the population of the US and UK improve the quality of life they are living.


Fitness Entrepreneur. Personal Trainer. MSc Sports Scientist. Author.

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