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Letters: Write to reply

Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – email: [email protected]

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 1

More appreciation – and pay – for instructors
Ross Perriam, chief executive, EMDUK

Every year, it’s interesting to see the release of The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) worldwide survey of fitness trends, as it always triggers much debate and discussion.

While the usual suspects like HIIT training and wearable technology maintain their place on the list, it’s the inclusion of the ‘importance of employing certified fitness professionals’ which we feel is particularly significant.

Being the National Governing Body for group exercise, it’s obviously great to see Group Exercise flying high at number two, but this wouldn’t be there without correctly qualified instructors in place.

In our opinion, fitness instructors are the main reason that over three million more people are participating in group exercise than two years ago [1], by providing effective, motivating fitness sessions that keep those participants coming back.

We want to ensure that instructors are given the recognition and remuneration they deserve. Many are still paid similar rates to those paid to instructors in the 1990s, despite the pivotal role they play in retaining members for leading operators.

This is driving some to look at leaving the sector. The recent IHRSA European CEO Study Report showed a concern from European fitness leaders about operators in the industry being able to recruit and retain enough qualified staff.

"We want to ensure instructors are given the remuneration they deserve. Many are paid similar rates to those paid in the 1990s, despite the pivotal role they play in retaining members"

We're under no illusions; this recognition won't happen overnight, but this high-level acknowledgement of their efforts is a positive start to that journey.

[1] EMD UK (2018) - Group Exercise National Survey

Fitness instructors often don’t receive credit for the contribution they make to a club’s success PHOTO: IMAGE COURTESY OF MYZONE
PTs and boutique gyms can thrive side by side
Paul Swainson, head of PT, Future Fit Training

I read with interest James Balfour’s interview in HCM November/December 2018.

I’m a huge fan of the 1Rebel brand and the innovation it’s brought to the industry. I also have no doubt that 1Rebel members can get great results from attending classes regularly.

But I have to disagree with James’s belief that the market for personal training will decline as a result of the growth in boutique fitness.

He suggests personal trainers “will watch you do press ups for an hour and charge you £60”.

That’s a dated perception which has been on the wane for some time, and while there are still some PTs that perpetuate it by hoping to earn a living purely from supervising workouts in isolation, we now better appreciate the realities of what’s required to help people adopt healthy lifestyles and achieve results.

As a consequence, personal trainers that don’t change their approach will be – quite rightly – left behind.

“Will boutiques take market share from PTs? Yes, definitely, but will they trigger a significant decline in the demand for personal training? I don’t think so”

A quality PT will provide tailored exercise programmes, one-to-one coaching and support and will work on behaviour change to instill intrinsic motivation and increase adherence. They will also offer nutrition advice.

As great as a 45-minute indoor cycling class may be, can it provide all of the above? Can two, three or four classes a week do that? Even with eucalyptus-infused towels on offer? (I jest).

Granted 1Rebel instructors are fantastic, and could offer individual advice, guidance and motivation outside classes, but then we start to blur the lines between roles and services.

Trainers are shifting towards offering more experiences themselves. For example, the popularity of small group training classes is increasing as fitness professionals become more aware of the power of building a tribe mentality among their clients.

Will boutiques take market share from PTs? Yes, definitely, in the same way that online fitness media and conventional gym classes do.

But will they trigger a significant decline in the demand for personal training?

I don’t think so – it’s not that PTs are at risk, it’s more that the nature of the service will be redefined as the market evolves, driving a jump in professionalism, quality and skill that can only benefit the whole industry.

James Balfour said he believed the demand for personal training will decline as the boutique market grows IMAGE COURTESY OF 1REBEL
Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
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features

Letters: Write to reply

Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – email: [email protected]

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 1

More appreciation – and pay – for instructors
Ross Perriam, chief executive, EMDUK

Every year, it’s interesting to see the release of The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) worldwide survey of fitness trends, as it always triggers much debate and discussion.

While the usual suspects like HIIT training and wearable technology maintain their place on the list, it’s the inclusion of the ‘importance of employing certified fitness professionals’ which we feel is particularly significant.

Being the National Governing Body for group exercise, it’s obviously great to see Group Exercise flying high at number two, but this wouldn’t be there without correctly qualified instructors in place.

In our opinion, fitness instructors are the main reason that over three million more people are participating in group exercise than two years ago [1], by providing effective, motivating fitness sessions that keep those participants coming back.

We want to ensure that instructors are given the recognition and remuneration they deserve. Many are still paid similar rates to those paid to instructors in the 1990s, despite the pivotal role they play in retaining members for leading operators.

This is driving some to look at leaving the sector. The recent IHRSA European CEO Study Report showed a concern from European fitness leaders about operators in the industry being able to recruit and retain enough qualified staff.

"We want to ensure instructors are given the remuneration they deserve. Many are paid similar rates to those paid in the 1990s, despite the pivotal role they play in retaining members"

We're under no illusions; this recognition won't happen overnight, but this high-level acknowledgement of their efforts is a positive start to that journey.

[1] EMD UK (2018) - Group Exercise National Survey

Fitness instructors often don’t receive credit for the contribution they make to a club’s success PHOTO: IMAGE COURTESY OF MYZONE
PTs and boutique gyms can thrive side by side
Paul Swainson, head of PT, Future Fit Training

I read with interest James Balfour’s interview in HCM November/December 2018.

I’m a huge fan of the 1Rebel brand and the innovation it’s brought to the industry. I also have no doubt that 1Rebel members can get great results from attending classes regularly.

But I have to disagree with James’s belief that the market for personal training will decline as a result of the growth in boutique fitness.

He suggests personal trainers “will watch you do press ups for an hour and charge you £60”.

That’s a dated perception which has been on the wane for some time, and while there are still some PTs that perpetuate it by hoping to earn a living purely from supervising workouts in isolation, we now better appreciate the realities of what’s required to help people adopt healthy lifestyles and achieve results.

As a consequence, personal trainers that don’t change their approach will be – quite rightly – left behind.

“Will boutiques take market share from PTs? Yes, definitely, but will they trigger a significant decline in the demand for personal training? I don’t think so”

A quality PT will provide tailored exercise programmes, one-to-one coaching and support and will work on behaviour change to instill intrinsic motivation and increase adherence. They will also offer nutrition advice.

As great as a 45-minute indoor cycling class may be, can it provide all of the above? Can two, three or four classes a week do that? Even with eucalyptus-infused towels on offer? (I jest).

Granted 1Rebel instructors are fantastic, and could offer individual advice, guidance and motivation outside classes, but then we start to blur the lines between roles and services.

Trainers are shifting towards offering more experiences themselves. For example, the popularity of small group training classes is increasing as fitness professionals become more aware of the power of building a tribe mentality among their clients.

Will boutiques take market share from PTs? Yes, definitely, in the same way that online fitness media and conventional gym classes do.

But will they trigger a significant decline in the demand for personal training?

I don’t think so – it’s not that PTs are at risk, it’s more that the nature of the service will be redefined as the market evolves, driving a jump in professionalism, quality and skill that can only benefit the whole industry.

James Balfour said he believed the demand for personal training will decline as the boutique market grows IMAGE COURTESY OF 1REBEL
Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
More features
Editor's letter

Into the fitaverse

Fitness is already among the top three markets in the metaverse, with new technology and partnerships driving real growth and consumer engagement that looks likely to spill over into health clubs, gyms and studios
Fit Tech people

Ali Jawad

Paralympic powerlifter and founder, Accessercise
Users can easily identify which facilities in the UK are accessible to the disabled community
Fit Tech people

Hannes Sjöblad

MD, DSruptive
We want to give our users an implantable tool that allows them to collect their health data at any time and in any setting
Fit Tech people

Jamie Buck

Co-founder, Active in Time
We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems
Profile

Fahad Alhagbani: reinventing fitness

Alexa can help you book classes, check trainers’ bios and schedules, find out opening times, and a host of other information
Opinion

Building on the blockchain

For small sports teams looking to compete with giants, blockchain can be a secret weapon explains Lars Rensing, CEO of Protokol
Innovation

Bold move

We ended up raising US$7m in venture capital from incredible investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Primetime Partners, and GingerBread Capital
App analysis

Check your form

Sency’s motion analysis technology is allowing users to check their technique as they exercise. Co-founder and CEO Gal Rotman explains how
Profile

New reality

Sam Cole, CEO of FitXR, talks to Fit Tech about taking digital workouts to the next level, with an immersive, virtual reality fitness club
Profile

Sohail Rashid

35 million people a week participate in strength training. We want Brawn to help this audience achieve their goals
Ageing

Reverse Ageing

Many apps help people track their health, but Humanity founders Peter Ward and Michael Geer have put the focus on ageing, to help users to see the direct repercussions of their habits. They talk to Steph Eaves
App analysis

Going hybrid

Workout Anytime created its app in partnership with Virtuagym. Workout Anytime’s Greg Maurer and Virtuagym’s Hugo Braam explain the process behind its creation
Research

Physical activity monitors boost activity levels

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have conducted a meta analysis of all relevant research and found that the body of evidence shows an impact
Editor's letter

Two-way coaching

Content providers have been hugely active in the fit tech market since the start of the pandemic. We expect the industry to move on from delivering these services on a ‘broadcast-only’ basis as two-way coaching becomes the new USP
Fit Tech People

Laurent Petit

Co-founder, Active Giving
The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
Fit Tech People

Adam Zeitsiff

CEO, Intelivideo
We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
Fit Tech People

Anantharaman Pattabiraman

CEO and co-founder, Auro
When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
Fit Tech People

Mike Hansen

Managing partner, Endorphinz
We noticed a big gap in the market – customers needed better insights but also recommendations on what to do, whether that be customer acquisition, content creation, marketing and more
More features