Blog #5: How has COVID impacted the fitness industry?… and is ‘now’ a good time to become a fitness professional? - Performance Training Academy

Since March 2020, when the Pandemic really affected us all in the UK, the fitness industry and fitness professionals have had to endure a real torrid time.

As a training provider, we were even in the midst of delivering our Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training and Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy courses when we went into our first lockdown.

I, like so many other people at this point, really had the thought process of ‘what do we do now?’.

When the first lockdown came into effect, it really did feel like the world had stopped, and the fitness industry definitely came to a grinding halt. With gyms shutting and contact restricted, it became so difficult to keep any form of a fitness business ticking over.

Many individuals that I know and have worked with, and even our own students, adapted and started virtual coaching. Using platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and even their own websites and social media platforms.

A service could still be provided – individuals could still be supported and revenue could still be obtained.

I am always so grateful to all of our students who adapted their learning with us, focusing on the theory and the online set-up of our courses to continue their learning until we could get back into a gym/physio environment to complete the practical workshops. 

I completely understood the apprehension that there must have been for many of these students, getting a qualification and looking to build a business in an industry that was fully restricted and seemingly closed for many parts of 2020 and 2021.

Yet here we are in January of 2022.

Restrictions are still in place to a degree but in a very minor capacity, kids back into school no longer needing the all-consuming homeschooling, and gyms and businesses back open as normal.

What can the fitness industry expect to see now COVID is under control and a large percentage of the population vaccinated against it?

I think something that became clear very early on, is that COVID really affected those with poor health and those in high-risk categories (obesity being one such classification). 

Having spoken with a lot of individuals over the past two years, this has now become a real motivation to change their lifestyle, diet, mindset and goals. 

Essentially a lot of individuals will no longer be taking their ‘health’ for granted.

So, what does an individual do when they realise they need to address their health, get fitter and lose some body fat weight? 

Join a gym.

And what is a common barrier to joining a gym, especially after not being able to use one consistently for the past couple of years, or perhaps the larger barrier of never having stepped foot in a gym at any point in an individual’s life?

Apprehension and anxiety.

Many of us can relate to the nerves and anxiety that can set in when joining a new gym. Especially if this is something that a person has not done for a few years, and sometimes never at all.

This is where fitness professionals come in!

The great thing about gyms these days is that they generally have educated fitness professionals working there to look after their members and to have a base for their businesses.

Now more than ever there is a need for Personal Trainers to be available to help those individuals get back into a gym or make that first step foot into a gym.

To help them improve their health, fitness and mindset.

But does the fitness industry need more Personal Trainers?

As a training provider, we often get asked “is the industry too saturated with Personal Trainers”, the answer is always a massive and resounding ‘no’.

The health and fitness industry needs Personal Trainers to help individuals to train specifically towards their goals and needs now more than ever.

Individuals will need educated Personal Trainers to help them form habits in their lifestyle and in their nutritional intake.

It sounds corny I know, but Personal Trainers are needed to help a massive part of the population become healthier, fitter and stronger.

In 2022, a Personal Trainers’ worth is massively justified. Even individuals who have trained in the same manner for years and years still need that guidance, motivation and support to push them to new levels of health and fitness.

Another reason that the industry is not saturated is that a Personal Trainer does not need 50-60 plus clients to build a successful business.

A successful business can be achieved on the back of 15-20 clients and can bring in a gross income of around £33k per year. 

Don’t believe me? See our short eBook – ‘How to grow your business as a fitness professional’ – and see exactly how much you can earn and what needs to be in place to do so.

So, looking ahead to 2022.

I love January – some hate it I know – but I see it as a time to reflect on what you achieved over the previous year, and an opportunity to set some goals for the year ahead.

How will COVID affect the fitness industry this year?

Obviously, no one knows, but it really does feel that life is getting closer and closer to normality. A good example of this is how the industry has been able to remain open over the winter, even with another variant finding its way onto our shores.

I strongly believe that more and more individuals will be wanting to work on their health, fitness, diet and mindset this year. In some respects more so now than ever. To do this, their first port of call will be to look to join a gym and look to use the service of an educated and professional Personal Trainer, some more apprehensively so than others.

What can you do as a fitness professional to help these individuals?

Advertise.

Market yourself so that people know where to find you, to be able to see what it is that you offer and how you can help them,, and then know how to contact you.

Our advice here would be:

  • Consistently advertise your services on social media (organically and paid)
  • Use AdWords and links(from social media) to your website if you have one
  • Showcase your services using testimonials
  • And importantly, help these individuals take a step in the right direction by giving an introductory offer (First 2-3 sessions free for example).

Yes, it has been a rollercoaster last couple of years, and again a massive amount of respect should be given to all of the fitness professionals (gym owners, personal trainers, business owners) who have adapted and come through these past 2 years, and to our students who have achieved their qualifications in a very stop/start manner and still managed to build a business in the current climate. 

But the future is looking pretty good, why not take advantage of this by really pushing your business goals and taking them to another level in 2022.

If you are considering if this year is right for you to get your qualification as a fitness professional, now seems to be a perfect time. 

A lot of individuals will need well-educated fitness professionals, like a Level 3 Personal Trainer, to help them achieve their own personal goals in 2022, and to help the nation as a whole get fitter, healthier and stronger.

For more information on getting fully qualified as a Level 3 Personal Trainer and obtaining your Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Trainer – CLICK HERE

2 thoughts on “Blog #5: How has COVID impacted the fitness industry?… and is ‘now’ a good time to become a fitness professional?”

  1. A great article that really highlights the desire of the population to improve health and fitness in these challenging times and post COVID. This is underpinned by the future aspiration to get the UK population fitter and healthier, with a targeted approach to reduce the demand on the NHS, specifically in the later years of life.
    Literally, Movement is Medicine. Government future direction of travel, NHS health promotions and interventions, such as the positive approach to engaging in a healthy diet, support for the cessation of smoking and getting the population more active, are an example of this change of posture.
    The future looks bright for us aspiring PTs undertaking the Level 3 Personal Trainers Course and changing our professional working direction and future.

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