Virtual and Online Training
With fewer mask mandates and work-from-home opportunities, most everyone is back to shopping and moving around the world.
But many fitness clients are still in love with the virtual training services offered at the height of the pandemic. These clients value the convenience of not traveling to a gym to do their workouts. And it’s easier for them to stick to a workout and training schedule without the long commute.
On the other hand, some clients may be immunocompromised or just cautious and still want to skip the in-person workouts.
To serve these two groups, many fitness trainers are improving the virtual and online training programs they created during enforced social distancing. So, expect to see an increase in online training programs, live streaming classes, and virtual personal training sessions.
Here’s the most common advice we’re hearing from trainers about how they plan to improve their online training regimen:
- Sell a packaged set of bands, weights, or even fitness tech. If you want to increase your profits, you can require remote clients to have this equipment for your training sessions. Having clients buy this fitness gear from you at the start is a good idea. This way, you can easily standardize your workouts, knowing clients have everything they need to follow your fitness regimen from bungee fitness to weight programs.
- Offer “Session 0”. As part of your onboarding process, allow clients to book a session 0, where they show you their workout space and equipment. You can use this session to set expectations for your fitness program and ensure your potential new clients have an appropriate space to work out. Session 0 is an incredible free offering for clients who want to hire you remotely but need reassurance that the process can work for them.
- Create influencer content about fitness: If you’re embracing remote workout regimens and programs, you’re free to bring on clients from all over the country. And if you’re in demand, you have the flexibility to keep your hourly rates high. To market to clients in other states and cities, having a social media presence on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram is a great idea. When you gain a loyal following, you’ll be able to fill your appointment book with a much larger pool of national clients.
Personalized Training Through Technology
In 2023, keep an eye out for fitness pros using technology to create personalized training programs because the offerings continue to expand.
More and more fitness pros are using wearable tech to personalize their fitness regimen. These devices take into account your client’s heart rate, overall activity level (steps per day), and sleep quality. Some, like wearable continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), can even track your client’s glucose levels. But they’ll need a general health prescription.
To get the most out of adding tech to your program, consider what your clients hope to gain from your training. Is it a healthier diet? Better sleep habits? Or an increased activity level? You can help your clients set goals in these areas and then use technology to track their progress and hold them accountable.
Here are a few use cases where tech may be the best choice for your fitness business:
Diet: So many fitness clients rock their workouts but don’t have the healthy eating habits to meet their goals. These people report feeling “kinda fit, kinda fat,” as in their physical fitness is there and they know it but they don’t get to enjoy that classically fit image they want to see in the mirror. And while it is perfectly fine for many clients to just focus on fitness and not worry about image, we know that many are motivated by wanting to look their best. For these clients, try setting them up with a diet tracker that integrates with your system and reports to you on their progress. This way, you can have data-supported conversations about the changes they need to make to meet their goals. This kind of technology is perfect for fitness pros who already offer diet recommendations and can guide their clients through an eating program that fits their lifestyle.
However, keep in mind that diet-tracking apps can be triggering for clients with a history of eating disorders. Before recommending a diet plan and using a food-tracking app, you should ask if new potential clients have any such record.
Heart Rate: For endurance fitness programs heavy on science and optimal performance, it’s great to have clients aim for a target heart rate during workouts. You can alert them that it’s time to slow down if they get out of your preferred zone or ask them to pick up the pace if they haven’t reached it.
Sleep: Fitness professionals look at their clients’ overall health and wellness. And most are starting to embrace sleep as an essential biometric to discuss and work on with their clients. You can experiment with different workout schedules and regimens to see which are most effective at helping a client sleep better. You can also see with accurate data what drives this all-important data point to increased overall health.
Group Training and Small-Group Training Get Even More Social
Now that the days of enforced social isolation are over, people either love their home workouts or look for the polar opposite. For the latter type of client, group training programs can provide relief, community, and motivation.
A big group of people wants to be social. They want to sweat together and celebrate personal bests among a cohort with the same fitness journey. For these people, working out feels like accomplishing something amazing with friends. They see getting out of the house as a way to reconnect with the world and each other.
And while group training is nothing new, the most successful fitness pros and businesses of 2023 will lean into the social component of fitness.
Music and Ambience: People are desperate for that social connection again. Great trainers know that an upbeat soundtrack, evocative design, and good lighting can create a party vibe that facilitates those connections. Soul-Cycle blew up with this concept a few years ago. And it’s expected to return in 2023 with more variety and different kinds of music. Vibes will create the new “it” workout. You can bet clients will be lining up (or joining waitlists) to book these dynamic fitness events.
Fun Fact: The fastest-growing sport in America is Pickleball. It combines tennis, Ping-Pong, and badminton but manages to be ten times more social than any of those sports. People who play pickleball call themselves “picklers.” And they keep coming back for exercise and the easy and inviting social atmosphere that picklers create around their game.
Fitness pros who can create a social atmosphere to rival pickleball in 2023 will grow just as fast as the sport.
Huge contingents are looking for physical activity to meet their social needs as much as take care of their health. That’s a significant change from years past when people saw working out as an almost meditative experience where they could focus on themselves and their wellness.
Today, many clients are skipping solitary workouts to have fun with friends and strangers alike. They’re willing to try anything fun as long as it’s easy enough to learn in one afternoon.
In 2023, expect any fitness pros that create a fun, accessible social sporting series or a league to gain many interested clients.