Top 5 Fitness Industry Observations

I have gotten to do quite a bit of travel in the past few years speaking in the fitness industry and working on education projects. This year it not only took me across the U.S. but to Asia and Europe as well. Often times it sounds more glamorous than it is, but truth is I'm lucky to get to share my passion for what I do with others. I'm always so eager to better understand the Fitness Industry across the globe as well. What's trending? Where are we ahead in the U.S. and where are we behind? So below are just my top 5 observations of the Fitness Industry from around the world as we inch towards 2020.

[1] Movement is a Global Language

It’s powerful to see just how much a little sweating, hard work, and high fives can bring people together. The fitness industry is massive and rapidly growing across the entire world, even in places you might not expect it because we crave collective self-sacrifice.

There’s something human about wanting to struggle together towards something important alongside others. This is probably why Group Fitness Classes and Group Training Studios continue to thrive across the globe.

It was also good practice for me as a coach and educator in how to connect and teach people without just talking – especially when I was in Bangkok and English was almost nobody’s first language

As Coaches we want to explain everything to clients and make sure they get all of the nuances – but often times we just need to get them to do it, make adjustments, and they will understand it better in the long run.

[2] PT is Still Male Dominant

The Personal Training Industry has always been male dominated and maybe it will stay that way. I have seen a noticeable shift in more women blazing the trail as full time Trainers, but as a whole across the world still see far more males working in the gym.

I think this presents such a massive opportunity for females who truly want to make their mark and build a solid income in the field – regardless of their age.

Are you a female over the age of 35 who has also had kids?

Even better, because the niche of women in this age category and above looking for someone like you to connect with and help them manage the challenges of aging is massive.

So ladies, don’t feel like it’s too late to make it work. It could just be your competitive advantage.

[3] Hybrid Opportunity

Making great money in this industry is possible, but it’s not easy. Whether it be because a lack of mentorship and guidance or the tough schedule early on, a lot of people bow out before they hit their stride.

I believe the most opportunity exists to succeed quickly for those able to teach groups as well as work 1-on-1 with clients. The studio market in many countries is very much group based, but there can only be so many classes in a day so the ability to combine income from classes and PT can be a winning combination.

Classes are scheduled and stable and these days a great instructor can make $40-$80 or more teaching the right class if it’s busy. This then becomes a natural funnel for building relationships and getting clients.

So many of the Fitness Pros I have met from across the world are using this as part of their success strategy. Many also said they like the variety between the two and it helps them from getting burnt out on one or the other.

[4] Beat Based Classes are HOT

If you thought Zumba and beat based aerobics were a thing of the past….think again. Movement is a global language….but dancing is on a whole other level.

I have been thoroughly impressed and blown away by the following and enthusiasm for organizations like Zumba and Les Mills across the globe. They are massive drivers of the Group Fitness market and it just goes to show that people love having fun and having someone lead the way.

Les Mills and this kind of training tends to get a bad wrap from “Elite Trainers” but the truth is they are reaching a lot of people so they must be doing something right! I’d say go take a class if you haven’t in a while and just think about what you can learn from them.

It’s not just these brands either as studio and high end boutique concepts are also on the rise in major fitness cities across the world like Montreal, LA, New York, Miami, London, and so many others.

What’s old will always be new again and this is a great example.

[5] Hands-On Training

Education for Trainers across the globe varies widely. In the U.S. and most countries, it’s very loosely regulated and how someone goes about getting started is all over the board.

The U.K. recognizes some US certifications and then has their own system of levels and training.

Other countries however, like Australia for example take a more “trade school” approach for PT’s. The truth though is that nobody has it spot on. Most Fit Pros I have met across the globe complain about the system of education that’s commonly used because of inconsistency in breeding quality fit pros.

There are hundreds of organizations and certifications across the globe, but the one thing the other Fitness Pros and educators I meet agree upon is that more hands-on training and mentorship is the way to go.

So for those looking to get started in their pursuit of purpose and impact in 2020 - the time for action is now!

Best of luck,

Joe Drake


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