The challenges facing your personal training business clients are many: time constraints, stress, aging and terrible food options at grocery stores and restaurants, to name a few. Fortunately, the health and fitness industry is evolving to meet these challenges. While that means you have to adapt with the changes to stay competitive and attract clients, it also means that opportunities to grow your business are never in short supply. And with so much happening in the field, you’ll always be assured that your work will be exciting and inspiring.
Following are some of the trends that offer an opportunity for you to enhance your training business and draw in new business.
Launched in the early 1990s, Zumba, a Latin-style, high-energy dance exercise, grew exponentially, with millions of people attending classes in well over one hundred countries. Sessions are held at health clubs, gyms, auditoriums, yoga studios and warm climates and travel destinations, often in the open air, on the beach, in local parks, public squares and at sports arenas.
Whether an actual trend or a passing fad, zumba has become one of the fastest growing dance-based fitness crazes in the country. As evidenced by zumba’s typically eclectic class profiles, people of all ages and fitness levels are drawn to its infectious music, easily replicated dance moves and weight-loss, body-toning benefits.
Zumba classes are usually an hour long, and U.S. prices for group classes range from approximately $5 to $20, which are typically included in most health club memberships. Instructors can earn as much as $40 per hour-long class, depending on several factors, such as their student following, experience teaching and number of certifications.
Zumba instructors can operate independently, securing and renting their own teaching space or provide their services under the umbrella of an established fitness facility. The latter may pay less but typically provides the instructor with greater liability protection.
To accommodate various populations and special needs (such as clients with muscular dystrophy and in wheelchairs), the basic zumba program has spawned several variations, including: zumba for baby boomers in which moves are modified and the pace slowed down a bit without compromising the Latin flavor; zumba toning and sculpting; aqua zumba, which provides a water-based workout; zumba for kids; and zumba combined with circuit and resistance training, to name a few.
Personal trainer Mascarenas Ruiz brings his expertise to whatever venue his clients prefer -- their home, the beach, the gym or a park. “If the client isn’t happy and comfortable in his/her workout environment, he/she will not succeed,” he says. Exercise is very personal, and every client and teacher is unique. The goal of every student -- whatever the age or gender -- is “more happiness, achieved by getting more fit. My job is to help them to feel and look better, modifying every movement I teach to the varying abilities of the individual.”
Group training includes many variations and fulfills social needs, provides a feeling of freedom and anonymity and often is a way for people to pay a noncommittal, small fee for a fun workout. It also provides variety and an aerobic balance for those who are training seriously with weights or other strength-building methods.
TRX is a full-body workout program and product that utilizes a system of high-tension straps. The straps can be attached to a tree limb, pull-up bar or door for the workout. Part of the appeal and popularity is the convenience of being able to both take the portable kit almost anywhere and get in a strenuous workout that targets all the major muscle groups in just 25 minutes. The kits are as affordable as a gym membership and very convenient for busy people.
There are many types of yoga, from the fast, warm methods such as Bikram, Power and Vinyasa to the versions that focus on extreme bending and stretching such as Ashtanga and Forrest, but strength and flexibility are at the core of all of them. Creating a unique version of their own based on the best of what they’ve experienced has been the road to success for many of our entrepreneurs.
Baby boomer fitness
Youthful-looking, 60-year-old personal trainer Barbara Crompton predominantly attracts clients -- both men and women -- between the ages of 40 and 60-plus. Younger would-be students generally have the misconception that classes taught by an “older” teacher won’t be challenging enough. However, on the occasion that a 20-something individual does take her Vinyasa class, for example, they soon learn that chronological age isn’t necessarily a valid indicator of a teacher’s level of physicality.
Crompton supplements weekly classes with twice-yearly, multiple-day, small-group yoga retreats in pristine locations (including the Italian countryside) that combine the opportunity for sharing leisurely walks, strenuous hikes, swimming, bicycling, nutritious meals, meditation, camaraderie, introspection and discussion. These more intense yoga experiences promote her daily classes, and vice versa, with some return students registering a year in advance to ensure they do not miss out.
With the predominance of an aging population, there is an untapped market in physically fit 50- to 60-plus-year-old clients committed to staying healthy and feeling youthful who need professional trainers cognizant of aging-related physical challenges to devise and facilitate a graceful transition to fitness practices and strategies that minimize the risk of injury. Crompton’s restorative yoga, for example, offers clients a more passive practice tailored to nurture healing through soothing poses, facilitated by blankets, blocks and other props that take into account one’s unique body and sensitivities.