Personal Training – The Evolution of the Personal Trainer and Fitness Industry

Personal Training and the fitness industry has evolved from their infant years. Recently, the fitness industry has seen an explosion in growth. There are currently 2,000 companies, including nonprofits, within the United States of America that operate nearly 30,000 fitness centers with combined annual revenue of approximately $22 billion [1]. This explosion has helped lead to the evolution of personal training and fitness, which has piloted both positive and negative qualities. Both fields are meant to inspire individuals through directed exercise / workouts to attain levels of fitness and health that they never thought imaginable. However, the majority of trainers and facilities fall short in helping their members / customers achieve their goals.

Within the fitness industry, trainers and fitness facilities should be constantly developing or attempting to educate themselves on training. This philosophy will guarantee that the fitness industry remain in a constant state of turnover amongst personal trainers, training styles, facilities, and training research. However, this high degree of turnover opens the doors to horrific training apparatus’s (i.e. the shake weight), terrible trainers, and unsafe gyms / facilities. One misleading common practice that fitness companies engage in is phony research. Companies are skewing numbers in their favor, from supposed independent studies, in order to achieve higher revenue for their products. Another negative aspect is in regards to personal trainers is that, trainers are passing certifications, which do not properly educate them on the variables of training, and entering the field in record numbers. There were 261,100 in 2008, and the estimation of trainers in 2018 is 337,900 [2]. Fitness trainers are not the only part of the fitness industry that is growing exponentially. Gyms are growing as well and they are overloading their facility with state-of-the-art machines. These machines keep members comfortable, while they never lose fat or weight.

The high demand for personal training opens the flood gates to an over saturation of trainers claiming to be properly educated. I have had a personal experience with hundreds of phony personal trainers within the fitness industry. Personal trainers and individuals who engage in fitness as a hobby believe knowing exercises, whether machine based or not, is enough to become a personal trainer or simply train people. WRONG! Personal trainers must have a basic understanding of human anatomy, exercises, movements, nutrition, and numerous exercise variables (i.e. reps, sets, rest time, etc…). There are a few personal training licenses / certifications within the marketplace that properly educate personal trainers. These courses go over how to train for certain goals; how to properly incorporate variables; and proper exercise technique. However, there are more inefficient courses then there are efficient courses.