Gym closures have led to an online fitness boom, with many personal trainers taking their classes online. But is it here to stay?
January is normally peak times for personal trainers, with an influx of new year’s resolutions swarming into gyms around the country in search of guidance.
But Lockdown the third has bucked this annual trend as gym doors remain closed.
Stay at home orders over the past year has led to a surge in interest in working out from home and many personal trainers have taken their classes online to meet the demand.
As online fitness resources and tech become more available, more people are achieving incredible results from their own home, their local park, or on the streets near their house. But what does this mean for the future of personal training?
“I think the online model is here to stay, a lot of people like it for its ease and accessibility”, says Michelle Coates, owner of Anytime Personal Trainer.
Michelle Coates launched Anytime Personal Trainer to provide professional online personal training packages to people around the UK during the pandemic.
She says her business has had an influx of inquiries for over the past year and they will be prioritising providing online courses forward.
She said: “Online resources are becoming sophisticated and people are increasingly finding them accessible and practical.
“Nowadays people are not working from home, they are living from work and are looking for ways of getting affordable quality exercise that fits around their schedule.
“Moving forward I expect more and more people will be looking towards online courses.”
Lockdown has forced fitness enthusiasts to start working out from home, but is this born out of necessity, or the future of exercise@CBJNews Poll: After the Lockdown, where will you plan to do most of your exercise?
— Adam Ridgley (@adamridgley) January 27, 2021
The business owner did state however that she does expect the interest to plateau once gyms and leisure centres reopen.
“Gyms and leisure centres will always be at the heart of the fitness community and people will always want to go to them.
“But moving forward, I would expect the fitness industry to adopt a hybrid approach of online and in person training in the future.
“The pandemic has shown all of us health and fitness are one of the most important things we have, and more people are willing to invest more in their health, which is encouraging.”
Other trainers disagree and believe that online classes are more of a necessity and most people will want to return to the gyms once the pandemic is over.
Jake Wood, a self-employed personal trainer in Nottingham said: “The online stuff has people satisfied for now, but when it’s over I’d expect most people will want to be at the gym again.
“It [the pandemic] has hit us, but to be fair 70% of clients are happy to do it online,
“But there is that old school 30% who have no interest in online and only want to be in the gym.
“I think most people who want a PT, would prefer to get back in the gym.”
Some personal trainers have said they have not been offering courses through the lockdown.
Scott Taylor, personal trainer at Pure Gym Nottingham said: “I haven’t done online classes, most clients prefer training in person.”
“I think it works best for most people when they can actually be in the gym.
“Online works for some people though and you’ll probably see a bit of both moving forward.
“But I’d expect to see full gym’s again.”