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2020: A Blessing in Disguise for Personal Trainers?

I doubt anyone reading this will need me to point out the number 1 news topic of 2020.

Through lockdown and furlough, the fitness industry has been responding to some often devastating situations, and rapidly adapting to take on any changes that come their way. The Office of National Statistics reported a ‘significant [upward] change’ in people spending more time on keep fit activities this year, the sale of fitness equipment shot up by 55%, and the rise of online platforms like Zoom means that trainers can bring their classes to anyone with an internet connection.

In the face of adversity, there have been some clear positives. Read on to discover how 2020 may not be the doom and gloom year for the fitness industry it seems on the surface.

This blog will cover how Trainers have used 2020 to address these 4 key things:

‘The Perfect Opportunity…to Pause and Reflect’

Firstly, this year has been the perfect opportunity for us all to pause and reflect.

We are usually far too busy being busy to be able stop and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of our business; that is one crucial thing that we should have had the time to do during 2020. Any areas of improvement for your business will probably have been highlighted this year, so you should know exactly what you need to concentrate on to avoid any pitfalls in the future.

A healthy amount of self-reflection never did anyone any harm. But, after the year we have had, it could be the most constructive thing you could do.

Fitness woman selecting tutorial before exercise sitting on the floor in the living room at home

'Education is the Single Greatest Investment You Can Make’

Once you have identified the areas where you need a bit more work…do something about them!

You may not have had as much of an education budget recently, but there are many free or low-cost resources that you could take advantage of to upskill yourself. Whether it is a practical skill, a coaching skill, or a business skill, it would be relatively easy to find credible sources of information to improve your ability to run a personal training business.

No matter how much you think you know, there will always be another string that you can add to your bow. Education is the single greatest investment you can make, and the best bit is that the more you learn, the more you will realise how much more there is to learn.

For more information on how you can grow your business through professional development courses (CPD), click here

‘A Fantastic Opportunity to Diversify’

Chances are that your typical services will have been disrupted to some degree - unless you were already a 100% online coach. For the rest of us, however, this will have been a fantastic opportunity to diversify and add some new products or services to our business. The important questions to ask yourself are these:

  • Have you made an effort to create regular content?
  • Did you produce a helpful free eBook to gather email addresses of potential clients?
  • Have you been delivering group sessions online (even though initially you were out of your comfort zone)?

It is very easy to become blinkered and, over a long period of time, many personal trainers might actually operate within very small parameters. There is nothing wrong with that if it provides good results, but if you cannot perform your usual sessions during a global pandemic, then it will not hurt for you to try some things that you wouldn’t have normally given a second thought to.

‘Still Operating and Still Smiling’

This has undoubtedly been one of the more challenging periods that any personal trainer will have ever had to work through. It is uplifting, however, to see so many rise to the occasion and adapt their training to roll with the punches. If you can survive this period, then you and your business will be as close to bullet-proof as it is possible to be.

All businesses and industries go through good times and bad. Success ebbs and flows, it comes and it goes.

Rather than putting yourself under too much pressure to thrive, be content with the fact that you have survived/are surviving. Survival is the main priority for this year, but if you are still operating and still smiling once things return to something resembling normality, then you will be in an extremely strong position to have a long and fruitful career.

To Conclude

While this year has presented many challenges, we have also been offered the rare opportunity to really step back and think about ways we can grow and develop our fitness businesses. Going online has allowed trainers to reach new clients from all over, and higher levels of ‘down time’ have given people the opportunity for research and learning (ultimately making them a better PT). As we head into 2021, let this be the takeaway message from the year; that our adaptability and resourcefulness can carry our businesses through the hardest of challenges, and make us stronger as a result.

Author Bio - Mark Laws is a Future Fit Training graduate who has worked in the industry since 2005. He has written for leading publications, presented at conferences around the world and delivered courses to thousands of fitness professionals. He now works as 'PT Master Trainer' for Future Fit Training. For more information about Mark's achievements and how he'll be working with Future Fit, read our blog post here.