GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Precor UK
Precor UK
Precor UK
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Everyone’s talking about...: PT vs technology

Technology is moving at a dizzying pace. With advanced robots coming to the UK this year and exercise apps increasingly widely used, is technology set to push personal trainers out of a job?

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 6
Nettleton: Technology can help PTs better connect to communities of athletes / PHOTO: JERED GRUBER
Nettleton: Technology can help PTs better connect to communities of athletes / PHOTO: JERED GRUBER

The membership base of cycling app Strava is growing so fast the company can’t put a figure on it. Meanwhile a wide array of apps such as Motiontraxx, FitStar and Kiqplan are motivating and educating people, empowering them to take their fitness into their own hands: download a programme and watch the stats to see how you’re progressing.

So where does this leave personal trainers, who offer a less flexible service at a much higher price? Is there a danger that people will no longer wish to pay for the knowledge of a middle man when they can now use technology to secure the same knowledge for themselves at a fraction of the cost?

Or does personal training appeal to a different market – one that’s less likely to be seduced by technology? People who find apps confusing, or who don’t have the time or inclination to trawl about online but who prefer a dialogue with a real person and like the commitment a PT appointment gives them?

And is there in fact the chance of a backlash against tracking technology, because people find it too Big Brotherish that a company can hold information about them which they can then aggregate and sell on? According to Maneesh Juneja, data will become currency and there’s already an emerging group of people wanting to retain and sell their own data. In the future they might even make their fitness choices based on the data collection policy of fitness providers.

The flip side of the technology threat is the opportunity it presents to savvy PTs who are able to figure out how to use it. So what should PTs be doing to make the most of technology? How can they use it to grow their businesses and make their services even more effective? What skills do they need to emphasise to stay ahead of the tech? And is there a future for those who decide not to embrace it?

Will PTs be able to upskill even further to complement tech rather than compete – becoming specialists in particular sports, for example, or disciplines such as motivational interviewing, so they can take people to a place beyond technology?

Do you have experience of merging PT and technology?

Email us [email protected]

Maneesh Juneja,

Independent Digital Health Futurist
,

Maneesh Juneja
Maneesh Juneja

“With austerity likely to continue until 2020, consumer choices will be influenced by economic circumstances. Apps and sensors are cheap and offer support 24/7, whereas PTs are relatively expensive and less accessible.

Even the older, affluent markets might start using personal robots instead of PTs. This year sees the emergence of household companion robots, powered by cloud-based artificial intelligence, which will be able to undertake many functions such as engaging in conversation or even ordering a takeaway. If these household robots are adopted by the masses, they could impact the niche PTs have. Also, the NHS has said it plans to roll out wearable technology to monitor health, so we could soon start seeing GPs prescribing apps.

However, the technology also offers an opportunity to redefine PT, so PTs need to be able to understand emerging technologies and piggyback on what’s happening. For example, virtual reality headsets could allow PTs to connect with people over a wider geographical area. And wearable technology, including smart fabrics, will generate a huge amount of data that people will want analysed, which provides an opportunity for the fitness sector to respond to clients with new insights.”

Sean Maguire,

COO ,

Legend

Sean Maguire
Sean Maguire

“Technology poses more of a threat for those PTs who don’t move with the times, but even old-fashioned PTs won’t become obsolete. People pay for a PT to have a personal motivator, expertise on-hand, a tailored programme and to be kept accountable, all of which are very human qualities.

However, PT hasn’t changed much in 30 years and technology will allow it to evolve to benefit both the trainer and the consumer. PTs are constrained by the one-to-one model, whereas technology will allow them to work with more people at once – for example, by streaming classes online. They will also be able to offer, and charge for, a more holistic service, by taking data from tracking devices and applying it to the client’s programme. Technology will allow them to find out what their clients are eating and their activity levels beyond their session – better data which should lead to better results.

There is a need for the traditional model and it’s effective. But PTs could use technology to build bigger brands, reaching out to a broader audience with specialised online programmes and services. The end result will be greater benefits for the consumer, and the fitness industry, with more people getting better results.”

Andy Jackson,

Owner,

AJ Scot LLC

Andy Jackson
Andy Jackson

“Nothing has changed. The threat of cutting out the middle man has always been there: it used to be by using programmes from magazines or copying other people. Garmins and heart rate monitors have been around for a long time.

The big advantages PTs have is that they can coach and connect with the person and motivate in a way that technology cannot. They can also ensure people avoid injury by not doing things before they’re ready, or with bad technique. PTs have been criticised for just standing next to treadmills and talking to people, but 50 per cent of what they do is to support and motivate and simply be there.

Clever personal trainers are already using the technology to enhance what they’re doing and are using it to their advantage – for example, by providing an online service and using online programming to create more specific, targeted training.

If I were a PT, I’d be using trackers to prove what I was doing with clients was having a positive impact, and I’d be advising them to make use of apps such as MotionTraxx. PTs shouldn’t fear their clients using technology, or working out without them, because working out more is a good thing. Not keeping up with their education is more of a threat to PTs than technology.”

Gareth Nettleton,

Marketing director,

Strava

Gareth Nettleton
Gareth Nettleton

“PTs should absolutely be seeing technology as one way in which they can validate the effectiveness of their services. When harnessed correctly, technology can be a huge enabler for PTs in various facets of their business, from helping athletes train smarter and more effectively, to facilitating the growth of a wider personal network for fitness professionals.

From a performance measurement and analysis point of view, technology makes fitness quantifiable. Whether that be through heart rate training or simply comparing times for similar run routes, technology allows for deeper analysis and therefore insight. Any training aid that allows athletes to recognise progress will only lead to improved motivation.

Additionally, there’s the network potential that technology brings. At Strava we talk about connecting athletes, both to each other but also to forward-thinking trainers, coaches and businesses. It’s a community with shared goals, motivations and athlete DNA at its core.

Personal trainers who can tap into such a community can find themselves not only directly connected to an array of athletes, but also granted access to their entire training history and performance data. That’s a huge opportunity.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/114066_148617.jpg
Will new fitness technology push personal trainers out of a job?
Maneesh Juneja, Independent digital health futurist Sean Maguire, COO, Legend Andy jackson, Owner, AJ Scot LLC Gareth Nettleton, Marketing director, Strava,Wearable, wearable technology, personal training, personal trainer, Maneesh Juneja, Sean Maguire, Andy Jackson, Gareth Nettleton, Strava, Kath Hudson
HCM magazine
Despite industry challenges, there’s a fresh air of positivity
HCM magazine
Teenage girls are not voluntarily leaving activity, they’re being pushed out as a consequence of deep-rooted gender stereotypes
HCM magazine
The sharp increase in energy prices has left some operators reeling, but there’s reason to be optimistic if we can learn from other sectors, while moving to a low carbon future
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Everyone has the right to know about their own internal data, to enable and motivate them to take control of their own health
HCM Magazine
Interview
With brands such as Fitness First, Goodlife, Zap Fitness and Jetts operating across Asia Pacific, Fitness and Lifestyle Group has long been a tech innovator, as Kate Cracknell discovers
HCM Magazine
Flooring
Time for a flooring upgrade? Experts share their latest insights to inspire flooring projects of all types
HCM Magazine
Event showcase
As Elevate returns to the market, we talk to director Lucy Findlay about how the event has come together
HCM Magazine
Write to reply
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM Magazine
Facilities
What to do when your changing rooms need a refresh, but your budget is stretched? These specialists share their top tips for easy upgrades that won’t break the bank
HCM Magazine
Interview
The fitness sector has an unprecedented opportunity to become a credible partner in ensuring the health and wellbeing of the nation, says Mosaic Group MD and new chair of the UK Active Membership Council. He talks to Kate Cracknell
HCM Magazine
Latest News
Music service provider Rehegoo (pronounced Reh-air-go) has launched a streaming service for health clubs, gyms, ...
Latest News
F45 has launched a corporate partnership programme which will enable businesses to open an F45 ...
Latest News
A two-year research project will look to find ways to transform the UK's physical activity ...
Latest News
The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
Latest News
At UK Active’s Active Uprising event yesterday (30 June) in Birmingham, Hattie Jones, the head ...
Latest News
HCM understands researchers are moving closer to creating a pill to mimic some of the ...
Latest News
Establishing new data and insight services and strengthening relationships with both government and the NHS ...
Latest News
More than one in five (27 per cent) Americans belonged to a health club or ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: How wearables-driven gamification will boost your business
It’s a known fact that gamification is an effective method to make everyday activities and work more fun.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Video Gallery
Sport Alliance GmbH
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: Active IQ
Active IQ is the UK’s leading Ofqual-recognised Awarding Organisation for the Physical Activity sector....
Company profiles
Company profile: Myzone
It’s time to give more people more ways to move. Myzone is an innovative heart ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Everyone’s talking about...: PT vs technology

Technology is moving at a dizzying pace. With advanced robots coming to the UK this year and exercise apps increasingly widely used, is technology set to push personal trainers out of a job?

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 6
Nettleton: Technology can help PTs better connect to communities of athletes / PHOTO: JERED GRUBER
Nettleton: Technology can help PTs better connect to communities of athletes / PHOTO: JERED GRUBER

The membership base of cycling app Strava is growing so fast the company can’t put a figure on it. Meanwhile a wide array of apps such as Motiontraxx, FitStar and Kiqplan are motivating and educating people, empowering them to take their fitness into their own hands: download a programme and watch the stats to see how you’re progressing.

So where does this leave personal trainers, who offer a less flexible service at a much higher price? Is there a danger that people will no longer wish to pay for the knowledge of a middle man when they can now use technology to secure the same knowledge for themselves at a fraction of the cost?

Or does personal training appeal to a different market – one that’s less likely to be seduced by technology? People who find apps confusing, or who don’t have the time or inclination to trawl about online but who prefer a dialogue with a real person and like the commitment a PT appointment gives them?

And is there in fact the chance of a backlash against tracking technology, because people find it too Big Brotherish that a company can hold information about them which they can then aggregate and sell on? According to Maneesh Juneja, data will become currency and there’s already an emerging group of people wanting to retain and sell their own data. In the future they might even make their fitness choices based on the data collection policy of fitness providers.

The flip side of the technology threat is the opportunity it presents to savvy PTs who are able to figure out how to use it. So what should PTs be doing to make the most of technology? How can they use it to grow their businesses and make their services even more effective? What skills do they need to emphasise to stay ahead of the tech? And is there a future for those who decide not to embrace it?

Will PTs be able to upskill even further to complement tech rather than compete – becoming specialists in particular sports, for example, or disciplines such as motivational interviewing, so they can take people to a place beyond technology?

Do you have experience of merging PT and technology?

Email us [email protected]

Maneesh Juneja,

Independent Digital Health Futurist
,

Maneesh Juneja
Maneesh Juneja

“With austerity likely to continue until 2020, consumer choices will be influenced by economic circumstances. Apps and sensors are cheap and offer support 24/7, whereas PTs are relatively expensive and less accessible.

Even the older, affluent markets might start using personal robots instead of PTs. This year sees the emergence of household companion robots, powered by cloud-based artificial intelligence, which will be able to undertake many functions such as engaging in conversation or even ordering a takeaway. If these household robots are adopted by the masses, they could impact the niche PTs have. Also, the NHS has said it plans to roll out wearable technology to monitor health, so we could soon start seeing GPs prescribing apps.

However, the technology also offers an opportunity to redefine PT, so PTs need to be able to understand emerging technologies and piggyback on what’s happening. For example, virtual reality headsets could allow PTs to connect with people over a wider geographical area. And wearable technology, including smart fabrics, will generate a huge amount of data that people will want analysed, which provides an opportunity for the fitness sector to respond to clients with new insights.”

Sean Maguire,

COO ,

Legend

Sean Maguire
Sean Maguire

“Technology poses more of a threat for those PTs who don’t move with the times, but even old-fashioned PTs won’t become obsolete. People pay for a PT to have a personal motivator, expertise on-hand, a tailored programme and to be kept accountable, all of which are very human qualities.

However, PT hasn’t changed much in 30 years and technology will allow it to evolve to benefit both the trainer and the consumer. PTs are constrained by the one-to-one model, whereas technology will allow them to work with more people at once – for example, by streaming classes online. They will also be able to offer, and charge for, a more holistic service, by taking data from tracking devices and applying it to the client’s programme. Technology will allow them to find out what their clients are eating and their activity levels beyond their session – better data which should lead to better results.

There is a need for the traditional model and it’s effective. But PTs could use technology to build bigger brands, reaching out to a broader audience with specialised online programmes and services. The end result will be greater benefits for the consumer, and the fitness industry, with more people getting better results.”

Andy Jackson,

Owner,

AJ Scot LLC

Andy Jackson
Andy Jackson

“Nothing has changed. The threat of cutting out the middle man has always been there: it used to be by using programmes from magazines or copying other people. Garmins and heart rate monitors have been around for a long time.

The big advantages PTs have is that they can coach and connect with the person and motivate in a way that technology cannot. They can also ensure people avoid injury by not doing things before they’re ready, or with bad technique. PTs have been criticised for just standing next to treadmills and talking to people, but 50 per cent of what they do is to support and motivate and simply be there.

Clever personal trainers are already using the technology to enhance what they’re doing and are using it to their advantage – for example, by providing an online service and using online programming to create more specific, targeted training.

If I were a PT, I’d be using trackers to prove what I was doing with clients was having a positive impact, and I’d be advising them to make use of apps such as MotionTraxx. PTs shouldn’t fear their clients using technology, or working out without them, because working out more is a good thing. Not keeping up with their education is more of a threat to PTs than technology.”

Gareth Nettleton,

Marketing director,

Strava

Gareth Nettleton
Gareth Nettleton

“PTs should absolutely be seeing technology as one way in which they can validate the effectiveness of their services. When harnessed correctly, technology can be a huge enabler for PTs in various facets of their business, from helping athletes train smarter and more effectively, to facilitating the growth of a wider personal network for fitness professionals.

From a performance measurement and analysis point of view, technology makes fitness quantifiable. Whether that be through heart rate training or simply comparing times for similar run routes, technology allows for deeper analysis and therefore insight. Any training aid that allows athletes to recognise progress will only lead to improved motivation.

Additionally, there’s the network potential that technology brings. At Strava we talk about connecting athletes, both to each other but also to forward-thinking trainers, coaches and businesses. It’s a community with shared goals, motivations and athlete DNA at its core.

Personal trainers who can tap into such a community can find themselves not only directly connected to an array of athletes, but also granted access to their entire training history and performance data. That’s a huge opportunity.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/114066_148617.jpg
Will new fitness technology push personal trainers out of a job?
Maneesh Juneja, Independent digital health futurist Sean Maguire, COO, Legend Andy jackson, Owner, AJ Scot LLC Gareth Nettleton, Marketing director, Strava,Wearable, wearable technology, personal training, personal trainer, Maneesh Juneja, Sean Maguire, Andy Jackson, Gareth Nettleton, Strava, Kath Hudson
Latest News
Music service provider Rehegoo (pronounced Reh-air-go) has launched a streaming service for health clubs, gyms, ...
Latest News
F45 has launched a corporate partnership programme which will enable businesses to open an F45 ...
Latest News
A two-year research project will look to find ways to transform the UK's physical activity ...
Latest News
The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
Latest News
At UK Active’s Active Uprising event yesterday (30 June) in Birmingham, Hattie Jones, the head ...
Latest News
HCM understands researchers are moving closer to creating a pill to mimic some of the ...
Latest News
Establishing new data and insight services and strengthening relationships with both government and the NHS ...
Latest News
More than one in five (27 per cent) Americans belonged to a health club or ...
Latest News
Ultimate Performance (UP) – the private gym chain and PT business – has opened a ...
Latest News
Luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental has launched a new brand called Intelligent Movement to deliver ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness chain 1Rebel opens the doors to its tenth club today (Monday 27 June ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: How wearables-driven gamification will boost your business
It’s a known fact that gamification is an effective method to make everyday activities and work more fun.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Video Gallery
Sport Alliance GmbH
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: Active IQ
Active IQ is the UK’s leading Ofqual-recognised Awarding Organisation for the Physical Activity sector....
Company profiles
Company profile: Myzone
It’s time to give more people more ways to move. Myzone is an innovative heart ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Precor UK
Precor UK
Partner sites