// Why Online Personal Training and Virtual Coaching is Here to Stay
The billion dollar fitness industry has felt a massive shift in the last couple of months due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Gyms and clubs across the country have had to close their doors to customers. Even giant Gym chains like 24 Hour Fitness are on the brink of bankruptcy due, in part, to the virus.
While some states begin to slowly open up, allowing gyms and other fitness centers to operate, there are still a lot of public concerns around safety. A survey conducted in April 2020 coined the “COVID-19 Fitness Survey” reported that 34% of gym exercisers have or plan to cancel their gym memberships after COVID-19.
So where does this leave us? We know we have more questions than answers. But, one thing is certain. The fitness industry we use to know is about to drastically alter post-COVID-19.
Although some gyms begin to open up across the country these are unprecedented times. The data, trends, and news sources would suggest assuming a swift return to normal is a gamble. Is it one you want to take with your business? The fitness industry is shifting. As a gym owner or trainer you have to be prepared. Here are a few reasons why online personal training is here to stay.
4 Reasons Why Online Personal Training is Here to Stay
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Reason 1 - Client Convenience
Customers’ needs and expectations are ever growing and evolving. In a world of non stop, go, go, go, people are looking for convenience. Throw a pandemic into the mix, and now we’re also dealing with uncertainty and fear shifting demand and expectations faster than ever.
Even if you run the best gym ever, people may not be comfortable coming in. Even when they are, the added convenience they feel by being able to workout on their own time, increases their perceived value from you as a trainer or gym owner.
Reason 2 - Niche Communities
A lot of people go to the gym to feel a sense of community. Yes, lifting and working out is important for countless health reasons, but as we now know, most of that can be accomplished at home. The reason for the actual gym is to gather like minded people together to garnish a strong community. Need proof, look no further than the Crossfit boom and countless memes comparing it to a cult.
Social media and platforms like TrainHeroic have created a virtual space for these fitness communities to thrive.
Reason 3 - Home Workouts
Working out at home is gaining a lot of traction. People are figuring out that they don’t need a gym membership to stay in shape. People want convenience and flexibility. Equipment manufacturers are struggling to fill the surging demand. By the way, does anyone have a lead on some dumbbells??
More and more consumers have and will shift to working out at home. This is clear. What isn’t clear is how many will completely substitute their home gym for a gym membership. Just think about it. If you went out and spent thousands of dollars on your perfect home gym setup, would you feel comfortable spending $250 for a gym membership each month to go share a squat rack with a stranger? Some certainly will, but others will not.
Just because the venue for training has shifted, doesn’t mean the home gym is a replacement for the value you bring as a trainer, gym owner, or coach. Athletes will be looking for at-home trainers and coaches. Clients still want direction, feedback, and to be held accountable. We don’t know of a squat rack that fills those jobs.
Reason 4 - Adds More Value
This is all about diversifying. In the world of human performance, online services are a great opportunity to provide your clients with more value. While we all want our gyms to open and to see a return to some normality, having an online component to your business can only help. This allows you the opportunity to hit new audiences.
Wager like Pascal
Pascal’s wager is an argument in philosophy presented by the seventeenth-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal. It posits that humans bet with their lives that God either exists or does not.
However, Pascal’s wager is not about faith. It’s about risk management.
Think of online personal training from a risk management standpoint. If you invest in remote training and the world does go back to normal, you only gain. If it doesn’t, you’ve protected your business. It’s a lot safer bet to invest in diversifying your income streams than to bet the world suddenly forgets a killer virus.
COVID-19 has turned many businesses on their heads. The economic riptide it will have is just now being seen. The old fitness industry has crumpled seemingly overnight. But there is hope. If you are willing to adapt and innovate you can not only survive this economic downturn, you can actually thrive. Online trainers are here to stay!