What is currently the biggest trend in fitness in America? Well, according to the results from the 17th IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends Report, sharing a personal trainer in a group session is currently the most popular movement afoot. The association, which represents fitness professionals worldwide, collected data from more than 2,800 of its members to determine the state of the industry in the U.S.
In crunching the numbers, a moving average methodology was deployed, which tracked the responses from personal trainers over a six-year period. Personal-training sessions with two or more participants sharing one trainer increased 10 percent in that time frame, while workouts with one trainer and three to five people increased by 18 percent.
"IDEA believes this reflects a practical reaction of consumers to cut costs during the ongoing recession, as well as personal trainers preserving their business base by retaining clients at lower hourly fees through shared group costs,” said Kathie Davis, executive director of IDEA. “However, trainers are actually making more per hour by increasing the number of people they train during that hour. This single cause-effect trend has changed the face of personal training by ushering in the era of small-group training.”
According to the report, rehabilitative, preventive, mind-body, and body-weight leverage training also are gaining in popularity. This includes exercises such as yoga, Pilates, and the use of devices like ropes and ladders.The demand for outdoor-training sessions, private and groups, has declined despite the prevalence of boot-camp-styled activity remaining stable. Specifically, exercise programs tailored toward chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or coronary heart disease, are on the rise, as is the amount of lifestyle coaching that personal trainers are providing to their clients.
With the exception of the state of the economy, there was no mention on how other environmental factors, such as DVDs, online programs and gyms, were impacting the fitness industry and the trend of professional personal trainers. There are alternatives out there, but trainers are embracing the new era, and adapting, augmenting and complementing their services accordingly.