6 Reasons Why Personal Trainers Are Going Digital

Jun 10, 2016 - 7 min read
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In many markets around the world there is still much space for the fitness professional to grow. The Brazilian market, for example, just became last year the fourth in number of gym members (8 million) and the tenth in revenue (2,4 billion of dollars), according to the last IHRSA Report . The market in the whole world has been fertile land specially to the growth of innovative small and medium businesses in fitness. Personal trainers should not miss the opportunity to grow their own businesses too. It seems like there is space for everyone, but how can the personal trainer really stand out in the crowd? What is the best way of developing a distinctive business that surpasses the big competitors established in the market? Well, let me tell you about what technology can do for you.

Check below 6 reasons why personal trainers are going digital nowadays. Also learn the best ways to do so, in order to fast grow your business.

1. The Market Demands It

Personal trainers are going digital today because the world demands connection. Being connected is not even a differentiation anymore, but an obligation, because of how the market is developing and works now. You know that, right? You probably walk attached to at least a smartphone yourself - and maybe also a tablet and a notebook, just in case. In the era of WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook, people got really used to have those facilities and they enjoy communication that is fast, full of options and online.

We have already talked in a blog about millennials about this call for fast and efficient services. Also called generation Y, this age group (which is formed by those born roughly between 1982 and 2000) has firmly embraced the digital world. The good news is that the millennials have also already been proven to be one of the most attractive groups of consumers in terms of spending power.

Luckily, there are already many technological options to expand the flexibility of your personal training services in the digital world, allowing you to attend to the demands of this connected generation; online coaching via mobile fitness apps, for example. And a side effect of online coaching is that by attending to your clients online, you will save not only your clients’ time, but also your own.

2. Mobile is Essential

Today, everybody wants to be able to solve tasks and perform activities online and on the go. Many of our daily activities and tasks we almost naturally solve online with our smartphones. Mobile seems to have become a second nature to us - we can’t even imagine living in a world without smartphones. In fact, the largest increase in media usage from November 2014 to November 2015 came from smartphones . This further shows that people today wish for services in their pocket that aren’t just connected to them, but also provides them with an easy user experience. Demanding, right? But don’t be intimidated. Going mobile is easier than it seems.

When a personal trainer goes online, he is connected to his clients all the time. This can prove to be more useful than one can imagine. Not just clients can enjoy the connection that makes a workout more flexible and the service more efficient. The professional benefits as well. Many personal trainers complain of not having enough time to properly attend the demand of clients. In the digital world, distance is not a problem, but a solution.

There are already possibilities to, for example, provide workout coaching from a distance, with a mobile fitness app, transforming with little effort the work of coaching into a rich user experience. In times where every person has a busy life and we all have a smartphone in our pocket, which personal trainer and client won’t appreciate that?

Mobile is essential, not just for the client. Just like smartphones offer us flexibility that we can’t even imagine to live without anymore, it provides the same to a personal trainer when they go digital.


3. Digital is Fun

Of course, clients also appreciate the possibility of staying connected to their personal trainer, being able to exercise wherever they are, and get advice on workouts whenever they want. When, as a professional, you use a solution that, for example, provides clients with an app, a workout can become fun, which is essential for the motivation of the client.

That is because mobile fitness apps typically have an element of gamification to them. As my colleague explains, gamification is the application of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-game contexts . In fitness, it helps to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. This can happen in many ways: challenges, rewards, points, and so on. This way, users get more motivated than they would be by just working out.

Mobile apps also give the opportunity to give real-time feedback to your clients. If you see they’re having trouble sticking to their meal plan, you can immediately send them a motivational feedback. This type of direct communication and motivation will boost your service level, but, moreover, it will help you effectively change your clients’ lifestyle.

4. Reach Operational Excellence

Operational excellence is an important characteristic for any business. But what does operational means when it comes to personal training? It’s simply everything that is necessary to make your business run smoothly, from the booking of sessions to the emailing of invoices, the training sessions themselves and the measurement of your clients’ progress. When those activities are performed in a way that maximizes ROI and customer satisfaction, we can say we reached operational excellence.

When personal trainers go digital, they can achieve this operational excellence. It can help in many ways. For example, when a trainer provides his clients with an interactive and smarter way to work out and measure results, or when s/he uses a more efficient way to manage businesses operations via fitness software . Don’t be scared of technology. The best fitness software tools are specifically designed to be user-friendly to both client and trainer.

In order to keep up with the evolution in operational excellence and take your business to a new level of professionalism, investing in fitness software is definitely worth considering. Technology will add value to any company and you can be sure it will boost the perception of your brand. You can take advantage of this to build a high end differentiation and gain a competitive advantage.

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5. Going Digital is Easier Than Ever Before

The pace of technological development is faster than ever. Years back, software came with some big challenges for small businesses: high installation costs, huge initial investments, high cost of maintenance, trained technical staff, regular system updating and data management licensing, which was also associated with usage. Nowadays, with the rise of cloud software, these challenges have mostly disappeared.

Most companies today move everything to the cloud because  cloud-based fitness software is cost-effective and flexible in use . Of course, such fitness management software can be accessed from anywhere with a smartphone or computer. Imagine to be able to check the progress of your businesses and clients with many details, from wherever you are and whenever you want.

In 2015, it was reported that over 90% of US businesses (this includes small and big ones) already take advantage of some form of cloud software. Similarly, cloud-based software has been gaining momentum in other parts of the world, gaining new users every day. Personal trainers are going digital because they recognise the benefits.

6. You Can Spend Your Time On What Really Matters

Having to manage a business next to coaching clients can be challenging. Some personal trainers can get stuck spending a lot of time performing repetitive administrative matters, which cuts into the time they could be dedicating to client coaching. But technology can bring a solution to the table when going digital.

With fitness management software it’s possible to automate portions of your business. It frees you from performing repetitive administrative tasks concerning memberships, payments, scheduling, and so on. With automation, everything becomes easier. And you’ll have more time to help clients.


There are many reasons why personal trainers are going digital. The fact is that with technologies such as cloud-based fitness software and mobile fitness apps, personal trainers can not just gain more flexibility for their coaching and management, but also transform their personal training business as a whole. The digital path is the way to go for any professional that wishes to differentiate himself in a competitive market. So, if you are starting your personal training business, or trying to take your business to the next level, don’t stay behind. Pay attention to the trends and watch your business grow.

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Vanessa Santos

I'm Brazilian, but I have lived in London from 2008 until 2010, and I have been living in the Netherlands since 2014. While I'm studying Communication Studies abroad, I eventually do freelance work as a journalist. However, an interest I have always had but that I'm just being able to explore now is the writing about the fitness world. I have to confess I'm impressed with how technology can empower us towards a better fitness management of ourselves or in our businesses. I can't wait to tell you all about it.