20 years in fitness and how things have changed

Posted on: 27/02/2018

I now know how valuable experience is and no one is an expert in a field or subject until they have a proven track record of success. I developed a passion for sport at an early age and realised during my days at school that my passion for health and fitness would carve me out a career.

Having now spent nearly 20 years in health and fitness working with a range of clients, I have seen the fads come and go along with social media diluting the industry with do’s and don’ts. When I entered into the fitness industry in the late 90’s, personal trainers were primarily seen as a luxury item and used by pop stars, models and the super rich. I always made comments that a personal trainer/fitness professional would eventually become essential to people like an accountant would be for a business.

The choices for fitness were limited in the 1990’s in comparison with what is on the market today. The fitness industry today is booming and it is now a fashion statement to belong to a certain club, attend a type of class or wear a particular brand of fitness clothing.

When I started training clients in London parks, it was free then by the way, I was often looked at oddly by members of the public as it was quite rare to see people training people. Fast forward to today and the parks are littered with fitness professionals putting clients through their paces and group classes taking place. Not only that, the councils have a nice revenue stream. Win, win. The nation is getting fitter and the council have created a decent source of income.

Every industry has benefited from technology and the fitness sector is no different. Technology has also revolutionised how we apply ourselves to exercise. Apps, activity trackers, virtual classes and sophisticated heart rate tracking has seen us obtain so much choice on how we keep fit. The group fitness market has benefited massively from the technology development which has supported the growth in different class concepts.

Gone are the days of rows and rows of single station resistance machines and dozens of X-trainers and treadmills. Consumers want space to exercise and tools to help them achieve these goals. Suspension trainers, kettlebells, Vipr, Bulgarian bags, zones where they can train and move with friends – these have all increased in popularity over the last few years and will continue to do so. Consumers are no longer happy to do the same routine or use the same machines as everyone else. This has led to the rise of the single concept facilities such as Cross Fit, indoor cycling studios and Bikram Yoga becoming more and more popular. They operate very differently from a traditional gym setup, so if someone wants to do spin on a Tuesday and a weights session on a Friday they will go to different venues that specialise in the exact activity they are after, and only pay for what they want.

I am personally now involved in YOLO Retreats a company providing health and fitness experiences for individuals and families to make small steps to effective lifestyle changes, covering everything from state of mind to educating on nutrition. You could say this combines education with physical activity and healthy food.  This has developed off the back of the success of spa breaks and Yoga retreats with consumers always looking for new experiences.

With fitness now such a big factor in peoples lives, then a long weekend of fresh juices and a fitness programme is becoming more appealing then sitting on the sun lounger with a cocktail.

If you want to learn more about fitness this summer, then I suggest you join me on one of the fitness programmes on offer.  Your fitness, my passion!