Survey Results: The Best In Personal Training & Fitness Industry Trends for 2023
It comes as no surprise that the fitness industry is rapidly growing, especially during COVID times where at-home and virtual workouts have exploded. As a whole, the industry is growing at a rate of 8.7% per year, with the demand for personal trainers expected to grow 13% between now and 2028.
For CPTs within this highly dynamic and steadily expanding industry, fitness trends change by the year. Fitness Mentors surveyed nearly 500 personal trainers to find out what their choices are for the best fitness-related brands, technologies, workout strategies, services, education, client acquisition tactics, and more.
The categories and topics we’ll touch on include:
- Personal trainer client acquisition: Where are clients coming from?
- The best fitness apps, software, and technology
- The best personal training workouts
- The best certifications
- Fitness Trend Projections For 2023
Some of the survey results were even a bit unexpected! Read on to see what we found.
Personal Trainer Client Acquisition
Let’s start at the beginning. Where are we getting our clients? There’s not much sense in knowing the best workout strategies if we don’t have the clientele.
Over 50% of those surveyed by Fitness Mentors said their primary way to obtain clients is by word of mouth and referrals. Whether it’s a current client that recommended their services to someone else, or they just let members of their community know what they offer, most of their clients came this way.
Second to that was social media, where 30.2% of those surveyed said they obtain the most clients. So what’s the best social media platform for personal trainers to use? According to 42.2% of the personal trainers we asked, Instagram is the best place to promote their personal training business, followed by 20% that suggested Facebook is best and 15.6% that prefer YouTube.
Why did the majority choose Instagram? Likely because Instagram’s heavy reliance on photos makes for a great way to promote a business whose results are highly visual.
Fitness Apps, Software And Technology
Once we have our clients, what are the best ways to record their data and manage them?
We asked our survey respondents what their choice is for the best client management software. The results were not totally unanimous, but nearly 31% of personal trainers said Trainerize is the best software, followed by MindBody at 15.4% and PT Distinction at 12.8%.
When we asked why Trainerize is their favorite, they talked about the many features like the ability to build customized training programs for their clients, track their progress, and even accept payments from them using the software.
So what about fitness and nutrition apps that personal trainers recommend for their own use and for their clients?
Best Nutrition App
Let’s start with nutrition – a big part of any personal trainer’s programs. The best nutrition tracking app that CPTs suggest their clients use is MyFitnessPal, which came in at 78.3%! Their many reasons involved the ease of use and the especially comprehensive database of foods and exercises.
Best Walking And Running Apps
When it came to walking and running apps to track your routes and progress, results were fairly close between three: Map My Run came in at 27.9%, Strava at 25.6%, and Nike+ at 20.9%. While it was a close call, the preference for Map My Run came because of the ability to track other activities besides just running. The app tracks cycling, interval training, walking, and more.
Best Fitness Training Apps
For virtual classes and training session apps, 20.5% of our surveyed trainers recommended Nike Training, while 17.9% preferred Beach Body. Both options allow the CPT’s clients to supplement their workouts with digital training that boasts anywhere-you-need-it accessibility.
Best Wearable Fitness Tracker
When it came to the best wearable fitness trackers, 44.7% of personal trainers answered their favorite was the Apple Watch. This was followed by 19.10% choosing Garmin, 12.8% who selected FitBit, and 10.6% who preferred Samsung.
With Apple and Garmin being two of the biggest names when it comes to wearable fitness trackers, you may wonder why CPTs lean more towards Apple. When we asked some of our voters, they said they prefer the Apple Watch because of the advanced features, such as the ECG and pulse oximeter sensors in the newer models.
The Personal Training Workouts
On to the single-handed most important aspect of personal training: the workouts themselves. With so many new trends and fitness strategies, it’s no surprise that personal trainers may differ on what they feel is the best. We surveyed to find out what the majority prefer, and here’s what we found.
Best Workout For Weight Loss
When we asked personal trainers what they think the best workout for weight loss is, the majority, 51.10%, said interval training. 13.3% answered that CrossFit is their preferred method, and 8/9% answered running.
The trainers who chose interval training said they did so because it helps your body continue to burn fat even after the workout is over.
Best Cardio Equipment
For those trainers working in gyms or studios, or recommending equipment to their clients, we asked what the best is for cardio. 31.9% chose a rowing machine, compared to 23.4% who said a treadmill. Ellipticals and steppers tied up at around 15%.
Rowing machines were a top choice because of their workout efficiency. They target 85% of your body’s muscles, which makes them the perfect workout if you had to choose just one piece of equipment.
Home Fitness Brand
So which equipment brand is a favorite amongst our surveyed personal trainers? 36.6% chose Peloton, while 24.4% chose Total Gym.
Peloton, which was once known solely for its stationary bikes, now offers treadmills as well. When we asked why the preference towards the brand, many responders told us it’s about the quality and technology within the fitness equipment. Since Peloton integrates with its app to allow motivation and tracking, it’s often a choice for those looking for that extra support.
Transportable Strength Training
One of the beautiful things about being a personal trainer is the ability to provide your services anywhere. We asked our group of personal trainers what their favorite transportable strength training is. 46.8% answered resistance bands, while 27.7% preferred dumbbells.
The trainers who preferred resistance bands did so because of their lightweight functionality, making them effective at muscle building, yet easier to travel with.
COVID-19 put a huge emphasis on at-home workouts, which includes virtual personal training. When we asked our surveyors what their preference was for delivering their sessions to their clients, 58.7% chose a hybrid combination of in-person and virtual to obtain the most success. 32.6% preferred completely in person, while 8.7% said purely remote.
The combination of virtual and in-person training was a clear winner.
Personal trainers have preferences for how they recommend their clients recover from a workout, as well. While resting is certainly one option, as far as other tools and techniques go, a foam roller was the highest recommended at 42.2%. This was followed by massage at 17.8% and percussion therapy at 11.1%.
The trainers said they preferred foam rollers because of their self-myofascial release that assists with tightness and soreness. They’re also easy to carry around and don’t take up a lot of space.
Personal Training Certification
No two personal training certifications are exactly the same, and each has its own set of pros and cons that may make it better for one person over another. We asked our pool of personal trainers what their preference was for certification and CEUs. 46.8% answered NASM, while 23.4% said ACE, and 12.8% responded Fitness Mentors own certification.
You can read more about each certification here to make the best choice for you.
Fitness Industry Trend Projections For 2023
Every year brings new trends, new workouts, and an upswing in certain personal training styles. Here’s what to look out for in 2023:
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Fitness tracking devices and apps have become increasingly popular in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue. These devices can track your and your client’s fitness goals – making logging, monitoring, and accountability more streamlined. The technological advancements in these devices, especially smart watches, allow for GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, step calculations and calories burned. Some even monitor sleep, heart rhythm, and blood pressure for a holistic approach to fitness.
The pandemic has pushed many people towards at-home workouts, and this is predicted to continue in the next few years. The at-home fitness market value is expected to reach $14.74 billion by 2028. This trend can be attributed to the rise in popularity of streaming services like Peloton and Zoom, which offer live and on-demand classes that can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Virtual personal training
As we mentioned above, along with at-home workouts, the addition of virtual live fitness classes and personal training are also on the rise. This is a convenient way for your clients to get their workout in without having to leave their house or office. These can be done through video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype, or performed asynchronously.
The integration of mindfulness and meditation into fitness routines is becoming more popular, as the focus on mental health has increased in recent years. This can be done through guided meditations, breathwork, and even yoga Nidra. Adding these practices into your personal training sessions can help your clients to focus on the present moment and be more in tune with their bodies.
This type of training focuses on exercises that help improve everyday movement and activities. It is based on the principle that the body works best when all the muscles work together, rather than isolating one muscle group at a time. This type of training can help to improve balance, coordination, mobility, and daily activities for living.
HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is a type of workout that alternates between short bursts of intense activity and periods of rest. This type of workout is effective for fat loss and cardio, as it’s effective at burning a lot of calories in a shorter amount of time.
As the weather gets warmer, people will start to take their workouts outdoors. This is a great way to get some fresh air and Vitamin D, and it can also be a more fun and interesting environment for your clients. Exercises that can be done outdoors don’t just have to include walking, running, biking, hiking, and swimming – you can get creative with your surroundings to incorporate resistance training too.
Smart gym equipment
This type of equipment uses sensors and AI to provide feedback on your and your clients’ workouts. It can track your reps, sets, and weight lifted, as well as your heart rate and calories burned. This information can be used to help you or your clients improve form, technique, and performance.
The popularity of competitive fitness, such as CrossFit and obstacle course races, has been on the rise in recent years. This trend is expected to continue as people are looking for new and exciting ways to challenge themselves. These workouts are also great for building community and helping people stay motivated.
There you have it, some of the top fitness trends for 2023. As a personal trainer, it’s essential to be aware of these trends so that you can stay up-to-date and offer your clients the best possible service.
A Final Word
While every personal trainer may have different opinions and the trends change often, Fitness Mentors stands behind helping our CPTs stay ahead of the game with constantly updated training.
Whether you’re looking to broaden your offerings by becoming certified for virtual training, or you’d like to learn more about the business side of being a personal trainer, we have what you need to be successful!