Insights into the current landscape of the fitness industry

From evolving fitness tech and equipment to the favoured training styles, read on for further insights from Jetts Fortitude Valley Club Manager Bonnie Turner

The fitness industry has significantly transformed over the past decade, shifting towards a more holistic and member-focused approach. 

A recent interview with Bonnie Turner, a seasoned personal trainer and gym manager, sheds light on these changes. Bonnie highlights personal trainers’ challenges and successes, the importance of training and mentorship, and technology integration in modern personal training practices. She also explains how gyms have adapted to changing member preferences, including shifting from cardio to resistance training, managing member expectations, and providing a holistic member experience through semi-private coaching and recovery.

Bonnie shares that this evolution began with the realisation that traditional personal training and gym models needed to adapt to the growing demand for a more personalised and supportive fitness journey. Bonnie’s journey started with her own personal fitness quest, completing a rigorous personal training (PT) course, leading to a fulfilling career in the industry. Initially drawn into fitness through her transformative experience, she faced the industry’s harsh realities, where survival often depended on fitness knowledge and business acumen.

One of the defining moments in Bonnie’s career was the guidance she received from a mentor. This mentorship taught her practical skills and instilled an understanding and passion for assisting others. The significance of mentorship and comprehensive training is now more widely acknowledged, with current certification processes demanding more extensive coursework to ensure new trainers are better prepared to meet the industry’s challenges.

As Bonnie transitioned to working independently, she faced the instability typical in personal training, especially within big box gyms. To mitigate this, she sought paid positions within the industry, eventually landing a role at Jetts Fortitude Valley. This opportunity allowed her to bring innovation and energy to the gym, initially in a hybrid role involving PT management, group fitness, and member engagement. Her efforts gradually elevated her to assistant manager and, eventually, manager. Bonnie’s rise through the ranks at Jetts came from her dynamic energy and ability to implement initiatives that added value to the gym’s offerings. This adaptability is crucial in an industry where member preferences are constantly evolving.

The fitness industry has also embraced new and innovative technology to enhance the member experience. Jetts has adopted a new approach with its “Training Gym” design, integrating body composition analysis technology and personalised training apps with recovery and nutritional services. These innovations allow trainers to provide data-driven guidance, helping members set realistic goals and track their progress effectively.

Gyms have adapted their services to align with their members’ evolving preferences. There has been a noticeable shift from traditional cardio-focused workouts to resistance and functional training. Bonnie observed that this change is particularly evident among female members, who now place a premium on strength training. The popularity of semi-private coaching sessions, which offer a more personalised experience in a small group setting, is also rising. These sessions balance individual attention and the camaraderie of group workouts.

Adapting to member expectations has been crucial for gyms aiming to maintain high retention rates. Bonnie emphasised the importance of setting realistic goals and managing expectations from the outset. Gyms can help members stay motivated and committed to their fitness journeys by providing personalised guidance and support. This approach improves member satisfaction and fosters a supportive community within the gym.

The holistic approach extends beyond physical training to encompass overall wellness. Many gyms now offer recovery services, such as compression therapy, massage chairs, and even infrared saunas. These amenities address the growing awareness of the importance of recovery in achieving fitness goals. Gyms can cater to their members’ diverse needs and promote long-term health and well-being by offering comprehensive services.

Jetts Fortitude Valley, managed by Bonnie, exemplifies this holistic, member-focused approach. The gym has seen significant success by fostering a supportive environment for trainers and members. Management’s efforts to create a positive culture, where trainers support each other and share knowledge, have led to a cohesive and motivated team. This, in turn, enhances the member experience, as trainers are more engaged and committed to helping members achieve their goals. 

The gym’s operational strategies also reflect the shift towards a member-focused approach. Jetts Fortitude Valley offers “fitness freedom” with flexible membership options, including no lock-in contracts, which empower members to choose services that best meet their needs without long-term commitments. This flexibility and high-quality service require the gym to continually provide value, ensuring member satisfaction and loyalty.

Bonnie’s career journey exemplifies the importance of mentorship, comprehensive training, and adaptability in navigating this dynamic field. Her experiences underscore the necessity of understanding fitness and business to succeed as a personal trainer.

Lastly, the fitness industry’s shift towards a holistic and member-focused approach has reshaped the landscape, emphasising the importance of comprehensive training, mentorship, and technology integration. By adapting to changing member preferences and offering a wide range of personalised services, gyms like Jetts Fortitude Valley are setting a new standard for the industry. This evolution enhances the member experience and fosters a supportive and sustainable fitness community.

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