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Covid-19 took the personal out of personal training. Here’s how trainers adapted – Health News Today


The personal trainer worked out of a gym based in Santa Monica, California, where he taught classes twice a week. He also worked as an independent corporate trainer through a partnership with his friend, where they’d go to offices and train employees at companies across Los Angeles.

“All the uncertainty was frustrating,” Zenga told CNN.

Meanwhile, across the country, Atlanta-based trainer Bria Young found her business booming during the pandemic. When gyms began to close, Young transitioned to packaging workouts into online digital programs on her website, and began selling them.

“It completely flip-flopped, I didn’t even need to go back to in-person training,” Young told CNN. “I was able to find a new passion during this pandemic.”

There’s no question that the fitness industry has been upended by the pandemic — and for some trainers like Zenga, the last 10 months have proved to be financially devastating. For others, like Young, the pandemic has turned into a fruitful opportunity to pivot to virtual full time.

Fitness industry lost 480,000 jobs due to Covid-19

The fitness industry employed 3 million part-time and full-time employees prior to the pandemic, and as of October 1 at least 480,000 jobs have been lost, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), a global trade association for the health and fitness industry.

“While other small businesses could pivot and sell online or do take-out orders, health clubs, and their staff of personal trainers and group instructors, had no real opportunities to earn revenue,” IHRSA spokesperson Sami Smith told CNN in an email.

Capacity restrictions on gyms meant “fewer people are visiting the club, which also translates to less personal training sessions and group exercise classes,” Smith said.

“Some clubs and trainers have successfully pivoted to make money with outdoor workouts and virtual classes, but these are nowhere near enough to cover the difference.”

Patrons stopped going to the gym once Covid-19 hit

Prior to the pandemic, more than half of US exercisers were working out at home, according to a September report from the market intelligence agency Mintel.

With Covid-19 wreaking havoc on the US, people are even less likely now to go to their local gym.

“When asked about their comfort level returning to certain activities, over half of consumers said they were not comfortable going back to the gym,” Mintel’s report found.

The $94 billion fitness industry is reinventing itself as Covid-19 spreads

That meant a blow to a lot of personal trainers’ pockets.

“All of a sudden it’s a number missing from your bank account,” said Chiheb Soumer, a personal training and wellness expert based out of Los Angeles, whose entire business model at one point was training in corporate offices.

“I lost 50% of my personal training clients because people are just scared. Gyms are closed so unless you have your own gym or you train outside, it’s tricky.”

Going virtual didn’t work for everyone

The pivot to virtual was not an easy one across the board for personal…

Read More: Covid-19 took the personal out of personal training. Here’s how trainers adapted

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