Jan Schroeder, PhDJan Schroeder, PhD, is an associate professor of kinesiology, specializing in fitness, at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Schroeder has authored over 25 research and applied science articles in the area of exercise physiology and fitness and presents regularly at national and international conferences. In addition, Jan is a certified group exercise instructor and teaches in the private and academic sector.
Certifications: AFAA and NASM
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The Great Recession forced the U.S. economy through a bruising workout in a fight to survive, and after the first shocks had rattled the system, the country suffered the equivalent of a massive dose of delayed-onset muscle soreness. Pain spread gradually, sidelining the vulnerable. While most workers picked themselves up, unfortunately many Americans are ?still struggling to make gains or even to find jobs.Read More
Over the past 7 years, personal trainers have shared their programming strategies with IDEA through the IDEA Fitness Industry Programs & Equipment Trends Report. This data has allowed us to track trends (not just fleeting “fads”) that are unfolding in the industry.Read More
The 17th IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends Report bears out that fitness professionals are becoming more specialized, yet more diverse, as the North American population ages and transforms its demographic markers. This year’s survey was distributed to the largest sample pool ever and garnered the largest number of responses in its history (2,818).
As in recent years, the programming and services offered clearly underscore a robust personal training and group exercise presence. Respondents report that half of their facilities are also offering mind-body activities.
Nearly 700 IDEA personal trainer members—mostly independent, small-business entrepreneurs—completed the 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer Programs & Equipment Trends survey. Read on to discover what they are seeing in their day-to-day operations, why they are making certain decisions about programming and equipment and how they are positioning themselves for 2012 and beyond.
The most popular trends emerging from the 2011 data show that IDEA trainers continue to incorporate small, portable equipment into small-group training sessions that focus on body weight leverage training, functional resistance training and balance training. Results further show that these trainers believe specialized client populations, such as older adults and those in need of weight management or back pain prevention programs, are growing. This, in turn, means that professionals need more continuing education to remain current and effective in their service.
Survey respondents reaffirmed that training adults one-on-one remains the mainstay of their training businesses. Sessions focus most often on cardiorespiratory cross-training, strength training, stretching, functional resistance training and balance training.
Top 10 Programming Trends
This year we asked IDEA personal trainers to report their picks for the top programming trends in the industry. Participants were asked to respond yes or no to a list of more than 30 possible programming trends. Write-in replies were also analyzed. Results fell into three main categories: training methods, special populations and organizational training formats.
The number-one programming trend is body weight leverage training, followed closely by functional resistance training and balance training. Two of the top three trends—functional resistance training and balance training—have been offered by at least 95% of respondents since 2008. Tied for fourth in popularity are senior-specific training and weight management training. Further down the list are cardiorespiratory interval training (tied for sixth with personal training, 2 clients share); nutrition coaching (eighth); and back pain prevention (tied for ninth with outdoor boot camp classes and personal training, 3-5 clients share). More than three-quarters of trainers who responded to the survey currently offer their clients these types of programs.
Consistent with the trends, Ray Vargas, owner of ISOTONEX Personal Training in San Jose, California, is keeping his eye on a few special populations. His top three picks are the weight management sector, seniors and clients needing postrehabilitation. “The reason for such growth is that these markets have remained untapped for many years, but now we are seeing the need for training at every phase of life. For an athlete, this may mean speed, agility and quickness, but for a senior citizen it may mean getting in and out of the house without breaking a hip,” Vargas observes.
Organizational Training Formats
Working with multiple clients—through personal training sessions that 2 clients share or 3–5 clients share, or through outdoor boot camps—ranks among the top 10 programming trends. Five-year trends data show that while 2 clients sharing and 3–5 clients sharing have both grown, outdoor boot camps—perhaps surprisingly—have shown no growth. Survey data regarding which types of facilities are more likely to offer shared sessions show equality across facility types, with slightly fewer group sessions available at the trainer’s home.
For detailed survey results, please see the complete article, “2011 IDEA Personal Trainer Programs & Equipment Trends” online in the IDEA Library or in September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal.Read More
Since last year’s survey, we’ve seen a modest uptick in the economy. Perhaps with that comes increased optimism for growing your businesses and expanding your services to new (and old) clients who are looking to loosen up some dollars to spend on their health and fitness. How do you best prepare for this? How do you know in what direction to steer your offerings or what equipment to buy? This survey, specific to personal trainers, is a bellwether of what you can expect and plan for in the coming year.Read More
Since last year’s survey, we’ve seen a modest uptick in the economy. Perhaps with that comes increased optimism for growing your businesses and expanding your services to new (and old) clients who are looking to loosen up some dollars to spend on their health and fitness. How do you best prepare for this? How do you know in what direction to steer your offerings or what equipment to buy?Read More
The 16th annual IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends survey was distributed to member club owners, fitness directors, managers and program directors in order to gather information on current programming and equipment offerings and to gauge industry trends. As club owners and directors have continued to hurdle the challenge of a down economy, they have been forced to get creative with staffing, space, equipment and programming so as to meet the needs of a diverse clientele demanding more economical fitness solutions.Read More
The 16th annual IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends survey was distributed to member club owners, fitness directors, managers and program directors in order to gather information on current programming and equipment offerings and to gauge industry trends.Read More
You have decided on a career in fitness because you enjoy working out and helping people. Are those two qualities all you need to get started in the industry? No—while they are great traits to possess, success in the fitness profession requires education: certifications, workshops, conferences and college degree programs focusing on kinesiology, the study of human movement.Read More