How, exactly, is fit tech changing the way you train and teach? Will artificial intelligence (AI) help personal trainers take customized programs to a new level? How far will wearables go to help clients stay on track? Fitness professionals are successfully using gamification to motivate and engage, particularly younger generations. The popularity of gamified fitness platforms, as well as the metaverse’s flourishing influence, has created a new spark of workouts where music, visuals, wearables and instructors provide an immersive fitness experience.
If you want to stay relevant—and have fun while doing it—you must do your fit tech homework and learn how to apply it to your programs and classes. Fit tech can positively affect member engagement, revenue growth, prospect workflow and more. Let’s zone in on a couple of influential areas.
Science fiction fans are aware of the shadow side of AI (Cylons, anyone?). However, contemporary AI doesn’t live up to this reputation. Essentially, it’s “the endgame” of machine learning, an essential method to empower computers to make decisions with less human input. Early applications for AI are showing up in simple customer-facing functions such as class registration, answering services and website chatbots.
Smart Fitness Equipment
Smart fitness equipment uses the latest technology to offer informed user workout data while giving staff insights into the equipment’s effectiveness. Sensor technology helps with real-time workout analysis and applications range from assessing a user’s technique to providing feedback or even strength-training equipment that automatically “spots” as needed. Cloud-connected equipment enables staff to update maintenance needs. Smart equipment brings a new element to fit tech and can reinvigorate members.
Fit Tech + Tradition
There’s no reason why fitness professionals can’t combine tried and true technique with tech. “Technology has revolutionized the way that I work with clients and create programs,” says Tom Godwin, managing director, Foresight Fitness Services, Manchester, England. “When I first started in the industry, I planned programs using good old pen and paper. This process now seems cumbersome and time intensive—not to mention distressing if paperwork is lost or accidentally damaged. I think the advancements in technology have opened many doors for trainers, not only to improve the level of service we give our clients, but also to make our own lives easier!”
From pen and paper to AI, wearables and beyond, IDEA has remained current with all the trends fitness professionals need to know, and we’ve always shared the pros, cons and practical reasons to either hop on board, or change course. There is much more information available for fitness professionals to explore, which is one reason why it’s so important to remain connected through association and stay up to date with continuing education credits.
The most sought-after fitness professionals are the ones who know how to incorporate and apply trends, with an emphasis on client needs. When you combine this level of experience and expertise with fact-checked information about where the industry is headed, you become limitless.
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Newest Fitness Technology Trends
Fitness technology has increasingly become a key element of program design for many personal trainers—we’ve come a long way since pedometers! It seems step trackers and smartwatches were just the beginning; now the industry is blossoming with sweat sensors, skin patches, smart clothing and even contact lenses. What can fitness professionals look forward to in the wearable fit tech space?
Ramping Up Your Virtual Zoom Studio
It was early March 2020 when Seattle, where I live, shut down very quickly due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We immediately knew we’d have to move into the virtual world within a matter of days. For my first class, I didn’t know what microphone I should use, and I barely knew how to share music, but I flipped on the camera.
Nutrition Technology Optimization
Can technology improve people’s eating habits? This is the multibillion-dollar question challenging developers. Consumer applications and integrated digital solutions for food tracking, menu planning, grocery shopping, eating out, and nutrition and lifestyle coaching are proliferating. Innovations include scanners that identify nutrients, wearables that gauge real-time calorie intake and breathalyzers that measure metabolism.
Is Fitness Technology Your Fiercest Competitor?
If you’ve used the Nike+ Running App, you’ve likely heard the voice of five-time Olympic medal–winning sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross congratulating you for completing a run. Browse the health app section on your smartphone or slap on a wearable device, and you’ll observe the endless opportunities for tracking fitness data and even getting workout inspiration.
Do You Need a Better Technology Policy?
If you’ve spent any time at all inside a gym, you’ve likely experienced this scenario: You’re humming along on your treadmill when Joe Talksalot hops onto the machine next to you and proceeds to speak loudly into his smartphone. To distract yourself from Talksalot’s not-so-private conversation, you scan the gym floor—and over the corner you see a woman doing backbends while contorting her neck to maintain a visual on her tablet.
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