As we entered the new year, lists of what fitness trends would be hot in 2020 predicted increased interest in digital on-demand fitness, livestream fitness classes and virtual trainers.

The interest in technology-based fitness wasn’t new to 2020, though. The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) reported that 24% of their survey respondents pointed to fitness tech as the “top fitness industry trend of 2019.”

What really came as a surprise in 2020 was just how much fitness technology would become indispensable in the face of pandemic lockdowns. However, even as many return to in-person workouts, the importance of fitness technology—and of trainers being responsive to clients’ needs for flexibility and online options—remains.

Fitness tech is fast becoming the new norm. And, for trainers and other entrepreneurs, remaining competitive and relevant in this new digital age means embracing change; finding ways to differentiate yourself from the competition through individualized programming; and continuing to learn new skills and approaches.

Embracing Change

While we now have more capacity to resume in-person approaches, it’s wise to continue to integrate technology into your business model—but to do so with intentionality.

Use technology to

  • assess clients’ individual fitness needs
  • check in with clients and ensure they are on track
  • provide virtual one-on-one or group training/fitness classes to clients who aren’t comfortable returning to a gym or (looking ahead) who may be traveling


Technology can do some amazing things, but people still respond to people—and want to feel special. Differentiate your business from other fitness brands by providing a high level of personalization through

  • individualized programming
  • daily check-ins
  • programs that help clients move, feel and perform better
  • schedules that are flexible and responsive to clients’ needs

Learning New Skills and Approaches

Continue to expand your knowledge of best practices, research and trends through education—whether that’s through a certification, certificate or degree program.

California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) is a great place to start. The University offers 100% online, nationally recognized exercise science degree and certificate programs.

Options include an online bachelor’s degree program as well as graduate-level programs that allow students to focus their study on

Each program integrates cutting-edge research and techniques—and has been developed in partnership with top fitness organizations in the industry. As a result, Cal U students have access to top certifications from organizations such as NASM, AFAA and NASE, depending on the program of study they pursue.

What’s more, Cal U’s exercise science degree and certificate programs allow students to learn how to use technology effectively as they explore the science behind movement, performance, health, wellness and other topics.

As we head down a path toward a new digital age in the fitness industry, the time is now to move ahead of the curve. Actively look for ways to advance your professional skills and remain competitive. Pursuing a degree or certificate in exercise science from Cal U is a great place to start.

Explore the possibilities at