The use of AI technology has only just begun getting popular, and already it has revolutionized industries from finance to healthcare to automotive. The fitness industry is no different, and AI presents many exciting new challenges and opportunities in this arena. Today we will look into the impact of AI on personal training.
The growth of the fitness app industry has outpaced that of in-person training over the last few years. While this is partially due to COVID-19 temporarily shuttering many in person gyms, this factor does not account for all the disparity. More and more, people are looking to apps to help them get the results they want.
And it is easy to see why. Artificial Intelligence within apps has lots of benefits. Everything from nutrition plans to workout programs can be generated using AI. Wearables can even generate tons of data that can then be used to help make AI generated recommendations.
Trainers could face fierce competition from this new tech. Retention may decrease if clients feel they can get the same level of expertise from an app, and trainers may feel forced to lower their rates to stay competitive.
Trainers that use AI may also face challenges. For instance, the large amount of data available from apps or wearables could be overwhelming. This influx may make it difficult to determine what is important and make effective use of it. Over-relying on AI for interactions with clients could also make the training experience less personal and enjoyable for clients.
While there are some potential downsides to AI technology for personal trainers, there are also many upsides. The app industry has boomed, but the personal training industry is still growing as well, and there is a lot of potential for synergy between these two parts of the fitness industry.
Efficient Program Creation
Artificial Intelligence offers many benefits that trainers can take advantage of. They can use it to create better workout plans and do so more efficiently. AI powered nutrition coaching software can be used to help a trainer create nutrition recommendations for clients, and give them an even better experience.
For instance, the app we use at our studio allows trainers to use the data gathered on their clients to create customized nutrition recommendations. The apps AI can then take those recommendations and create meals and shopping lists that fit them. Without this tech, the trainer would have to spend a lot of time writing out each meal, and making sure that everything added up and fit the total daily recommendations for the day. With it, they can do this quickly and efficiently, and give clients more tools for success!
AI powered scheduling tools can be utilized by trainers to help effectively manage time and bill for sessions. Reducing the time spent on mundane administrative tasks allows for more time for working on clients programs, learning, or just relaxing. This means a better experience for the trainer and their clients.
While it is possible that overuse of AI to manage client interactions could lead to a lack of personalization, it can enhance it to a high degree if used appropriately and in the right areas. It can free up time spent on tasks like scheduling, that trainers can put towards managing the aspects of training that AI cannot replace, like emotional support and motivation.
As you can see, there are lots of great opportunities for growth for trainers from the implementation of AI within their training.
Recommendations For Success
Trainers that want to succeed in the AI era need to stay competitive with the offerings from apps and AI. Trainers should offer their clients workout and nutrition guidance, progress tracking, and a way to easily organize and access these items. That way they are offering equivalent to what AI powered apps offer, and then so much more. It won't mean spending every waking moment working either, because AI powered coaching apps can be leveraged to provide these fantastic benefits to clients quickly and efficiently.
At our studio we have a convenient app that provides trainers with the ability to efficiently track and monitor progress, provide nutrition guidance, write workout plans, record workouts, and create and deliver other customized healthy habits for their clients. Using this type of tech makes us extremely competitive with apps and other AI powered fitness tools, especially so due to the many additional ways trainers can help their clients.
How Trainers Can Outdo the AI Competition
Personal trainers who want to remain on top of their game should also be sure to focus on staying adept at the aspects of personal training that AI can't help clients with. This includes things like:
Tactile feedback on form and exercise technique in real time. An AI program might be able to tell someone what to do, but there are none that can guide a client through exercises and help position their bodies physically and with verbal cues so that they get it right, and feel it properly.
Motivation and mindset. While apps may help a bit with motivation, nothing compares to the social support of another human being with a vested interest in seeing their client succeed.
Ability to adapt workouts to changing conditions. There are a lot of factors AI cannot take into consideration. A client may have banged their knee over the weekend and need to adjust their program a bit. Or they may have had an extremely stressful event take place and need adjustments due to that.
Emotional support and guidance through the journey. Clients go through ups and downs in their fitness journey. Having the support from a trainer that knows how to handle both the good and the bad, and keep people moving forward is an important part of training that AI won't soon replace.
Human oversight. A personal trainer can use their expertise and background to refine AI generated recommendations. While AI is promising and helpful, it is far from perfect, so it is best used with expert oversight.
Excelling in these nuanced aspects of training that artificial intelligence cannot provide will ensure longterm success throughout the AI era. A slight touch or adjustment to improve posture or exercise technique, the energy trainers bring to sessions that drives clients to perform better, and the steady unwavering support through the ups and downs of ones fitness journey are what makes training personal. This is why personal trainers can deliver even better results than what people can get from apps or AI alone.
Stay Up To Date, But Don't Stress
Trainers should embrace AI and utilize it to improve their training and efficiency. At the same time, there are already a million different AI powered fitness apps and gadgets all promising the moon and the stars. It's easy to get overwhelmed trying to figure out which ones are best, and which are just jumping on the trend to make a quick buck. My recommendation is to take a little time each week to research and see if there is anything that could save you time or improve your clients experience. You don't need to become an overnight expert on all things AI.
AI in the fitness industry presents some challenges that trainers will need to adapt to. Fortunately, adapting to challenges is one of personal trainers biggest strengths, so this should be no problem. For continued success during the age of AI trainers should use this technology to enhance their services, but also focus on proficiency in the areas it cannot help with. By doing so they will create the best service that includes all the perks that AI has to offer, along with the irreplaceable benefits of training with a real human personal trainer.
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