Technology Can't Replace Personal Trainers... Yet
Technology is growing fast and impacting everyone — the fitness realm is no exception. There are wearables that can measure range of motion, heart rate, and much more and then give feedback from that specific data. And that’s just the beginning! Within a few years everyone could have access to enough tech to allow them to become their own personal trainer. There’s no doubt that technology has transformed the fitness industry, but the big question is will technology ultimately replace the need for personal trainers entirely? With advances in artificial intelligence and wearable technology the traditional personal trainer will most likely become obsolete, but within the next decade probably not. Here’s why:
Apps Enforce Accountability
Although having a personal trainer is often expensive and sometimes fairly inconvenient for the busy adult, they are still the way to go. There are a ton of fitness app’s in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but none of which have the ability to replace the social interaction or the personalized experience that goes along with having a personal trainer. Think about it — a fitness app doesn’t ask you how your family is doing or adjust to your daily difficulties. Fitness apps like Endomondo, Charity Miles, and MyFitnessPal are great, but they can only go as far as accountability. Research has proven that personal trainers can create better and faster results than a fitness app can on its own. And together the results are often outstanding, which points to a future where personal trainers rely on data to increase training results.
Fitness Data Analysts
As wearable technology advances (and that technology becomes mainstream) fitness apps will become more sophisticated and this will open up a new door for personal trainers and other professionals in the fitness industry. In fact - it’s happening already!
Smart garments from Seiva Technologies, Hexoskin, and Athos bring real data to athletes that will allow them to take their athletic performance to higher levels. The average person will be able to understand the basics of this data, however a fitness data analyst will be able to take a deeper look and give greater insights into an athlete’s performance. Here’s a great example of what a tech-forward personal trainer or a fitness data analyst will look like in the coming years. Tech-forward personal trainers will have the knowledge of a traditional trainer, but will also have the ability to interpret data, communicate results, and give a personalized action oriented plan to their clients based off that data.
Microsoft recently announced their holoportation technology, which will allow people to interact with one another in real time augmented reality from any room (so long as you each have a $3000 HoloLense and a couple of 3D cameras). The technology brings many Star Wars fans dreams of a future with holograms to reality. And if you’re not a Star Wars fan, think Skype — but instead of seeing the other person on a computer screen, you would see a virtual version of your friend in your space and in real time.
Holoportation has obvious benefits and is something that I can’t wait to test out for myself. Tying this back to the fitness industry, busy adults can communicate with their personal trainers while they work out from the comfort of their own homes. The personal trainer can give advice, criticism, and feedback as if they were actually there! As the price for the HoloLense declines, this technology will become more accessible to consumers and open up a whole new opportunity for personal trainers that have difficulties gaining or maintaining clients due to busy schedules.
The entire fitness industry is about to change forever. Technology is advancing at a ridiculously rapid rate and it’s exciting! Wearables and tech-forward personal trainers are the future of fitness and any trainer not on board with this shift will be left behind. Take advantage of technology today -- learn as much as you can about wearables and data and share your discoveries with your clients and you’ll be on your way to becoming a valuable tech-forward trainer.
What other ways will technology impact personal trainers and the fitness industry? Let us know in the comment section below or via social media!