Fitness Professionals Over 50

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Fitness Professionals Over 50 - Market Size

Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016 there were 299,200 personal/fitness trainers or instructors. It has been estimated that there will be an additional 30,100 personal trainers working in the U.S. by 2026. According to a report from the American Council on Exercise, around 6.5 million Americans hire personal trainers. Currently, the total number of personal/fitness trainers in the US is 308,440. The total number of yoga teachers in the US who are women and over 50 years old would be 18,620. The number of running coaches in the US who are women and over 50 years old is negligible.

Unfortunately, there are no sources that provide the market size or the number of fitness professionals (personal trainers, running coaches, and yoga teachers) in the US who are women and over 50 years old. However, we were able to find a number of relevant statistics and based on that we have triangulated the number of yoga teachers, the number of running coaches in the US who are women and over 50 years old, and the current number of female personal/fitness trainers in the US over 50 years old is negligible.

METHODOLOGY

To find the market size of fitness professionals (personal trainers, running coaches, and yoga teachers) in the US who are women and over 50 years old, and a breakdown of this market, we initially searched for the precompiled information. The sources we searched include various market research reports such as Business Wire, Mordor Intelligence, IBIS World, and others. These reports provided the market size of personal trainers industry and the size and growth of the other related market, but these were in terms of revenue and not the numbers. A full view of these reports was behind paywalls.

Next, we looked for the desired information through statistical databases and government sites such as Statista, BLS, American Council of Exercise (ACE), and others. The idea was to check if these sites have mentioned about the number of employees in the fitness industry, or fitness trainers or professional and personal trainers, yoga teachers, or running coaches. BLS reported the number of jobs for fitness trainers in 2016 and 2026 which we assumed to be equal to the number of fitness trainers. We also noticed that the terms 'fitness trainers' and 'personal trainers' were used interchangeably. Using the above statistics, we were able to calculate the number of fitness/personal trainers in the US for 2019. However, there was no clue providing any information on the number of female personal trainers in the US that are over 50 years old. Also, we did not find any information for the number of fitness professionals including running coaches, and yoga teachers. A search for the previous year's sources also could not provide the required details for the fitness industry.

We then decided to triangulate to answer using various other means, starting by looking for the market size of the number of professionals working as personal trainers, running coaches, and yoga teachers, as well as details specific to females such as the percentage of female professionals or the share of female fitness trainers, etc. While searching through the sources mentioned above and various media articles, we were able to determine the number of yoga teachers in the US and the percentage of female yoga practitioners, as well as those above the age of 50. Although yoga practitioners are those who practice yoga and not who teach yoga, we assumed statistics to be valid for yoga teachers as well. Based on this assumption, we were able to calculate the market size of female yoga teachers in the US that are over 50 years old. This figure is not accurate, but it provides a rough idea of the market.

Later, we searched for the market size of female fitness professionals in the US over 50 years old, focusing on the running coaches. We searched through the sources mentioned above along with The Guardian, Fitness Mentors, Member AFS Fitness, Market Watch, American Council of Exercise (ACE), and others. However, none of these sources provided information on the market size required for female running coaches in the US over the age of 50. However, during our research, we were able to learn that among all the "coaches employed by the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and MLB," only 0.23% are women. A recent article on The Guardian revealed that "nearly all the coaches of the best US runners are male." Therefore, based on these sources, we have assumed that the number of women running coaches in the US is very low (only six employed in NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and MLB) and so, the women age above 50 would be negligible.

As the strategies mentioned above could not provide the relevant details on the number of female personal trainers in the US that are over 50 years old, we decided to triangulate the data. A search through the sources mentioned above, as well as Time.com, Entrepreneur, Health.gov, and others did not give the desired statistics. The sources did not provide any information on the percentage of women/females above the age of 50 years who work as personal trainers or fitness trainers. Because none of the sources consulted provided the required information for the market size of female fitness professionals, over the age of 50 years in the US, we hoped to obtain separate market sizes for them, which we would then sum up to get the aggregate. However, this strategy failed to yield the desired results, and therefore, it was not possible to provide the market size of female fitness professionals, over 50 years old. The reason for the unavailability of the information could be that this is information for a particular niche, and market research firms may not have carried out any research in that regard.

Market size of PERSONAL TRAINERS/ Fitness trainers

Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016 there were 299,200 personal/fitness trainers or instructors. It has been estimated that there will be an additional 30,100 personal trainers working in the U.S. by 2026. According to a report from the American Council on Exercise, around 6.5 million Americans hire personal trainers. In 2016, there were 299,200 fitness trainers jobs which are estimated to reach 330,000 by 2026. So, the fitness trainer jobs were estimated to increase by 30,800 (330,000 - 299,200) in 10 years, showing an increase by 3,080 jobs or trainers per year. Therefore, we can calculate the number of trainers for 2019 to be 308,440 [299,200 + (3080 x 3)].

From the above, we have estimated that the current market size for personal trainers is 308,440 personal trainers in the US.

Market size of Yoga Teachers

Currently, there are about 70,000 yoga teachers in the US. In 2016, the number of yoga teachers was 52,746 and according to an article published by Ideafit, "currently two people interested in becoming a yoga teacher for every one teacher in the U.S."

According to a research study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Reviews, 2016, more than 70% of yoga practitioners are females, and about 38% of yoga practitioners are above the age of 50. If the same is true for yoga teachers as well, the total number of yoga teachers in the US who are women and over 50 years old would be 18,620 [38% of (70% of 70,000)].

Therefore, the market size of yoga teachers in the US who are women and over 50 years old is roughly 18,620.

Market size of running coaches

As recently published by the Guardian, 2019, "nearly all the coaches of the best US runners are male." Also, the SB Nation reported that the among 2,600 coaches "employed by the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and MLB (this includes minor league affiliates)," only 0.23% are female. Therefore, we have assumed that the number of women running coaches in the US is very low (only six employed in NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and MLB) and so, the number of female fitness professionals aged above 50 would be negligible.


Part
02
of four
Part
02

Fitness Professionals Over 50 - Certifications

In reference to our findings, the most common certifications for fitness professionals i.e. personal trainers, running coaches, and yoga teachers in the United States that are women and over 50 years old are Precision Nutrition Certified Professional, Road Runners Club of America level 1, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Our research methodology and findings follow below.

METHODOLOGY

Our first step was to look for organizations that offer certifications to females who are over 50 years old and are personal trainers and running coaches. With this strategy, we were able to find ACE for personal trainers and RRCA for running coaches. In the previous Wonder request titled Fitness Professionals Over 50 - Media Coverage that was covered in this project, the most recent articles that contained information about women who are over fifty years old and are personal trainers, running and wellness coaches in the U.S. were highlighted. We decided to use these sources in this research by looking at the certifications the women received because the research topics of both requests are related.
For the women who did not have their certifications or accrediting organizations provided in the targeted articles, we searched for additional sources that contained the missing information such as their LinkedIn profiles and personal websites. All the professional trainers that were covered in the previous Wonder Research had two or more certifications.

We then searched for a list of the top certifying organizations and found the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). We looked at the certifications for 50 year old female fitness professionals because we could not take the most common certifications based on qualifications alone. Next, we closely examined the individual certifications of each of the target women and we were able to find out that some of them were level 1 i.e. the basic level of the respective certifications but they also had at least one additional level i.e. level 2.
We therefore assumed that to remain marketable, keep clients coming back and increase revenue, these 50- year-old or older female professional fitness trainers would need to level up at some point. This suggested that the certifications with more than one level are the most common for these professionals. Consequently, the most common certifications that met the research criteria are Precision Nutrition Certified Professional, Road Runners Club of America Level 1, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist.

MOST COMMON FITNESS CERTIFICATIONS FOR U.S.-BASED WOMEN OVER 50 YEARS OLD

Heather Gorning, Lorie Eber, Linda Melone, and Meghan Laws are all U.S.-based female fitness professionals that are over the age of 50 years.
Heather Gorning is a certified spin, PiYo, and barre instructor. Gorning received her PiYo certification at a local YMCA. In addition, barre certification can be received after successfully completing courses offered by the American Barre Technique.
Lorie Eber has many qualifications as a personal trainer and wellness coach. These qualifications include "Precision Nutrition Certified Professional, eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate, Mayo Clinic Certified Wellness Coach, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Fowler International Life Coach Certification, and NASM Certified."
Linda Melone received her Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Melone also attained qualifications from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Meghan Laws has both a USA Track and Field (USATF) level 1 certification and a Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) level 1 certification. The USATF level 1 certification is granted by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) while the RRCA level 1 certification is granted by the American College of Sports Medicines (ACSM) Professional Education Committee.

The most popular certifying organizations for fitness professionals are the American Council on Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine, the International Sports Sciences Association, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

1. PRECISION NUTRITION CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL

DESCRIPTION

This certification provides knowledge of nutrition and how nutrition can be used to effect substantial changes in both a trainer and trainee's life. Through professional education and the use of a computer application, members are coached about best practices in nutrition and how to modify behavior to achieve the best results.

ORGANIZATION THAT OFFERS CERTIFICATION

This certification is offered by the Precision Nutrition which provides two levels of certification i.e. level 1 and level 2. However, the certification's level 1 certificate can be leveled up in other organizations like ACE, ACSM, and NASM.

ORGANIZATION'S WEBSITE

Precision Nutrition's official website can be accessed here.

2. ROAD RUNNERS CLUB OF AMERICA LEVEL 1

DESCRIPTION

This certification provides knowledge about coaching as it relates to running. The certification also equips coaches with the skills that are necessary to lead other training programs. Additionally, there is also an opportunity to do the Road Runners Club of America level 2 certification to widen one's customer base and increase qualifications.

ORGANIZATION THAT OFFERS CERTIFICATION

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is the organization that accredits this certification. ACSM is known for its credibility and the organization's training and qualifications are considered as the gold standard. The organization's aim is to inform members how health and wellness impacts lives.

ORGANIZATION'S WEBSITE

The American College of Sports Medicine's official website can be accessed here.

3. CERTIFIED STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING SPECIALIST CERTIFICATE

DESCRIPTION

This certification provides fitness professionals with background knowledge that can be used to enhance athletic abilities through the use of sports sessions and strength training. In addition, trainers also get the opportunity to take the Certified Special Population Specialist Exam to level up because trainers who have this certification receive more referrals.

ORGANIZATION THAT OFFERS CERTIFICATION

This certification is offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). The NSCA trains professionals on different approaches and exercise programs that can be used to meet fitness goals and even how to respond in emergencies. The organization's certification exams are offered at many testing centers worldwide.

ORGANIZATION'S WEBSITE

The National Strength and Conditioning Association's official website can be accessed here.

4. THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SPORTS MEDICINE FITNESS NUTRITION SPECIALIST CERTIFICATE

DESCRIPTION

This certification provides background knowledge of food as it relates to fitness, eating in portions, dieting, and meal plans. With this certification, there is the opportunity to receive a higher certification in Evolution Nutrition which increases results, retention, revenue, and referrals.

ORGANIZATION THAT OFFERS CERTIFICATION

This certification is offered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. The organization has been providing high-quality trainers for a long time because it has been in existence for around 30 years. Additionally, with an option of four packages to learn from, professionals also benefit from Optimum Performance Training (OPT).

ORGANIZATION'S WEBSITE

The National Academy of Sports Medicine's official website can be accessed here.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Fitness Professionals Over 50 - Trends

Detailed research reveals that the market size of fitness professionals which include personal trainers, running coaches, and yoga teachers who are women that are aged over 50 years old in the United States is rising. Also, personal trainers that have specialized in the field of yoga and are women over 50 years old in the United States will experience a higher demand when compared to running coaches and other areas.

METHODOLOGY

Thorough research through the wellness industry reports, surveys (such as reported by Prevention web), and journals among other publications failed to unearth emerging trends surrounding the market of fitness professionals (personal trainers, running coaches, and yoga teachers) in the United States who are women and over 50 years old. Our research for precompiled reports aimed at unearthing the trends and growth projections for the industry did not avail any useful finding.

Additional studies through professional databases on the rating of trends in the fitness professionals sector failed to unearth up to two trends surrounding the market of fitness professionals (personal trainers, running coaches, and yoga teachers) in the United States who are women and over 50 years old. Insights obtained from a credible AFPA Fitness blog revealed that "Yoga has been in the top 10 fitness trends for over 9 years straight." AFPA Fitness blog also disclosed that there is a rising demand for the senior-specific (older age group) fitness training. And women older than 50 years constitute a reasonable fragment of the market.

Further research for specific details on fitness professionals, personal trainers, running coaches, and yoga teachers in the United States who are women and over 50 years old revealed several granular pieces of information which when put together (through a triangulation approach) indicate that the demand for the female private trainer that is over 50 years old is on the increase. Such factors include experts recommendation that seniors who are aged 65 or older should get a minimum of 2.5 hours moderate aerobic exercise and the PTDC web publication which reveals that elderly age group (made up of more women than men in the United States) provides a fast-growing customer base that requires personal trainers.

We have concluded that the demand for female personal trainers aged over 50 years is growing in line with that of the aged population, as there are more females among the over 50-year-old population and other age groups across America. Due to unearthed insights which reveal that yoga has remained the top among 10 fitness trends for over nine years straight, more women practice yoga than men in America, and the insight that yoga has outstanding benefits to women in menopause, we have concluded that yoga as a top fitness trend is associated with the over 50-year-old women age group as well.

1. RISE IN DEMAND FOR PERSONAL FITNESS PROFESSIONAL TRAINERS

Experts recommend that seniors who are aged 65 or older get a minimum of 2.5 hours moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking weekly. This senior age group requires an average workout of about 30 minutes on most days of the week. Statistics reveal that women aged 65 and older constitute a population of 20,582,128 in the United States while men aged 65 and older are 14,409,625. Across all ages in the United States, women have formed a higher percentage of the population than men.

Older people over 50 years old (including women) rarely use public gyms for long. Most of the trainers engaged by the elderly are aged over 40. The over 50year old group constitute the "best and fastest growing market" in the wellness sector.

Women that are over 50 years engage in fitness activities to create a lasting lifestyle change and also improve their fitness. The average American woman gains 12 pounds in the eight years that follow menopause, according to a study by the University of Pittsburgh conducted among 541 women in midlife.

The above reasons cumulatively explains "why senior personal training is a growing trend," especially among the elderly women aged 50 and higher. The elderly age group (made up of more women than men in the United States) provide a fast-growing customer base that requires personal trainers. Training the older age group is very different and requires other skills than with younger adults. Their unique needs must be understood and met such as insecurities, struggles, etc., to avoid injuring or losing them as clients.

2. MORE demand for professional personal trainers in the field of yoga

Statistics obtained from the Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (which is the primary certifying body for yoga instructors across the world) reveals that there are over 36.7 million Americans currently practicing yoga (higher than the 20.4 million practitioners of yoga as of 2012) and women constitute 72% of yoga practitioners in America.

Adults aged 30-49 years make up about 43% of the yoga-practicing public, followed closely the over 50 age group which constitute 38%. Yoga practitioners are also involved in several other forms of exercise like cycling, weightlifting and running. Recent studies have revealed that a 12-week yoga practice program significantly improves respiratory function in the elderly age group of women.

Yoga has remained the top 10 fitness trends for over nine straight years and will stay at the top of fitness trends for a while. Yoga techniques require expertise to teach.

Yoga is witnessing a rising demand among women over 50 years old because it makes menopause tolerable. Consequently, many women of these aged women that are starting to practice yoga for the first time need personal trainers. For such students beginning yoga later in life, having a personal teacher that is aware of their body limitations is preferable. Hence, the demand for elderly yoga instructors (over 50 year old professionals) that are women is rising.

Part
04
of four
Part
04

Fitness Professionals Over 50 - Media Coverage

The market of fitness professionals in the US who are women and over 50 years old is covered in the media as certified experts, high achievers, and competitors. Images are always used to display trainers in action or the results of exercising, especially as it relates to youthfulness.

METHODOLOGY

We were initially unable to identify sources with information regarding the market of fitness professionals in the US who are female and over 50. However, after refining our search by defining fitness professionals as certified personal trainers, wellness coaches, and running coaches, we were able to find four articles as shown below.

1. AGELESS AFTER 50 WITH LINDA MELONE

The author of this article is Linda Melone who is a certified trainer of more than 20 years and earned a few awards over the years. In this article, an image is provided showing the youthfulness of a trainer who is above the age of 60. The target audience is women over the age of 50 who are being encouraged to take a bold step to begin exercising to regain their confidence and youthfulness.

2. 5 PEOPLE WHO BECAME TRAINERS AFTER 50

The author of this article is Sarah Klein. This article highlights two women who became active personal trainers after turning 50. These women are Heather Gorning, a certified spin, PiYo, and barre instructor, and Lorie Eber, a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, and gerontologist. The article highlights how one can recover from obesity, depression, and burnout by using an exercise that does not have to be too rigorous.

3. FITNESS AND EXERCISE RULES THAT CHANGE AFTER 50

The author of this article is Linda Melone. In this article, Linda expresses the level of expertise she has in informing the target audience of over 50 years old of dos and don'ts of exercising. She stresses the importance of cardio exercises at a moderate level, resistance training, exercising at intervals of a day or more and warming up before exercise.

4. THE ULTIMATE BADASS FEMALE RUNNING COACH LIST

The author of this article is Kelly Roberts. This article provides information about many running coaches who may or may not have entered and won some events across the US. The running coaches are also being advertised as virtual coaches with their rates included. In this article, Meghan Laws is talked about as not just a virtual coach but a world record holder for the 100 kilometers race for both the 50 and 55-year-old groups.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "Put those data points together, and you see why this demographic is so important to your future. They have time. They have money (with very little debt). And they know it takes effort to preserve their health and vitality. I speak from experience when I say they’re motivated and in need of quality trainers. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from training older adults in group and individual settings for more than 15 years, it’s that training them is very different from working with young or even middle-aged adults. If you don’t understand or address their unique needs, insecurities, and struggles, you risk losing them as clients or, worse, injuring them."
Quotes
  • "It is recommended that seniors age 65 and older get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) every week. That averages out to about 30 minutes on most days of the week. Or you should get 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise (such as jogging) each week. You should also do strength training at least 2 days a week. Balance and flexibility can be worked on every day."
Quotes
  • "I noticed that, on many occasions, an older person who is 50+ years old who was new to the gym would be seen using the facilities for only a few days. "
  • "At our studio most of the trainers are independents and are over 40. I'm 42 and probably one of the youngest there. Our market is the 50+ crowd and if you do your research you'll see that this is the best and fastest growing market."
Quotes
  • "The average woman will gain 12 pounds eight years after menopause, according to a University of Pittsburgh study of 541 women in midlife. And, much of it settles right in the belly. Oh, joy."
Quotes
  • "According to the 2016 Yoga In America Study conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (the main certifying body for yoga instructors around the world), it turns out there are more than 36.7 million Americans doing yoga (up from 20.4 million in 2012), women represent 72% of practitioners"
  • "30-49 year olds make up 43% of the practicing public, followed closely by those ages 50+ (38%) and then 18-29 year olds (19 percent). It turns out yoga practitioners are significantly more involved in many other forms of exercise such as cycling, weightlifting and running than non-practitioners; and the top five reasons for starting yoga are:"
Quotes
  • "With age comes respiratory limitations and reduced tolerance to physical exertion. Anything that reduces oxygen in the respiratory system can have negative effects on the mind and body. Recent studies have shown that a 12-week yoga program significantly improved respiratory function in elderly women."
Quotes
  • "4. Fitness Training for Older Adults As the world population gets older, the need for senior-specific fitness training is becoming more in-demand. These programs are designed specifically for the baby boomer and older generations. And with fitness entering the mainstream, exercise programs tailored for older adults is a growing market. Incorporate exercises that involve lower-intensity workouts such as walking, bodyweight training, and pilates. It’s also a great idea to add exercises that help strengthen the muscles around their joints and increase flexibility like yoga and cycling."
  • "8. Yoga Yoga has been in the top 10 fitness trends for over 9 years straight. While it may take a certain level of expertise to teach advanced yoga techniques, there are several movements that you can incorporate to your client’s exercise schedule that don’t require much expertise."
  • "Not only does yoga help with flexibility, but research has also proven that daily yoga practice can relieve anxiety, decrease stress, reduce inflammation, and even improve heart health. It doesn’t look like yoga is decreasing in popularity anytime soon. "
Quotes
  • "eaching Yoga After 50 Benefit #1: Yoga Makes Menopause Tolerable As we all know, there are many different schools of yoga. Some are more intense than others, but recent reports indicate that kundalini yoga is highly beneficial when it comes to combating the effects of menopause. As a result, many women over 50 are starting yoga for the first time. For students starting yoga later in life, having a teacher that is personally aware of the limitations of an over-40 body is preferable to a “green” teacher."
  • "because believe it or not, yoga teachers over 50 are in high demand! "