Virtual Personal Training

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Virtual Personal Training

The personal trainer market has undoubtedly contributed to the development of the virtual personal trainer market, when escalating prices restricted accessibility, creating an instant new market. There is a place where both can coexist if they each focus on their target demographic. With 14% of the US population having a gym memberships, there are conflicting reports about key demographic information relative to gym memberships and virtual training. The virtual trainer market is very niche and there is not a wealth of information available on the relative demographic. We leveraged the limited available information against the known characteristics and traits of the population to profolio certain aspects of the demographic profiles.

VIRTUAL PERSONAL TRAINING MARKET

Personal Trainers are Turning to Service

  • Personal trainers are increasingly looking to virtual technology to deliver their product to the consumer. The virtual personal trainer market has exploded over the last decade and personal trainers are looking to take advantage of the trend. Virtual personal trainers bring an element of affordability to the personal trainer market, and have enabled a new generation of consumers to gain access to the customized, personal options on offer.
  • One of the main attractions for personal trainers offering their services virtually is the "seamless and efficient way to run their business." The boom in social media adoption and advancing technology have created an environment where the virtual model of business can thrive.
  • One of the advantages of this model is the scalability. By developing a comprehensive program of fitness, the personal trainer can adapt elements of different programs to produce a personalized plan for any given customer. Developing a range of plans and products is labor intensive, but it is an investment, as once completed virtual training can be adapted to any number of clients relatively quickly, whereas traditional personal training sees the trainer limited by the hours in a day.

Target Audiences and Certification

  • Two areas that personal trainers need to address as part of their foray into the virtual training market are their target audience and certification in the relevant area.
  • Before racing to record thousands of fitness trends it is essential that the target audience be clearly identified, and the product orientated toward that audience. This means that most personal trainers focus on a specific niche rather than trying to address all aspects of personal training. Trainers are more likely to create good and comprehensive material in the areas they identify with so they build their expertise in that area. Once they have identified that aspect of their business, a personal trainer should look to focus on engaging consumers that in the area.
  • The virtual trainer market is highly competitive. By focusing on a small aspect of the market, the trainer distinguishes them self from other trainers with a more general approach. Specialization may limit the size of the target audience but it also gives the trainer access to a more motivated market with a specific interest in the same area as the niche. This increases the ability to charge premium prices, especially if certified.
  • Professional certifications mean something to the consumer. They remove all the hyperbole and evaluate everyone in a particular field at the same standard. The consumer is immediately presented with a qualification from an external third party that says the trainer has met a defined set of standards. Given the amount of competition in the industry, this is a persuasive factor when consumers are looking to engage a personal trainer.

Comparative Costs

  • There is always huge variation in pricing for services of this nature, so it is important that any virtual personal training services are priced to fit under the umbrella of market demand.
  • A traditional personal trainer, working with a client in a gym, used to charge in the region of $50 — $100 per hour. However, a number of trainers increased prices beyond this range due to the ongoing demand from consumers for their services.
  • Consumers are increasingly finding the product offerings of traditional personal trainers to be out of sync with the market, and many probable clients become unlikely, due to the inaffordability of the product offered. Consumers are forced to look to cheaper less experienced trainers to address this issue or consider virtual training which offers access to previously inaffordable trainers.
  • Virtual training helps to pull the market back into equilibrium. It reigns in the prices to a degree, but it also means that by adopting economies of scale a virtual trainer can create a more affordable product of the same standard that fits within the accepted price a consumer is prepared to pay, which by default increases access to the market for the consumer and increases the demand for the trainers services.
  • Virtual trainer program prices vary but typically fall within the $50 — $75 per hour range.

Pros of Virtual Training

  • The main pro of virtual personal training is the ability to access experts in the industry at a price that is affordable. This means that the consumer can look for the personal trainer that is best suited for the type of training they are interested in, whereas previously they would not have had access to these options.
  • Virtual training allows the consumer to fit the training around their schedule. The need to change a session time doesn't need to become a drama, because the workout is not in person, so the scheduling is largely up to the consumer rather than having to coordinate schedules with someone else. This makes virtual training a convenient option.
  • This option has all the advantages of a personal trainer in terms of the motivation and accountability, without the cost while offering increased flexibility.

Cons

  • In a con that emphasizes the main point of distinction between the two approaches, motivation and accountability, with a virtual trainer being of no use without some motivation, which has to come from within, a physical trainer provides that instant accountability that some require to succeed, without it the risk of failure increases.
  • The lack of the type of knowledge around fitness, fatigue, and conditioning that can only be gathered in the field means virtual training can cannot offer a truly personalized program.

DEMOGRAPHICS HOME (VIRTUAL) FITNESS CONSUMER

Age

  • The Millennial is one of the key demographics that will workout in their homes. This generation is health-orientated and working out forms a big part of their health lifestyle. Millennials are at an age where they are settling and spending more time at home due to family commitments. They are becoming the primary home fitness consumer as a result. Millennial mothers in particular are contributing to this growing trend. The Millennial Mother is highly likely to involve her children in any activity of this nature.
  • Baby boomers, who are looking to remain mobile and healthy, are also heavy consumers of the home fitness product range. With their high disposable income, this generation can invest in quality services and equipment in the home.

Gender

  • With women more likely to remain at home to look after family, this demographic is increasingly looking for home fitness products to maintain their healthy lifestyles, forming the greatest share of this market.

Marital Status

  • Married (or those living with a partner in long-term relationship) Millennial Mums are the biggest consumers of home fitness products. 23.2% of the Millennial generation falls into the stay at home parent category.

Education

  • The home and virtual fitness consumer is likely to have at least part of a college education, with 47% of this demographic having graduated from college and a further 18% having completed some post-high school education.

Income

  • The average household income of the demographic falling into the category of Millennial parents is $69,900. While the average household income of the other demographic group consuming home and virtual fitness services, the Baby Boomer, is $77,600.

DEMOGRAPHICS HOME FITNESS CONSUMER

Age

  • Data suggests, the average age of gym goers is a little over 40 years, with a range of 25-60.
  • 25% of US gym users are aged over 55. Since data regarding memberships started being analyzed back in 1998, this has proved to be the fastest growing segment. 33% of users in this group attend the gym at least 100 times per year, compared to just 13% of those under 34.
  • 35% of gym users are aged 28-34.
  • Children are becoming an increasingly important demographic with 8% of those aged 12-17 and 4% of those aged 6-11 are gym users.

Gender

  • Men and women have been found to join gyms at roughly the same rate, but when it comes to quitting in the first year only 8% of men take this option, compared to 14% of women.
  • Females were found to be more likely to engage in swimming and yoga, while men were more likely to engage in cycling and other sports.

Income

  • A health survey found those on higher incomes are more likely to be regular gym users, when compared to those on lower incomes. The study found those on $20,000 per year typically use the gym for less than an hour per week, while those on $60,000 per year typically used the gym up to three hours per week.
  • In the US, the gym goer has an average salary of $75,000 They spend on average $58 per month on their gym membership.
  • 44% of the current gym uses live in households with an income of $25,000 to $75,000 per year.

Employment

  • Gym users are unlikely to be employed in blue collar jobs. They are more likely to be white collar workers, professionals, or office workers.

Geographical Location

  • The area with the highest gym participation rate is Colorado with a rate of 21%. California has the second highest gym participation rate. Alabama has the lowest gym participation rate, at 10.2%. Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Louisiana, Indiana and Kentucky all have gym participation rates of less than 15%.
  • Most gyms are located within urban areas, attracting an urban population. Most people attend gyms within close proximity to their home. Gyms on convenient traffic routes also find favor with users.
  • The states with the highest number of gyms include California. Texas, New York, and Florida.
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