The fitness industry is a place that serves societies deepest needs; the need for good health, a strong body to last a lifetime and the energy to enjoy everyday to the fullest. It's an industry that blends training and treatment and here's why we believe 2022 is a great time to enter the UK fitness industry.
What is a fitness business?
The fitness industry primarily consists of health clubs, gyms, fitness centres and numerous small fitness businesses operating at home or in rented spaces. This is an industrial space in which personal trainers, nutrition coaches, pilates instructors, sports massage therapists and many more become qualified to work with clients and help improve the lives of others.
Over the years, considering the impact of COVID-19 individuals are aware of the importance of health and fitness now more than ever. Fitness becoming a trend for millions of people leading to an increase in popularity and size globally. It is no doubt that these trends have come hand in hand with the change in online presence, digital platforms and large fitness brands that are seen to influence followers through engagement and interaction in relation to fitness.
Numerous supporting resources, platforms and software have helped to make this one of the best times to start your own fitness business. In this article, we discuss some key statistics and changes across the fitness industry which help demonstrate why the fitness business is a good opportunity to pursue.
Growth of fitness
Many people across the UK turn to personal trainers to help improve fitness levels, overall health and to get in shape, according to statista in 2011 there were just over 15,000 personal trainers which rose to 23,000 in 2020. Due to the impact of COVID-19 gyms, health clubs and fitness centres were forced to close meaning the industry took a slight dip in growth. However, on the other side of this, according to statista 2022 is on track to hit around 25,000 personal trainers across the UK. The challenge to health and well-being throughout COVID-19 can be seen to have created a small fitness boom as we recover from it.
The impacts of COVID-19 meant many people were forced to stop training in gyms and find other ways to access fitness, this meant online workouts, Instagram lives and the use of fitness apps. Although these circumstances have since changed, many decided to continue this route.
According to statista the highest growth of fitness-related google search terms in 2020 were ‘free exercise classes’ and ‘online workouts from home’ amongst others related to workout equipment or online classes. This indicates the changes in demand we saw across the fitness industry resulting in an increase in self-employed personal trainers setting up fitness businesses outside of gyms and health clubs.
Health & Fitness clubs
This isn't to say that health and fitness clubs are still not successful for those in the fitness industry, it just indicates there has been a shift in what clients' demands are. A survey carried out by statista in 2022, asked respondents what fitness and health services they have spent money on in the past 12 months. This resulted in the largest number of 16% of respondents spending on a gym membership, 7% spending on online fitness services and 4% on personal trainers.
According to statista, the number of gyms in the UK doubled from 2011 to 2020 highlighting a boom in the fitness industry. This saw a drop due to COVID-19 which resulted in the number of gyms falling from 3,654 in 2020 to 3,060 in 2021. Despite this, the number of fitness establishments in the UK is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2022, with the demand for fitness making its comeback. This indicates that entering the fitness industry in 2022 really should be viewed as an opportunity.
Online fitness business
Currently, at least 80% of personal trainers are freelance, which means they run a business, alongside this, they are likely to use websites, social media and app platforms which support the success of their PT business. It is likely that those who are self-employed in the fitness industry may have started in a gym or health club and recognised the opportunities outside of this from starting their own fitness business. It is clear that now more than ever the fitness industry is on an increase, providing further opportunities, increasing potential clients and further education in the field to become a successful fitness professional.
We work with Future Fit Training, which provides fitness training programmes, that support ongoing ambitions and enable people to build an incredibly rewarding career in the fitness industry. Below are some student success stories from some of their very own students covering more detail on what they did with their qualifications in the fitness industry:
Fiona become a Personal Trainer with Future Fit in 2018. She was reminded of all the physical and mental health benefits of exercise, and it did not seem fair to her that women experiencing multiple disadvantages, such as domestic violence and sexual exploitation, face many more barriers to exercise. Fiona began teaching exercise sessions in a local refuge and charity shortly after receiving her qualification. Since then, Fiona has expanded the Movement into a charity that matches fitness professionals with charities in their local area, so she can all be part of restoring every woman’s right to exercise.
Leah is a 25 years old personal trainer living in London. Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, she moved to London and started building a successful personal training career. Leah also studied nutrition and is currently studying for her Level 4. Leah is continually learning and always trying to improve, the fitness industry is ever-changing and it’s important to keep up.
Her dream one day is to own her own studio, along with a nutrition clinic all in one. Leah’s clients will get bespoke packages and lots of support. Leah used to struggle with weight loss, she had lost over 4.5 stone. I used to be a yo-yo dieter and a binge eater, however, through education she has learnt how to beat these tendencies and use her experiences to help other people.