Off the back of FILEX, former PT of the Year, Nardia Norman shares her thoughts on the future of the fitness industry.

“Private PT is on it’s way out” and “so too are big box gyms”.

“If you want to stay in Fitness you WILL have to pivot”.

These words came out of the mouth of one of the most respected, and arguably most controversial men in the the Fitness Industry today – Thomas Plummer.

I really enjoy his work, and I love his insights into the Fitness Industry so to hear this gave me a huge warm fuzzy of validation.

I 100% agree with him.

The Personal Training model as we know it is outdated and needs to change.  Here’s something to consider (and this is big)…

the ENTIRE fitness industry is doing a terrible job!

More people are entering the industry to become Fitness Professionals and yet more of the population are getting fatter.

We have a plethora of fancy schmancy exercise programs, gyms and equipment yet LESS THAN 18% of the population actually use our services.

We are able to connect with more people on a global scale YET we struggle to bring clients into our business.

There are some BIG flaws in our industry!!  This is a conversation that I shared many times over the course of the weekend I recently had at Filex Conference.

I met with many of the great minds of our industry and we asked each other the question – ‘how can we do a better job?’.

Obviously, the obesity and inactivity issue is complex, multi-factorial and requires some thought, but here’s what we, as fitness professionals CAN do:

1.  Change your personal training model

Don’t rely on private, face to face PT as your core business product.  It definitely needs to be in your suite of products but by making your entire business hinge off face to face 1:1 sessions your business becomes a risk.  Private PT simply isn’t accessible to the many people who NEED your expertise.  Keep private PT as an expensive offering for those who can afford your services but also look to add a low price point offering for those on a lower budget (this is where small group training is effective)

2.  Create community

I heard the following message over and over at Filex.  The NUMBER 1 thing ALL business owners should be focussing on is CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.  The more positive the experience the more likely clients are to stick around long term.  When members are surveyed, they claim ‘feeling like a part of the community’ as one of the contributing factors to their positive gym/PT experience.   Every day people are desperate to belong to something.  To be part of a community that accepts, celebrates, inspires and supports them.  The question you need to ask yourself is ‘how am I creating an awesome community within my business?’

3.  Be real

I know this seems like an odd thing to say, but be YOU.  The Industry already has enough shiny, fake people/things in it.  Our future clients are seeking out authentic, real people who are human.  Not some picture perfect person who is holier than thou.  If your future clients can relate to you, your story, and who you are as a person, you will create raving fans for life.  These evangelistic people will then tell others about you (hello referrals!).

You know how much I love this industry, but there are many things about it that I don’t like.  However, instead of bitching about it I am on a mission to empower as many female fitness professionals as possible – because women PT’s do a pretty fine job at transforming peoples worlds.  More badass female PTs = bigger change.

I saw overwhelming evidence of this at FILEX.  Female Fit Pros rock.

So, if you are a PT then please consider these 3 points I just shared with you.  The Fitness Industry is changing at an alarming rate, and if you want to be in it in the next 5 years then you need to pivot.  Now.

Article by Nardia Norman

Nardia is a former PT of the Year and is opening the doors to her FREE Business Badassery Breakout program, which is 14 days of where Nardia, you and a whole bunch of other badass fitness professionals explore what you NEED to be doing in your business NOW, to bulletproof it for the future (so you don’t die out as ol’ mate Thomas Plummer predicts).  Nardia will also share with you some KEY strategies that will help you breakout of your business rut, and help you bring in more money, freedom and impact. And as an added bonus she’s also going to be letting you in on ALL the latest insights and strategies of the most successful fitness businesses in the industry. To find out more visit