Recently, a lot has been written in blogs, forums and other media about the deteriorating state of the personal training industry in the West.
In fact, quite a number of fitness authorities have even gone on record to say that personal training is fast becoming a dying industry in the 21st Century !
And that has set us thinking – frankly – how much of these that are written or discussed also apply to our local fitness industry here in Singapore?
Before we venture any further, we will need to first qualify what we mean by “personal training” in the context of this blog discussion.
Though personal training – to most people – usually means personalised fitness coaching (especially in relation to weight-loss or muscle-building), we would like to push the boundaries a bit, and use it a little more loosely here – to include ALL forms of personalised training or private coaching as long as they are related to the realm of fitness/wellness.
Hence, in other words, private one-to-one lessons in Yoga, Pilates, Dance Aerobics, and even Self-Defense among others, also qualify as “personal training” here – as they satisfy the requirements of a one-on-one, private or personalised approach in fitness/wellness.
Bearing this in mind, let look at some of our observations about the Singapore Fitness Industry as a whole:
1) Explosion in trainer/instructor numbers over the last few years.
With the rise of personalised services and the growing affluence of the middle class in Singapore, more and more people are now eyeing the wealth potential in the fitness industry, and are jumping aboard the fitness/wellness bandwagon to get themselves “certified ” as trainers/instructors in the various fields of fitness.
Add to that the increasing number of ‘Foreign Talent’ ( think Philippines, India, China etc ) migrating in droves to our shores and also contributing to these numbers in the industry, the end result is an over-flow of trainers (many of questionable quality) competing with one other for a bite of the fitness pie.
Incidentally, many trainers are also now resorting to price wars – slashing their enrolment costs or session fees in order to attract more clients – an unfortunate and unwise strategy, which any sound economist would attest to – as it usually sounds the death knell of that business or industry in the long run.
3) Growth Of Group Training
If you’ve been following fitness news across the world, you would be aware that group training or boot camps – as they are popularly known – are also taking off in a big way throughout the world and Singapore.
This may well have to do with the changing perceptions that people have with regards to the traditional notion of fitness coaching, and also perhaps a response to the deteriorating conditions of the world economy – where people are now more cost-conscious in view of the uncertainties ahead.
By pooling resources to pay for a single trainer/coach, clients are not only able to save significant costs in training fees, enjoy group camaraderie at the same time, but also receive some form of instructional and supervisory guidance over their fitness workouts.
As such, more and more fitness enthusiasts are now ‘migrating‘ from one-on-one personal training sessions to group-based exercise classes.
3) Bad State Of The Current Economy
As earlier mentioned, the Singapore economy is more often than not buffeted by the headwinds of the various economic ills from around the world. And with a ‘bear market’ looking increasingly likely for the Singapore economy in the near future, more and more people are now starting to tighten their belts and are more than willing to forgo the little “luxuries” in life. And personal training, unfortunately, is often one of the first ‘luxuries’ in life to be sacrificed in any attempt to save costs.
4) What do YOU think ????
Honestly, is it really all doom and gloom for the personal training industry in Singapore?
Is there no more hope for personal trainers whose livelihoods depend so much on private one-on-one fitness coaching?
Please feel free to let us know what you think.
In the meantime, stay tuned for the 2nd part of our series – Coming Soon!