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EXERCISE EVOLUTION: THE FITNESS LEADERS OF TOMORROW
Group exercise is changing. A new evolution of fitness professional is rising the ranks within businesses to provide members with unmatched experience in every workout. Whether these employees are brought in from outside the industry or pivoted within, the exercise evolution is happening and is being embraced.
A fitpro at the forefront of innovation and known for her expert insight into the future of boutique fitness, for years Emma has been inspiring and implementing fundamental change in facilities for the better. She comments in this article about the trends she’s spotted and what we can expect from the fitness leaders of tomorrow.
Below you’ll also hear from fitness professionals such as Escape’s own Rachel Young, and how other areas within the industry have picked up on the need for more dedicated group fitness representatives.
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The future of jobs in fitness.
New positions under fitness operators are not a new thing. Countless additions to the usual list of job titles within training and education have been added in the past, but this time it feels different. Operators are embracing group fitness as something worth investing in again, and it’s backed by both member appreciation and staff enthusiasm.
Having previously played pivotal roles for group fitness in Equinox and Les Mills, Emma Barry is now thought leading within fitness, as a speaker, mentor, writer, board member for the Women In Fitness Organization and more.
Emma tells Escape Your Limits podcast host Matthew Januszek her view on the evolution of exercise and fitness leaders of tomorrow that we’re seeing implemented today. “I think it’s a mix of exciting and scary,” she explains.
“We’re definitely seeing a shift from instructor to influencer. Anyone who has got half a million people on Instagram or has a YouTube channel that’s very successful – that’s certainly beginning to guide the trends a lot.
“Also, you’re getting people lifestyling. I feel at the moment we’ve got a lot of brands that are trying to come into each other. We’ve got the health sector, we’ve got the fitness sector, we’ve got the boutique sector, some of which is from within the industry and some of it is out. A lot of the influence is coming from outside the industry, however we have the knowhow. It’s going to become a competitive space.
Fitness generalist to fitness specialist.
“Along with moving from instructor to influencer, there’s definitely been from generalist to specialist,” continues Emma Barry. “There’s definitely a call for that, to be famous for something or to do fewer things but better.
“There’s also a shift towards people want to be considered partners or entrepreneurs within a bigger organisation rather than someone that’s just teaching a class for you. We’re definitely feeling more collaboration, more camaraderie within clubs and also boutiques that are working really well. The people have to be on board, the culture has to be instilled, and it needs to be a consistent experience with you in the room and not as the owner or the manager.”
Health Club Management has also highlighted these shifts and additions in hierarchy in an article about the rise of the group exercise gurus. The article explained how increasing numbers of fitness operators are appointing a “head of group exercise” due to the success of the offering within clubs and studios.
“It’s good to see that the rise of the boutiques has brought the need for a strong leader in group training back to the forefront of the operators’ minds,” explains Rachel Young, head of training and education at Escape.
“Programming, timetabling and the delivery of a world-class experience is a science, it doesn't just happen.
“Group training is the life blood of a facility and is a club’s heart and soul. It has always been the same. However, the focus on its value has changed over the years.
“The emergence or low cost gyms made the middle market tighten their belts and, during this time, we lost the leaders of the group training.”
“I have over 30 years front line experience to share in relation to driving and delivering the member experience and maximising on returns.
“I have a feeling that the industry has just got really exciting again and I can not wait to see some outstanding experiences on the gym floor and in the traditional group exercise studio.”
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