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My 2012 Fitness Industry Predictions


Fitness Industry Predictions by Pat Rigsby


Fitness Industry predictions for 2012


Each year I share my predictions for what I believe will happen during the upcoming year in the fitness industry.

Over the past few years the fitness industry predictions that I’ve made have proven to be pretty accurate, so my suggestion is to take them seriously when planning your upcoming year. With that, here are 10 predictions and 10 suggestions as to how you can benefit from them.  Enjoy!

Prediction #1: There Will Be A Thinning Out Of Fitness Bootcamps. There are already several thousand fitness bootcamps in North America and as saturated as it seems, more pop up every day.

As I predicted last year, we’re seeing plenty of health clubs offering ‘Unlimited Bootcamp’ for $39 a month and more poor trainers popping up and trying to cash in on the trend.

As with anything (see: real estate bubble), when there is too much of something, a crash is on the horizon.

What You Should Do About It: You need to do two things to benefit from what lies ahead:

  • Be the best quality group training provider in your market.  There is always room for high quality offerings and they’re always the ones to thrive regardless of circumstance.  Focus on providing an extraordinary experience and delivering incredible results – the 2 things those who get weeded out in 2012 won’t be doing.
  • Don’t be bootcamp only.  The best businesses have multiple streams of income – make sure you’re one of the best businesses.

Prediction #2: ‘The Experience’ Will Be More Important Than Ever Before. With more low cost providers than ever before in the health club market selling $10 a month memberships and Deal of the Day sites making bootcamps available for $29 / mo. anytime someone wants to join one, displaying extraordinary value will be more important than ever before.

What You Should Do About It: Don’t leave anything to chance when it comes to providing the best experience in your market.  Design the best programs. Deliver the best workouts. Develop the best community.  Cultivate the best relationships.

These are not only the areas where no low cost provider will ever be able to match you, but being great at delivering the experience will allow you to get low cost leads you get through Deal of the Day offers of your own to stick with you.

Prediction #3: Complete Solutions Will Lead The Way. It doesn’t matter if it’s offline or online, the leaders in the market will offer the most complete solutions for the people they serve.  People want to be led and those who take advantage of that opportunity will be the biggest movers in 2012.

What You Should Do About It: When someone comes to you for coaching to achieve their goals, provide the most comprehensive solution possible that will get them the results they want in the shortest possible amount of time with the least possible amount of hassle.Whether it’s running accountability groups, enrolling clients in Personal Trainer Foods, holding regular workshops to teach clients how to be more compliant at home or offering things like 7 day per week coaching – you need to be delivering more than just workouts if you want to take your business to the next level in 2012.

Prediction #4: Not Offering EFT Billing Will Actually Begin To Kill Some Businesses. Just a few years ago we were leading the way teaching fitness pros about selling membership based programming and using EFT solutions to handle their billing.  Now we’re at a point where some business will actually go under as a result of not using EFT.

Trainers that try to use Deal of the Day sites regularly without having an EFT based membership program to roll people into will not be able to survive on just the pittance that they get fro the initial deal they sell and won’t have the systems / infrastructure to convert enough of those leads for long term health. Trainers that try to be bill collectors each month won’t have the predictable revenue, will lose too much in the collection process or will flat just get burned out.

What You Should Do About It: If you don’t currently use an EFT billing solution – start.  Our recommendations are here

Prediction #5: More Quality Fitness Pros Than Ever Before Will Offer Information Products Our Online Solutions. We see many of the top fitness pros in the world at our events, in our Mastermind Groups and as part of our franchises – and that group has become more and more online savvy.  The more comfortable great trainers get with building their own niche followings online, the more of them will start to launch the proven training systems that are working for their local clients to the online market

What You Should Do About It: If you’ve got something great to share, get it out there. Blog, do guest posts, share videos on YouTube and get your information in front of more people.  There is always room for GREAT stuff.  Just be sure what you share is great. Once you have a little following, package something and sell it.  Worst case, you’ve got something to sell to your local list and a tool that sets you apart from the competition.  Best case – you’ve got an entirely new, lucrative business.

Prediction #6: Semi-Private and Small Group Training Will Continue To Boom. Not everyone wants to be in a bootcamp setting.  Some want more personal attention or a more personalized solution. Some want more flexibility in scheduling. Some want niche offerings.  One on one training is no longer the preferred option for those people – semi-private and small group training are. They both provide the benefits of one-on-one but are more cost effective for the client and more lucrative for you.

What You Should Do About It: Make sure you’ve got a couple of different offerings – large group / bootcamp at the low end and semi-private or small group at the higher end.  By having different choices you actually close more sales and you’ll appeal to a broader market.

Predictions #7: Business Plug Ins Will Be A Huge Revenue Booster. Businesses within businesses play significant roles in places like Target and WalMart – and with good reason.  They basically are leveraging their space and customer base to sell them other things that they’d want (i.e. – Starbucks).  Training business with any significant client base or email list will recognize that same opportunity and offer ‘plug ins’ of their own like youth fitness programs, nutrition coaching programs, online affiliate marketing programs and corporate programs.

What You Should Do About It: Find a plug in that fits for you and treat it like a mini-business.  If you already have a list or a significant client base – determine what would be the right fit for them and plug it into your business.  If you have parents as part of your client base, plug in something like Athletic Revolution.  If you have community business leaders – a corporate fitness side business might be a good fit.  If you’ve built up a solid email list, start selling affiliate products to unconverted leads.

Prediction #8: Deal of the Day Sites Will Continue To Benefit Only The Smart Fitness Pros. Right now Deal of the Day sites have become polarizing in our industry.  Some people will suggest that they’re bad for business, but the truth is that they’re just a high volume lead generation source.  Nothing more.  The smart fitness pros will use them as just that and if the leads they’re getting aren’t a good fit for their business, they’ll change the offer or find different lead sources.

What You Should Do About It: If you treat them like a regular lead source (except instead of paying for leads, you’re getting paid for them), then you’ll have a strong lead conversion process in place like what I cover here:

Prediction #9: Specialists Will Continue To Thrive. The fitness professionals that take a quantum leap in their businesses will be specialists.  The internet will continue to educate consumers and they’ll seek solutions specific to their needs. Some popular niche markets in the fitness industry will be:

  • Fat loss (for any specific population)
  • Baby Boomers
  • Moms
  • Diabetics
  • Youth
  • Specific Sports
  • Corporate Exercise

What You Should Do About It: With low cost fitness solutions like Planet Fitness & Fitness 19, 24 hour solutions like Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness and at home solutions like P90X and the plethora of infoproducts available – your competitive advantage is doing what those solutions can’t – offer specialized solutions and personal attention.  If you’re not offering any specialized solutions you’re losing your biggest edge.

Prediction #10: More Business Owners and Fewer Hobbyists. The personal training world is still a very young field.  Because of that, we have a lot of people trying to just find their way without any real path or systematic approach to operating their business.  In 2012 we’ll see more and more entrepreneurial fitness pros commit to building their businesses around providing a great experience and being driven by strong systems.

What You Should Do About It: Do what it takes to build your business.  The status quo won’t be good enough for much longer.  We’re maturing as an industry and the way to stay ahead of the pack is to treat your business like a true business and to provide a better experience than all of your competitors.

There are my Fitness Industry predictions for the upcoming year.  What do you think?  Am I missing something? Did I predict something that you disagree with?  Let me know below.


Dedicated to your success,



Facebook comments:

  • Jonathan Angelilli

    Great post Pat! #2 & #10 are my personal favorites. Creating a transformational exercise experience is the key to lifetime clients, killer results, & automatic word of mouth marketing.

    Fitness entrepreneurs have a huge chance to make a BIG difference in 2012, the entire world in a major state of change & our skills & expertise are more important than ever to help restore the balance! Keep up the great work Pat, hope we get to hang more in 2012! Jonathan

  • Hans Hageman

    I was having a hard time getting myself to have the EFT conversation. Based on the things you’ve recommended, I’m going to finally begin setting this up with Deal of the Day clients. This seems like a lower risk way for me to introduce the topic and to begin to get comfortable with it.

  • Lou Gualario

    Hi Pat I.was woundering what your predictions are for these awful outsourced Personal Training companies ,like EFT. that gyms use instead of hiring qualified professional staff.

  • Sarah Rippel

    Excellent, Pat!
    I am starting to get away from working with big groups and I am working on a program for working with triathletes! I am focusing on doing the things that get me super-excited about work, and plan on making this the focus I my business. I am a triathlete myself, and I have come to the point where I realized I can offer a lot to this highly-motivated population. I don’t have the time or energy to work with people who aren’t excited about improving themselves! Bootcamps are awesome and I will continue to do them because I’ve established myself, but I will not be allowing more than 10 people in a group! Excellent thoughts on the bargain websites. I think they are a win-win & I have had a lot of success with the experience I had this past Jan! Sorry for rambling, lol!
    Here’s to an amazing new year!

  • Nikki Layton

    Great Post Pat. We have another great EFT Solution for Fitness Professionals called Volo and if you are interested in a 1 month free trial check us out at
    Happy New Year to all and get ready for a great 2012.

  • Rick Kaselj


    Excellent stuff.

    I was wondering when this bootcamp thing was going to pop. I guess it is 2012.

    I can’t agree more about the specialization thing.

    Rick Kaselj of


  • Joe Martin

    In my area the local city school system is in horrible debt, the education quality has dropped terrible, so there is an ever growing population of home school children. There appears to be a market for fitness pros to help these kids and their parents fulfill their credit hours in PE. The options they have now are: have the parents teach it or go to the YMCA and play dodgeball. Does anyone have any experience with this?

  • Vaughn Marxhausen

    Great Insight! You are right on!

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