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Australian Institute of Fitness’ Steve Pettit says industry ‘will never look the same as it did pre COVID-19’

Australian Institute of Fitness’ Steve Pettit says industry ‘will never look the same as it did pre COVID-19’
June 14, 2020

With the easing of Coronavirus restrictions now seeing gyms able to operate across most of Australia's states, as well as without restriction in New Zealand, Steve Pettit, Chief Executive of the Australian Institute of Fitness, has advised how Australia’s largest fitness training organisation was impacted when “the traditional fitness industry was switched off overnight”.

In an interview conducted on behalf of the GYYMI app, Pettit (pictured above) advised that fitness will not return to "normal" and "will never look the same as it did pre COVID-19", stating “the phased reopening will test the fitness industry as costs are turned back on and members are phased back into gyms and fitness studios.

“More people than ever will be willing to invest in personal trainers with more trainers reaching more people in more contemporary ways.

“With the recent announcements that the fitness industry is once again open we have seen an increase in the number of students wanting to enter the fitness industry as there are going to be a lot of opportunities. From a customer perspective our face-to-face students quickly needed to adapt to an online mode of learning and we were very appreciative of their understanding and support.”

Optimistic about how the industry will perform moving forward, Pettit noted “we have been reminded of how vital our health and wellbeing is, so I actually think the fitness industry will go from strength to strength.”

Advising what the Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) has faced over recent months, Pettit explained “the biggest area in which the AIF has had to adapt would be with the temporary halt on our popular face-to-face teaching and the subsequent launch of our Master Trainer Online Plus+Program™.

“Although challenging, we were able to quickly innovate and launch a cutting-edge solution to cater for students who prefer a face-to-face learning environment, yet through virtual means. The other major change was moving to a work from home model, our team has been outstanding at embracing the move and it's given us the opportunity to consider what the best combination of working from home vs on campus will be when restrictions ease.”

Looking forward to how gyms and trainers will operate after reopening, Pettit stated “there will be two groups of PTs, those that can’t wait for the doors of their gyms to reopen and those that have identified an alternate way of conducting sessions to service their clients.

“A number of our partners are offering some great re-entry incentives to their PT teams to give them the opportunity to re-establish their client base within gyms and fitness studios. PTs have always been a really important group as they assist member retention through offering expert advice, it will be interesting to see what creative ways PTs and their gyms can come back together as they assist their members and clients to achieve their health and fitness goals.”

On viability Pettit added “as the fitness industry gets back to work new trends will materialise, the use of physical facilities vs virtual fitness will continue to adjust and technology will continue to provide consumers with additional options. Gyms and fitness studios that have a balanced approach between onsite workouts and virtual workouts will be best placed to balance their offering to find the right mix for their members (and) what a member is prepared to pay will simply be an outcome of the value of the service offered.”

Acknowledging how flexible the fitness industry has been during the Coronavirus crisis and positive about the future, Pettit looked forward to a future where “more people than ever will be willing to invest in personal trainers with more trainers reaching more people in more contemporary ways. We have been reminded of how vital our health and wellbeing is, so I actually think the fitness industry will go from strength to strength.”

The Australian Institute of Fitness is the largest fitness training organisation in Australia with campuses located in and around every major Australian city.

Built from the ground up, specifically for the fitness industry, GYYMI is a powerful smart phone app for businesses.

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11th May 2019 - Australian Fit-Tech Startup GYYMI now offers insurance for personal trainers and clients

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28th December 2017 - Australian Institute of Fitness recognises Justin Tamsett as ‘industry legend’

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