Can Robots Replace Trainers?
There is a lot happening in the realm of innovation and automation. We are in the thick of it, just up the road from Silicon Valley, down the street from Facebook, Tesla and Google. There are apps that can track our every move. There are automated cars; there are robots being built to do just about anything. There is talk of people losing their jobs to automated machines. Should we be concerned as a personal training business?
We are in a business that most people hate. Very few people like to exercise; only 20% of the U.S. population has a gym membership. 95% of people who start a new diet and lose weight end up gaining it back within a year. How many of us have tried the latest trend, downloaded the latest nutrition or workout tracking software, or bought the newest wearable device to make it “easy” to stay motivated? This is not a new concept. There have been workout shows and videos forever! Jack LaLanne started the first exercise show on television in 1953. Our moms worked out with Jane Fonda in the 80’s, we all did Tae Bo and Buns of Steel in the 90’s, and who can forget the thigh master and the shake weight? Weight loss businesses like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig have been around for years. Now we have every app and YouTube video imaginable to give us more workout content than we can possibly consume in our lifetime. However, how many people actually use these resources regularly? How many new things have we all tried which get pushed away for something new and more innovative and more interesting?
People have expressed concern over the last few years of technology taking over our industry. However, we see this technology boom as a huge opportunity to provide an experience, to provide engagement, to give people real interaction and love that an app can never do.
When a client comes to AXIS, it is sometimes the only hour or two each week that they don’t have to think about anything but themselves. The cell phone is in the locker room, away from any chance to be answered. The kids are not pulling on mommy’s leg, the boss is not being asked 20 different questions at once, there is no multitasking of 20 different tasks pulling you into 30 different directions. The AXIS hour is the utopia, the sometimes only “me time” a person gets all week long. In this day and age of technology, constant stimulation and forever busy, the one hour away from all of that is priceless. It’s the only time when it’s 100% about the client, when they can escape from the world, even for an hour.
The Love Connection
Technology and innovation has only created a bigger need and desire for more real connection. When we are free from cell phones and computers, the only thing to do is have real conversations, to engage and learn, to discuss everything from the latest in the news to sometimes the most intimate of topics. As trainers, we have the opportunity to give people love, connection, and a sense of calmness and clarity that will allow them to thrive in their world outside of the gym. That can never be replaced.
In a training business, or any other service-based business, we have to always be focused on giving our client, or our customer, their “me time. We have to be 100% focused 100% of the time on giving our clients an amazing experience and sincere engagement. Whether it’s at the gym or at your favorite restaurant, a few minutes of real conversation where you look someone in the eye and show you care, goes a long way. That can never be replaced.