Enjoy this exclusive Q&A with Ryan Hogan, CEO Australian Fitness Network, which currently boasts 10,000 members across Australia and New Zealand. This interview was undertaken as part of our ‘What’s in Store in 2016’ article, which appeared in the Summer 2015 edition of the WNiF Magazine.
How would you summarise your brand’s achievements in 2015?
Diversification was the name of the game last year! We grew our live events offering from one to three, our CEC course library to over 100, and introduced a slew of ground breaking new certification workshops, all designed to improve trainer and instructor skills across the industry.
What impact do you see personal fitness technology (e.g., wearables, training apps, etc) having on fitness businesses in 2016?
The effect that large consumer brands such as Nike and Apple, in addition to industry focused brands like MYZONE will have on engaging more people to exercise can only benefit our clubs, studios and trainers. The more people that are interested in exercise, in whatever shape or form that looks like, the greater the appeal of our services to the wider market. It has been proven across many other industries that while digital innovations can be disruptive to traditional business models, nothing can quite replace the ‘live’ experience.
Do you have any predictions or thoughts regarding developments in gym and/or cardio technology this year?
The more that the gym and cardio equipment can integrate with the wearable technology that our members and prospective members are already wearing, the better.
What do you think may be the next big thing in group fitness, in 2016?
A further blurring of lines between group fitness and group training , whereby instructors and trainers will need to deliver a variety of programs as opposed to being specialists in just one or two.
What changes or developments, if any, do you think will occur this year, in the landscape of personal and/or outdoor training?
The term ‘personal trainer’ no longer covers the true scope of their work. In 2016 a PT will be expected to teach group classes and sessions, be able to deliver nutritional advice and also act as a quasi counsellor or coach to their clients. There will be a greater interest and uptake in courses and training in all things related to coaching and communication skills, in an effort for trainers to unlock true behaviour change in their clients.
Any other comments/predictions that you’d like to share with regards to 2016 and beyond?
As mentioned above, trainers and instructors need to diversify or die, for want of a better term… clubs and businesses will expect and demand that their staff are able to perform more than one function, to better maximise their time and reach to their membership base.