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AIF CEO :“Fitness Industry will go from Strength to Strength”

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease around Australia, gyms are once again being allowed to operate, but Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) CEO, Steve Pettit, said fitness will not return to ‘normal’.

During an interview conducted by a representative of the GYYMI app, when asked how the fitness industry will look when it reopens, and if it will ever get back to ‘normal’, Pettit said the fitness industry is “ready for innovation”.

“It will never look the same as it did pre COVID-19, the phased reopening will test the fitness industry as costs are turned back on and members are phased back into gyms and fitness studios,” Pettit said.

“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,” he said.

Pettit said the fitness industry will be tested with the reopening of gyms and fitness studios, but he is optimistic Australia’s largest fitness training organisation will be needed more than ever.

“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,” Pettit said.

“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,” he said, discussing the overnight transition to digital fitness options when the pandemic first hit.

“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 versus on campus will be when restrictions ease.

“As the fitness industry gets back to work, new trends will materialise, the use of physical facilities versus 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.

“What a member is prepared to pay will simply be an outcome of the value of the service offered,” he said.