Just when you think you're tough enough


Survey identifies personal training as an untapped profit centre

The annual Fitness Industry Survey, conducted by direct debit billing and financial solutions provider Ezypay Australia, has identified that an enormous opportunity currently exists for health clubs that offer personal training services to their members.

Since 2008, the Fitness Industry Survey has been the largest fitness survey in the world, with over 20,000 gym members interviewed last year, as well as gym owners and managers from across Australia and New Zealand. In 2014, the survey has been extended to include gyms in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

To date, the 2014 survey has revealed that across the five countries surveyed, more than half of the gym member respondents (54 per cent) have never used the services of personal trainer (PT) before.

In Hong Kong, a mere one in three gym members (33 per cent) have worked with a personal trainer at least once, while in Singapore just 23 per cent of gym members have used a PT. Gym members in New Zealand reported the highest use of PTs with 56 per cent having tried it at least once, while in Australia, 46 per cent of gym members have used the services of a PT.

Interestingly, here in Malaysia, just one in five gym members (20 per cent) have tried a personal training sessions with their gym.

Personal trainer has its advantages | Pic Source: Ezypay Fitness
Personal training has its advantages | Pic Source: Ezypay Fitness

Dr Ali Roodgar, Director of Anytime Fitness Malaysia believes that extended and demanding working hours, as well as poor traffic conditions are part of the reason why Malaysians tend to be reluctant to commit to personal trainers. Dr Roodgar says that, typically, clubs in Malaysia do not tend to actively promote personal training or focus on the impact that personal training can have on goal achievement among members, which may contribute to this low rate of participation.

The Anytime Fitness franchise has previously been recognised by Forbes, as the fastest growing health club franchise in the fitness industry. Dr Roodgar’s strategy to incentivise the use of personal training within his clubs involves focusing on what the members need and can benefit from, rather than being price-orientated in such promotions.

Racheal Khong Kwacz is the Creative Director at Advantage Quest Publications in Malaysia, and has worked with her current personal trainer for the past three years. She says “I think there’s a misconception out there about personal training; and I used to share it too. I thought working out was supposed to be torturous and dreaded, and a necessary pain. What I didn’t realise is that with the right amount of motivation and exercise, working out can actually be fun!”

Rachael Khong | Pic Source: Ezypay Fitness

She adds “Having a good personal trainer means you have a completely customised workout, with someone to push you and motivate you; but most of all, someone who has studied and therefore knows what they are doing, which is important – especially if you have any health concerns or conditions.”

Kee Cheong Koh is gym member, and another within the Malaysian minority who uses a personal trainer. He says “Hiring a personal trainer can be a significant investment, as you are paying a fair amount of money for the expert knowledge that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals. But you’re doing so to look after one of, if not, THE most important asset you have – your body.”

Kee Chong adds “A personal trainer tailors an exercise program to meet my individual goals and personal health needs They also teach me the best way to exercise, as well as keep me motivated. For example, just when I think I can’t do any more, my trainer will tell me to ‘hold for another minute’ or do ‘10 more reps’. And what do you know? I do it, and am all the better for it.”

Malaysian health clubs that do not actively promote or offer personal training services may be missing out on the opportunity to establish a potentially lucrative profit centre. After all, if the majority of gym members have never worked with a personal trainer, by offering and encouraging this service to members, clubs can potentially boost their member retention, reduce their attrition and generate more revenue.

To find out more results from the Ezypay Fitness Industry Survey and their potential implications, visit www.ezypay.com/fitness-industry-survey