Trends8 min read

13 Powerful Fitness Marketing Statistics for 2017

Keeping up with the latest fitness industry statistics is instrumental for growing your business. Here are 13 powerful stats you need to know.

In 2009, there were 53.2 million health and fitness club members in North America. In 2016, that number jumped to nearly 63 million members.

According to many fitness industry statistics, personal training is the kind of job you want to have in 2017. 

Here are some surprising current fitness industry statistics about the personal training industry.

13 Surprising Fitness Industry Statistics

A Typical Personal Training Salary Puts You in the Top 38% of Earners

In 2016 the median pay for a personal trainer was $57,546 annually. The top earners are making $83,000 a year. 

This puts personal trainers in the top 30% of earners in the United States in 2016. With salaries in this range, personal training is a very good career to choose.

Gym Memberships Have Grown Almost 20% in the Last Ten Years and Continue to Climb

Fitness industry statistics list almost 70% of Americans over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese. From this epidemic comes greater education about the importance of fitness in your everyday routine. Luckily, now more and more people are starting to focus on their health. 

Gym memberships have seen a steady increase of almost 20% in the last ten years. Plus, there doesn't seem to be any sign of a slow down. 

While larger gyms are still very popular, smaller "niche" gyms are gaining members and developing cult followings as well. Gyms that specialize in Crossfit, P90X, yoga, pilates, and other smaller niche workouts are popping up all over.

With numbers like these, the fitness industry won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Dropout Rates Plummet With A Buddy or Personal Trainer

Nobody likes to workout alone -- and a recent study at Indiana University confirmed it. Someone who joins a gym and goes alone has a 43% dropout rate over the course of a year. The same member has a mere 6.3% dropout rate if they come to the gym with a partner or work with a trainer.

Since the other person is holding them accountable to go more people honor their commitment to the program.

Fitness industry statistics found that using a personal trainer at the gym got much greater improvements in lean body mass than working out alone. Turns out that our need to compete kicks in and makes us work harder than we would by ourselves.

Facebook Remains Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool

With 72% of adult internet users on Facebook, you want to be using Facebook for marketing. Not only can you reach whatever demographic you're targeting but you can also be certain the majority of the people in that demographic will see your info.

The users are there and they are also the most engaged. Out of the millions of users 70% jump on Facebook, every single day and 43% of those check it many times a day.

With the addition of Facebook Live, FB has become an even more powerful marketing tool.

Building a following has never been easier. Once it's built you can go live and have a one on one chat with your entire audience. Super powerful and super personalized. Online presence, as we have stated in previous blog posts, is your most important marketing tool as a personal trainer.

Fitness industry statistics say personal trainers have a huge opportunity with Facebook Live. Posts are able to go viral like never before.

Instagram Should Not Be Ignored

Over 400 million users looking for beautiful and inspiring images are nothing to turn your nose up at. Fitness industry statistics list fitness accounts are some of the most popular on Instagram 

Nearly 35 billion photos are shared on Instagram daily. That's a huge market. Especially when you consider that 180 million of those photos use #fitness in their description. With Instagram revenues totaling 1.5 billion, you need to be taking your piece of the pie.

What makes Instagram users so special? Why should you care about that double-tapped heart? Maybe because 75% of Instagram users follow the call to action (visiting a website, signing up for a list, etc.) after seeing an Instagram ad. 

If that's not ROI, then we don't know what is.

Instagram is also one of the easiest ways to brand yourself. As we discussed in our previous post here, branding is an important marketing tool for personal trainers.

Wearable Technology is the Wave of the Future

Expected to grow into a massive $34 billion dollar industry by 2020, wearable tech needs some attention in your marketing plan. Your newest client will not only have a Fitbit, but will also need a specialized Apple Watch app.

Personal trainers with a finger on the pulse of these tech trends are going to come out ahead of the game.

Use a service that allows you to send training plans wirelessly or even via video to remain on the cutting edge. Video fitness libraries are becoming a great tool. They help you to remind your clients, on-the-go and in their homes, of the proper technique for the exercises you did in session.

The next generation in personal training, which fitness industry statistics point to, is the ability to train anywhere, anytime.

With everyone struggling to find time to stay fit it's hard to also include a commute. Using an online client management platform can help you interact with your client's anytime on any device.

HIIT is NOT Better Than Less Intense Forms of Exercise

Even as recent as last year everyone was all about high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. However, recent fitness industry statistics and new studies reveal that HIIT is not any more effective than less strenuous methods of exercise.

The study that followed a varied group of participants did not see any distinct advantage of the high-intensity group over the less intense exercises studied. All had the same beneficial results.

HIIT became popular because of the higher than average calorie burn it promises in a short amount of time. This high level of intensity is very difficult to maintain not only for you but for your joints and body as well. 

The key here would be to listen to your body and what works best for you.

High Impact Exercises Place The Pressure of 2.5 Times Your Body Weight on Your Joints

Here in America, according to fitness industry statistics, we are facing an obesity epidemic.

So, the solution is to strap on your sneakers and go out for a run, right?


For those who are just starting an exercise regimen or have any sort of joint issues, it may be the worst thing you can do. When you perform any type of high intensity exercise (i.e. running, competitive sports, etc.) it can put the equivalent of 2.5 times your body weight on top of your joints.

That's a truly significant amount of pressure for someone who may already be significantly overweight and already be working their joints twice as hard day to day.

Low impact exercises such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, and others can have a much better effect especially at first. Low-impact can build and help strengthen the surrounding stabilizing muscles around the joints. This will help prepare you to take on a more intense challenge in the future.

60% of Millennials Work Out on A Regular Basis

Not only do they work out more but 73% of Millennials exercise solely to enhance their physical appearance. Talk about a dream client for a personal trainer. 

Millennials may not be out buying houses and eating out every night, but they are putting fitness and health at the top of their priority list.

Recent fitness industry statistics show that a quarter of millennials consider eating right and exercise to be a necessary part of defining health. This compared to only 15% of baby boomers that hold the same belief.

Some attribute this trend to the social media environment the Millennial generation has grown up in. The trend towards vanity may be a good thing. This is especially true if it pushes a younger generation towards better eating and exercise habits.

Baby Boomers - The New Face of Personal Training? 

According to fitness industry statistics and the American Council on Exercise, nearly 37% of certified fitness professionals are over the age of 40.

As the baby boomers age, more and more are being advised to do more physical exercise by their doctors. They don't necessarily want to train with someone in their 20's. This demographic is much more comfortable with folks their own age.

The ACE is seeing people getting credentialed in their early 60's to become personal trainers and group fitness instructors. There has to be a growing trend wanting to see those faces at the front of the class.

Fitness Certification and Employment to Rise 

The growth in the personal training industry is rapid and continuing to expand with more than 250 third-party certification organizations teaching best practices.

This is in addition to the growing numbers of professionals seeking out more formal education in the science of exercise. 

With the growing popularity of personal trainers and the growing client base, it is more important than ever to get certifications and credentials wherever possible. These are what set you apart from the crowd and make you an authority.

In a recent survey of 605 personal trainers in the Palo Alto, CA area about 65% had an exercise related bachelor's degree and 89% held a certification in personal training. If you are in the minority of trainers without these credentials, get into a class now. 

Strength Training is By Far The Most Popular Training Technique

Maybe it is because those machines and free weights are so intimidating to the solo gym member. Whatever the reason, according to fitness industry statistics, strength training is definitely the most popular training specialty. 

While strength training brings to mind the power lifters in fitness videos, the most popular equipment is actually the small stuff. Most trainers dig resistance bands and stability balls over the super heavy weights. It's fun and crazy effective. 

Partner Training May Soon Outshine One On One Training Sessions

In the fitness industry statistics recorded in a recent study by IDEA fit nearly 99% of the respondents offer one on one training in their business. Surprisingly, only 54% agree that this is a growing section of their business.

Most of the trainers surveyed had seen a marked growth in their partner sessions where 2 people are involved in the training. This could be due to the popularity of couples training. It could also be the frugality of the Millennial generation. However, the one-on-one's may soon not be leading the pack.

Being A Personal Trainer is Still A Great Bet

As surprising as some of these fitness industry statistics can be one thing they all have in common is that the fitness industry is growing.

New educational programs and more certifications available make it a great time to continue or pursue a career as a personal trainer.

The benefits of the industry are not only enjoying a decent paycheck. You'll also enjoy owning your own business, keeping your fitness and health at the front of your mind, and helping people be their best selves. In this time where so many of us are unhealthy and need help, what could be a better calling?

Whether or not you follow the fitness industry statistics or want to start personal training business, this is some great information to get you ready to go.

Stay Relevant

Make sure you are focused on a marketing plan that embraces the changing trends of the fitness industry and doesn't fight against them.

Incorporating new techniques, certifications, ages, and styles into your business and routines could boost business and get you more clients. Offering a more all inclusive experience with access to training 24/7 via smart wearable devices can also help your business take a leap forward.

Are you looking to save yourself some time in your personal training business? We have a blog post for you here with tips on how to do just that.

Have you been a successful personal trainer for awhile now and have any tips on what's worked for you? Seen any new trends you think we have missed? Let us know in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!