A variety of facts, statistics, and data points have been provided below in order to assess various elements of Americans habits surrounding fitness programs and personal training. While it is impossible to quantifiably answer things like ‘fitness dreams fail without accountability XX% of the time’, several key statistics around how Americans start, maintain, and navigate a fitness program have been presented in order to evaluate accountability and connection to fitness goals.
STARTING/MAINTAINING A FITNESS PROGRAM
- According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), approximately 12% of all new gym memberships are started within the month of January each year and 50% of new members quit going within six months of going.
- It is estimated that 43% of people give up on their fitness goals within one month of making them.
- 46% of members who quit going to the gym cite cost as their reason and “personal training is intrinsically linked to disposable income.”
- Approximately 45 million (14% of the population) American adults have gym memberships and the average member visits twice a week.
- Of those current members who regularly visit gym facilities, 12.5% state they work with a personal trainer and 44% workout with a partner.
- 30% of gym members state they never break a sweat because they are socializing while at the gym.
BARRIERS TO KEEPING UP A FITNESS ROUTINE
- According to the New York Post (reporting on a study from OnePoll and Isopure), “50% of Americans feel too intimidated to develop a workout routine around other people.”
- The same study states “31% admit to feeling anxious when thinking about trying to get into shape overall.”
- “48% of Americans feel intimidated by the number of fitness workouts and classes out there.”
- 36% of survey respondents say “running outside is more intimidating than starting an exercise routine.”
- “32% of those who experience intimidation at the gym do so when they are exercising near someone who is extremely fit.”
- Atlas Wearables provides the following list of reasons that most people don’t reach their fitness goals:
- Research indicates that while some results from a new fitness routine can be seen in a 2-3 weeks, its more realistic to expect to see more muscle growth after 3-4 months. This time frame is likely frustrating for people just starting a fitness program and do not have a support system to help them understand the timeline.
- “Since people are generally very motivated when they start working out, the tendency is to overdo it.” It is essential for persons engaging in a new fitness program to work with someone who understands potential pitfalls.
WORKING WITH A PERSONAL TRAINER
- According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 373,700 personal trainers in the US in 2019.
- The professional is predicted to grow at an approximate 10% year-over-year rate between now and 2026.
- “Research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that members who train with a personal trainer achieve significantly greater fitness improvements than those who don’t.”
- Lean body mass – increased by an average of 1.3kg in personal training group versus zero in self-training.
- Chest press strength (1RM) – increased by 42% in PT group versus 19% in self-trained.
- Leg press strength – improved by 38% in the PT group versus 25% in self-trained.
- Leg power (vertical jump) – increased 6% in the PT group versus 0.6% in self-trained.
- Aerobic capacity (VO2 max) – increased 7% in the PT group but decreased by 0.3% in self-trained.
- Millennials who pay for fitness programs typically spend what equates to a lifetime monthly fee of $14 and further, 17.2% of millennials are personal training consumers.
- Approximately 3/4 of respondents in a recent survey (conducted by OnePoll on behalf of AI fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics) state a “personal trainer would help them reach their fitness goals more efficiently.”
- The study also found that 69% of survey respondents feel “the only thing that would get them in shape is the help of a personal trainer”, but 76% state “said they wished getting a personal trainer was more affordable.”
- “According to IHRSA’s Profiles of Success, leading club companies report that a median of 8.4% of total revenue is derived from personal training.”
- “More than 8.3 million health club consumers used a personal trainer in 2016, representing 12.6% of total club consumers.”
- Personal training clients are more likely to be male.
- “14.9% of multipurpose club consumers use a personal trainer.” This is juxtaposed with the fact that “11.6% of fitness-only club consumers used a personal trainer and only 7.2% of YMCA/YWCA/JCC consumers used a personal trainer.”
ADDITIONAL RELEVANT STATISTICS
- According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “only about one in five homes have parks within a half-mile, and about the same number have a fitness or recreation center within that distance.”
- The average gym member travels less than 4 miles to reach the facility.
- Based on a survey reported on by the Wall Street Journal, “longer commutes are associated with fewer visits, the data found. People who go to the gym once a month travel a median distance of 5.1 miles. Those who go five or more times a month travel 3.7 miles.”
- Bloomberg reports that “urban zip codes, with 22% of the U.S. population, host 24% of gym locations. Suburban zip codes, with 57% of the population, have 63% of gyms. But rural areas, which are home to 21% of people in the U.S., have just 12%.”
- Not surprisingly, “the median household income of the average zip code with a gym or studio is $72,720, compared to $56,694 for all zip codes.”
- For further reference, a spreadsheet has been attached with this project which shows the total number of gyms in each state based on data collected by Exercise.com