The fitness industry in India has been witnessing a massive growth in the past few years. According to Google, there were 20 million unique monthly searches for ‘fitness near me’ in 2019. Revenue in the Fitness segment amounts to US$2,190m in 2020 and has got a user-base of 167.1 million.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the fitness industry and fitness instructors (freelance & employed) have been hit hard by the closure of gyms and fitness centers. However, some of the key players have been quick (and visionary) to switch to the online mode even before the coronavirus phase.
So, is the fitness industry in crisis? Is the fitness sector really recession-proof? What are the career scopes in the fitness industry? For this article, we have Jitendra Chouksey (aka JC), who has earlier shared his story of career change after engineering (when FITTR was used to be SQUATS), is back to enlighten us on the careers and jobs in the fitness industry.
Careers and Jobs in the Fitness Industry
By Jitendra Chouksey, Founder & CEO, Fittr
COVID-19 has affected everyone on the planet. The whole world has hit the pause button as we all wait with bated breath for some kind of respite.
A few days ago, news broke in media about how businesses and companies had started laying off people in hoards. Those who still have a job need to deal with pay cuts. Uncertainty looms over the economy and the question on everyone’s lips is: will we make it through?
I am part of the fitness industry which has been hit particularly badly. Gyms are closed, and trainers and coaches are without jobs. Global gym chains have filed for bankruptcy while local gyms face an uncertain future.
At a time like this, when everyone else has been sounding the death knell for the fitness industry, I hold a contrarian view:
I firmly believe that the fitness industry is recession-proof and will emerge stronger than ever before!
Let me explain.
The Fitness Industry: Crisis Point or Opportunity?
The fitness industry is going through one of its toughest phases. Gyms everywhere are closed and there is no indication that they’ll be opening anytime soon. Even when they do open, we anticipate two things to happen:
- People would be reluctant to return to the gym due to the lack of social distancing and the risk of infection.
- Gyms may be subjected to a number of restrictions such as workout by appointment only, fewer people allowed on the gym floor, restricted timings, etc.
Opening a gym has always been a risky investment – equipment, rent, and salaries can make a huge dent in a company’s pocket and as we have seen in some recent cases, the lockdown is forcing companies to cut salaries and lay off people. Maintaining cash flows is going to be a huge issue for these setups and the industry needs to introspect and find a way out.
And I believe that Fittr has the answer.
The Future Is Online
When Fittr launched in 2016, a lot of people were skeptical about our business model.
Fittr is an online fitness community where Coach and Client don’t physically meet – ever. The client enrolls with a Fittr Coach who takes stock of his/her current state of health and his/her fitness goals. Then, based on this information, a custom-made Diet Chart and Workout Chart are provided to the client.
Fittr offers a number of packages – from 12 weeks to 24 weeks to even for a full year. All interactions between client and Coach happen online via Fittr App. If the client has any questions, he/she can contact the Coach and get them resolved. The Coach not only provides the charts but also guidance, motivation, and – above all – accountability.
People and “well-wishers” told us this wouldn’t work. Online fitness was a bad idea.
Cut to 2020 and Fittr is a $13 million dollar company and we’ve got here with zero marketing. Our community has over 850,000 members and we have helped over 150,000 people get fit and transform their health.
How did we do it? We understood where the industry was headed.
Fitness: An Evergreen Industry
No matter who you are or where you live, we all want to live a long life with a healthy body and sound mind. That’s what makes fitness an evergreen industry.
What needs to change, however, is the way the industry operates. If clients are going online for solutions, then that’s where Coaches and trainers need to be.
If social distancing makes it difficult to interact in person, then train your clients remotely.
Jobs in the Fitness Sector
The fitness sector is very broad. Some of the key job profiles are:
- Personal Trainer
- Wellness Coach
- Gym Trainer
- Strength and Conditioning
- Weight Loss / Weight Management Consultants
- Physical Therapist
- Sports Nutritionist
- Crossfit Trainer
- Fitness Tech Engineer
- Fitness Apparel Designer
- Fitness Startup Partner / CEO or Gym Chain
- Fitness Blogger / YouTuber
How Fittr Works
All Fittr Coaches are required to complete the Foundation and Expert Courses offered by the Institute of Nutrition & Fitness Sciences (INFS), which is our training and assessment arm.
On successful completion of the courses (which also includes 4 weeks of hands-on client handling) and after passing a series of interviews with our panel, a person gets onboarded as a Fittr Coach.
All Fittr Coaches handle their clients online through the Fittr App.
Once a client enrolls, the Coach has an initial call with them and understands their current state of health, fitness goals, dietary and lifestyle habits, and all other relevant factors.
Then, the Coach designs a customized Diet Chart and Training Chart for the client.
Clients typically enroll for 12 weeks or 24 weeks. Over this duration, the Coach follows up with the client and guides, mentors, and motivates them through their fitness journey.
This model has worked extremely well for both the clients and the Coaches.
Coaches earn a commission on their enrolments. These are the projected earnings after they join Fittr:
- Entry Level: Rs. 40,000 – 60,000 per month
- After 3-5 years: Rs. 2,00,000 – 3,00,000 per month
- After 7-10 years: Rs. 5,00,000 – 8,00,000 per month
So far, Fittr has over 200 Coaches on its platform and has transformed over 150,000 people. This is a testament to the fact that clients are willing to adopt new ways of getting fit and interacting with their Coaches. In a post-COVID world, this is going to be the way the fitness industry would have to operate.
Folks who are interested to become a fitness coach can visit this page.