A Study into the Role of Technology in Fitness Education

The Role of technology on fitness education

Technology is playing an ever-more involved role in fitness education. This study investigates the role of technology in fitness education, covering enhanced wearables, AI technology, big data, fitness apps, and integrated fitness tracking services. Students, educations and the fitness industry as a whole and educators are leveraging the latest gadgets, tools, and software to transform how they learn and teach about exercise-related topics, from training routines to nutritional support.

The landscape is changing faster than you might think. But fortunately, we are here to help. This post explores some of the channels through which technology is improving fitness education and the impact it may have. By the end of it, you should have a broader perspective on the topic and be able to use this new knowledge to improve your business or coaching. 

How Technology Is Improving Fitness Education 

Technology is filtering into fitness education in several critical ways. Some of these are what you might expect, while others are surprising. 

Driving Consumer Competence

For example, technology is increasing consumer competence and trainees’ ability to benefit from the information fitness professionals provide. The internet, apps, and Web 2.0 are making knowledge and skill acquisition more accessible, enabling them to self-educate from various sources. 

In addition, this form of education is more convenient. Trainees can access it anywhere, anytime, from their smart devices, eliminating the need to go to the library or even sit in front of a laptop. Online fitness education plans offer personalisations to make the learning experience more relevant and bespoke to individual pedagogic styles, so students can learn more in a shorter space of time. 

Finally, technology is making fitness education more engaging. Trainees can learn about exercises, proper form, and training strategies through videos, blogs, infographics, and other convenient “rich media” formats that appeal to them. 

Enhancing Wearables

Technology is also improving fitness education by enhancing wearable devices, bringing real-life education to studying to become a personal trainer

For instance, wearables enable trainees to track their heart rates, activity levels, and other metrics as they learn. This information provides insight into their own training and track client training and nutritional data. According to Forbes, wearables may soon gain more advanced biometric sensors, allowing instructors and trainers to track more metrics. 

Wearables can also provide trainees with feedback on their form, programming and assessments during their qualification. Tutors can identify where students need to improve their technique, their programming relative to data captured within apps on their clients or nutritional advice. Devices may also come with personalised medical alerts that can detect if they have a medical problem and need to stop training. 

Finally, both students and fitness professionals can leverage wearables to motivate their clients and help them stay on track with their fitness goals. Gamification through data-driven solutions may make the experience more engaging. 

Our tutors at The Fitness Group educate students on how wearables can help them provide their clients with superior information on exercise performance.

Wearable Technology in Fitness
Photo by https://unsplash.com/@onurbinay

Improving Apps

Technology is also enhancing fitness education via various fitness professional-related apps. The software provides trainees with a wealth of information, including articles, videos, and podcasts. For instance, regular updates give them access to the latest research and trends while teaching them new skills and techniques. 

Apps are also enabling the easy creation of personalised training plans. Simple interfaces let fitness professionals create bespoke workouts and routines for their clients instead of building them from scratch. And onboard easy routes for feedback on their form and technique, helping them improve their workouts and avoid injury. 

Additional benefits of fitness education apps include enabling trainers to:-

  • Track students’ progress over time.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest research and find articles on new techniques.
  • Connect with other fitness professionals via online forums and communities to share ideas and enjoy mutual support.

MyFitnessPal and MyPTHub are two apps widely used by fitness enthusiasts, personal trainers and our students studying with us to become a personal trainer. We now integrate education of both of these leading app’s in our Level 3 Personal Training Qualifications. This ensures our graduates are confident and competent when they graduate on how they can leverage technology to get the very best results for their clients. 

  • MyFitnessPal is a fitness tracking app that tracks various metrics, including calories, dietary macro intake, and fitness metrics. Professionals can use this information to create personalised client training plans and monitor their progress. 
  • MyPTHub is a platform that offers fitness professionals access to various continuing education courses, helping them keep their skills up to date. It also provides networking opportunities and assistance with finding new clients. 

The fitness industry will see more innovations and software applications as they develop. Intelligent systems may help fitness professionals sell their expertise and find more clients for their training programs. Overall, apps should enhance the ease of learning and help fitness instructors gain skills faster. 

Driving The Use Of Video Technology

Technology is also driving the use of video in fitness education. This format helps aspiring professionals complete practical assessments remotely or at their local gym. 

For instance, video technology is making video assessments more convenient. Aspiring trainers can complete evaluations anywhere in the world, saving time and money and eliminating the need to travel to a physical location to meet their tutor.

Accessibility is another benefit. Video format is an excellent option for anyone living with disabilities or educational platforms wanting to create a more inclusive experience for their customers. We have created a bespoke, tailored learning platform that is purpose built to our learner needs, helping them learn in the most effective way for them.

Additional benefits of video technology for fitness education include:-

  • The ability to store assessments for future reference, helping both students and tutors track their progress over time
  • With the learners permission we can share assessment data with other tutors, enabling trainee tutors the opportunity to collaborate and develop.

But what does this look like in practice? One method of using video technology is to get students to carry out their programme assessment with their client in the gym on video. For example, a Level 3 Personal Training Student will lead their client through various exercises, performing the exercise for guidance and then supporting, spotting and guiding their client. Overall, they will conduct a full session as a personal trainer delivering to their client and submit them to the instructor for evaluation. 

The Fitness Group offers assigned tutor support for every student, ensuring that before any in gym assessment is captured on video, that each student will be comfortable with the assessment criteria, what they are delivering and how to capture using technology, meeting the recording guidelines.

Our tutors can also use video technology to host live events and each tutor can support their students with video calls. This allows our expert educators to provide real-time feedback on their performance, share screens to discuss theory topics and provide in depth guidance. This all ensures that our learners have the very best, personalised and enjoyable experience when they study with The Fitness Group. 

Boosting Study Flexibility

Another benefit of technology in fitness education is its ability to improve study flexibility. Students can learn from anywhere, at any time. They can also get support through multiple channels, such as WhatsApp, email, and video, alongside traditional face-to-face sessions. 

Technology, for instance, is enabling:-

  • Studying when, where, and how trainees want – ideal for those in rural locations
  • Greater accessibility for students with visual or cognitive impairments with additions such as screen readers and closed captions
  • Additional personalisation, letting trainees choose courses and module paths most relevant to their interests and goals
  • Greater interactivity with students taking part in online discussions and providing feedback to course instructors remotely
  • Additional support from instructors and peers online via forums, chat apps, and video conferencing facilities

A combination of technologies is making this possible (many of which we discussed above). For instance, online personal training courses enable more at-home training, giving aspiring fitness professionals a bespoke education from their home PC. Video conferencing is also changing the trajectory of education, eliminating the need for trainee fitness professionals to travel. Our expert tutors can see and hear their students in real-time, making it easy to correct their form and answer their questions. 

Even social media is playing a role. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all used by our tutors to connect with their students and provide on-going support. 

Adding Intelligence To Existing Educational Frameworks

Artificial Intelligence is significantly transforming the fitness industry and fitness education. As perhaps humanity’s most innovative technology to date, it is enabling training improvements many instructors never thought possible. 

For instance, ChatGPT can provide learners with personalised fitness advice. The large language model-powered system could be used to construct tailored workouts, however we recommend that our students use this rapidly developing technology with caution and ensure they construct workout plans, client support and programming independently using our resources, tutor guidance and the information gathered from their clients during their case study. 

It is essential that our learners gain the correct underpinning knowledge of the principles of programming, client support planning and nutritional support. 

Some ways AI could be used now and in the future as the technology continues to improve and be enhanced;

  • Answer questions about theoretical topics
  • Direct trainees to studies, research papers or resources.
  • Create and develop personalised fitness programs for specific individuals
  • Track progress and provide feedback
  • Develop mock tests to check knowledge

Currently, OpenAI’s ChatGPT uses the GPT-4 language model. However, future iterations will be considerably more powerful, enhancing fitness education further. 

For instance, ChatGPT and other AIs could provide some assistance to tutors on the assessment of theory work and workbook assessment, providing feedback and collating a feedback summary. 

AI could also provide users with more immersive learning experiences. For instance, the next iteration of ChatGPT could enable fitness education in augmented or virtual reality. Trainees could get to grips with new apparatus or environments without travelling to a specific location. 

Given the rapid advances in artificial intelligence, it is unclear how ChatGPT and other technologies could enhance fitness education. Smarter systems might gain the ability to plan and reason, allowing them to provide more long-term or strategic pedagogy, boosting learning and trainees’ impact when working with future clients. 

Increasing The Use Of Big Data

Related to AI, big data is also improving fitness education. Giant repositories of information are helping trainees learn more effectively. 

For example, the use of big data is:-

  • Helping tutors provide more personalised learning experiences based on individual student needs.
  • Identifying trends and stumbling blocks in the curriculum so that tutors can revise, edit, or review them.
  • Providing feedback on educational materials to make them more useful and relevant.
  • Tracking student progress over time and providing metrics to show where and when improvements occurred.

As with AI, big data applications are likely to develop significantly in the future and combine with intelligent systems to improve fitness education for personal trainers. Automatic trend analysis will enable trainees to identify patterns in their learning or performance, letting them focus on weak points and identify the most promising learning strategies. 

Gamification

A further way technology is improving fitness education is by bringing gamification into the mix. 

According to a review of more than 177 articles, gamified learning experiences elicited improvements in motivation and commitment towards physical exercise. Game-based approaches may also enhance academic performance, according to one study. 

As such, gamification of fitness education may offer multiple advantages over conventional learning modalities. These include: 

  • Improving engagement by making learning more fun and exciting.
  • Enhancing fitness instructor’s problem-solving skills by encouraging them to solve puzzles and challenges.
  • Increasing trainees’ motivation and sense of accomplishment.
  • Boosting knowledge retention by helping trainees remember more of what they learn.

MyZone Integrated Fitness Systems

Enabling Integrated Fitness Systems

Finally, technology is enabling firms to create integrated fitness systems using combinations of wearable devices, software, and professional services. A leading brand in the space, Myzone, lets instructors and their clients connect heart-rate monitors to apps and cloud technology to track and quantify physical activity. With its help, users can get better, data-driven feedback on their activities and use that as a benchmark for improving fitness.

As such, Myzone is enhancing fitness education. The solution enables instructors and trainers to personalise fitness programs for their clients, letting individuals benefit from workouts tailor-made to their needs and goals. 

Myzone is also helping people stay active. Clients can earn points and rewards for completing workouts, providing extrinsic incentives for more training. And they can join a community of like-minded people, helping them travel further on their fitness journey. 

Summary Of Findings

Now that you’ve read this study, you should better understand how technology is improving fitness education. Educators are using technology to enhance the learning experience, helping students gain more relevant knowledge and provide enhanced value to their clients. 

Our education team is consistently reviewing how we can leverage technology to innovate and improve our learning platforms and enhance the learning experience for our students.

Incredibly, technology’s role in improving fitness education is ongoing. New advances in artificial intelligence, big data, integrated fitness solutions, and gamification are providing (and will continue to provide) additional pedagogic advances. Learning is transforming in ways that seemed impossible just two or three years ago. 

We believe that the role of technology in fitness education will continue to grow and develop at an unimaginable pace over the upcoming years. We believe it is our responsibility to constantly leverage this innovation in technology to provide the best, cutting edge learning experience for our students. 

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