AI Transformation: Three Ways AI Can and Will Revolutionize the Fitness Industry

AI Transformation: Five Ways AI Can and Will Revolutionize the Fitness Industry
By Erin Phelan

By Erin Phelan

Fitness Industry Council of Canada

If you feel like technology is moving so fast, you can hardly keep up – you are right.


In an era of lightning speed technological advancement, artificial intelligence has emerged as a catalyst of change for every industry – and if you own a fitness business, this is an exciting time to take advantage of all the ways AI can help you thrive. On Friday April 19th, Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) will host a special 1-hour webinar titled AI: The Revolution is Here – just one of many ways FIC is helping fitness businesses grow and emerge as powerhouse leaders.


From automated systems, to enhanced ways to engage with your members, we are giving a teaser on how the AI revolution is here, and how you can benefit from the amazing, transformative power of AI. This week we shine a spotlight on ways AI will change your client relationships – and next week we will look at how AI is influencing business tools.

1. Member Engagement

AI-driven member engagement systems are transforming the old school way gyms used to handle mundane administrative tasks. These systems use machine-learning algorithms to automate the multitude of processes from membership sign-ups to class bookings and payments – you can even get AI to poke a member who has been MIA for a few weeks if you want! By quickly analyzing member data and behavior patterns, AI tools can provide valuable insights to gym owners, helping them make data-driven decisions to improve retention, customer satisfaction and even optimize your membership offerings.


The Revolution Game Changer: Imagine your AI management tool is able to track Shirley, a new member who has diligently been to the gym every day for two months. This might be a great time to upsell her on personal training, knowing her commitment level. AI can do that, and more.

2. Virtual Personal Trainers

This feels like a taboo topic in the fitness industry – will AI trainers replace humans? While there will always be a need for human connection, the increasing demand for personalized fitness programs powered by AI is pushing into our bricks and mortar facilities. Virtual trainers use algorithms to create customized workouts based on your members inputted goals, preferences and performance metrics, and are able to provide real-time feedback and guidance during workouts, helping members stay motivated and on track even when they work out on their own.


The Revolution Game Changer: For smaller facilities, this can be a cost-efficient means of providing customizable service to more members, while maintaining the integrity of your club philosophy. Imagine having a team of experienced trainers, managing multiple AI virtual trainers, with an ability to provide an affordable service that helps members continue to make progress. AI will never replace a human – and, in fact, will be a huge asset to trainers who can focus on coaching and developing the relationship with their clients, rather than spreadsheets and numbers. 


3. Member-Metric and Motivation

We’ve come a long way from counting steps. From advanced performance tracking systems to member-motivation, AI-driven fitness technology has revolutionized how we help our members stay on track and continue to make progress. By leveraging data from wearable devices, Smartphones, sensors and other attached-devices, AI algorithms can provide detailed insights into various elements of health and fitness – from heart rate to sleep quality, recovery time, calories burned for weight management, hydration and much more. This will help fitness business owners provide an even greater service to their members, helping them monitor progress more accurately, zone in on areas where they can improve, and quickly adjust training strategies. AI is also playing a new and critical role in motivation, which is a common challenge for anyone on a fitness journey – from newbies to plateaus. Once again, AI can analyze data quickly and offer personalized feedback, or even AI-powered gamification strategies to make going to the gym more rewarding.


The Revolution Game Changer:  Imagine a newcomer who hasn’t been to the gym for a month, getting an SMS to join a milestone program and earn badges, competing with friends to receive virtual rewards for consistency! Is that motivating? Of course it is! AI can track the data, group your members into categories of usage, and tailor incentives to help your members stay not only committed to their goals, but engaged with their membership – which becomes a retention strategy.  

AI is not something to be feared, but to be embraced. AI technology continues to evolve and innovate at an accelerated pace, providing new and unique ways to transform member experiences and the way we do business. By harnessing the power of AI, gym owners can help their members achieve their goals and lead healthier lives – all the while increasing the time spent in the facility, leading to happy members, and gym operators.

Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) is the not-for profit trade association that represents the voice of fitness facility operators across Canada. Representing more than 6,000 facilities with more than six-million members nationwide, FIC pursues a legislative agenda in the hope of bettering the fitness industry for both consumers and operators. FIC aims to work with both industry and government to improve the health and physical activity levels of Canadians.

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