Personal Training - Ian Mullane

In a world where personalization is a key agenda point for every consumer-facing business, physical fitness venues have a problem: when it comes to their product, they are currently capable of little customization, instead of relying on brand messaging and aspirational imagery to differentiate and connect to people’s goals.

This is in the face of myriad digital solutions that deliver against the wellness agenda in a specific, measurable, personalized way. 

This is the warning from Ian Mullane, founder, and CEO of AI-powered sales and retention platform Keepme, whose keynote at August’s online canfitpro Global Conference & Tradeshow will center in on this topic.

Fortunately, Ian also has some solutions to offer delegates. Here’s a taster!

Impersonal training

“Personal interaction in a gym environment is, currently, mostly found in the delivery of additional services such as personal training – and even here, I’m afraid it all too often falls short,” observes Ian. “Let’s paint a realistic picture of the typical personal training experience right now.”

“Every week, I attend to be guided and motivated towards the achievement of my goals. The expectation is that my trainer is aware of these goals and that they tailor sessions appropriately. Sadly, this isn’t always the case – that’s the first big problem.”

“But even if it is, this only represents a small part of the overall story. In fact, I attend these weekly sessions in a variety of conditions: I may arrive on a Monday following a very physical weekend, or I may arrive on a Friday having had a stressful week of work, with limited sleep.”

“To benefit my body and mind and move me towards my outcomes, the session needs to account for this. Not doing so will be detrimental and most likely move me away from my goal.”

He adds: “With this in mind – in contrast to the predominantly standardized experience you currently get in gyms around the world – just think of the positive impact on trust and credibility if, on my arrival, my trainer were to congratulate me on an active week and outline a session for that day focused on recovery.”

“Even better if, in the end, I’m also offered guidance on what to do away from the gym before our next appointment and encouraged to get some sleep.”

A digital ‘day in the life’

“It certainly won’t be long before the current (im)personal training scenario is ousted by consumers and replaced with a digital alternative,” Ian continues. “Consider this (very feasible) day in the life of a digital wellness consumer.”

“On waking, my app congratulates me on meeting my sleep requirements following an active previous day. It prompts me to hydrate and suggests I start my meditation routine by selecting which program I wish to use from its library.”

“My recovery score lets me know what level of exertion I should attempt today, including my non-gym activity. It is noted that I’m on a 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol and, through its integration with my Lumen tool, my app suggests optimal nutritional macros for the day, at the same time setting a notification to alert me when my intermittent fast is completed.”

“With access to my schedule and knowledge of my optimal workout requirements today, I’m given the recommendation to train between 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm. My location suggests I’m currently on a business trip, so options are presented to me using my ClassPass membership. Three providers are identified within 400m of my expected location at that time, with the selected sessions appropriate for my target exertion level. One click and I’m booked in.”

“On completion of my workout, I’m prompted to take on appropriate hydration and a suggested post-workout snack, all in line with the knowledge that I will be having my evening meal at 7:00 pm to meet my fasting deadline. It is also suggested that I be in bed by 10:00 pm, to meet my recovery requirements from today.”

“I’m presented with an overview of my activity for the day, my behaviors, and how all of this has combined to impact my progress. A summary of tomorrow’s plan is presented, along with a progress update on my month to date. As bedtime approaches, I’m presented with a suitable soundtrack to assist my sleep.”

Add personalized value today

Feeling daunted? Don’t be. As a gym operator or personal trainer, you don’t actually have to create and deliver this sort of 360°, 24/7 journey.

“It’s OK that you don’t control the entire wellness experience,” explains Ian. “Instead, determine which part(s) you can and should control. What are the specific needs, perhaps not yet explored, that you are in fact better qualified than anyone else to meet? Center in on claiming these in your customers’ minds.”

Then look at ways to add value to the rest of the journey, without having to control or deliver all of it, with one immediate opportunity being the application of your knowledge and expertise to the data that – courtesy of Apple Health or Google Fit – every one of your customers carries around in their phone.

Whether you’re a gym owner, personal trainer, instructor, nutritionist, physiotherapist – or any other allied health professional facing similar challenges – Ian’s advice is this: “Leverage your understanding of the bigger picture. Educate customers on the importance and impact of the various interlinked elements of their wellness journey. Analyze and interpret the data their phones and trackers are gathering, and use this as the basis of personalized advice.”

“Essentially, you’re looking to join the dots on behalf of the consumer, and it’s something you can do right now. You can help personalize their wellness journey, today, without having to physically deliver the whole thing yourself.”

“Suddenly you’ll enjoy a totally different relationship with them. You’ll be influencing their broader wellness outcomes beyond the services you specifically offer. All of a sudden, you become an indispensable part of their life.”

Don’t miss out on this fascinating keynote. Register for our Global Conference & Tradeshow now!

IAN MULLANE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
IAN MULLANE

When it comes to technology and its increasingly pivotal role in the fitness sector, there are few speakers more thought-provoking than AI expert and self-professed geek Ian Mullane.

As the founder and CEO of AI-powered sales and retention platform Keepme, Ian has brought together the diverse expertise of his career to date – including 12 years as an operator – in a ground-breaking business that boosts revenues for gym operators across the globe, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to drive optimization and transform the way they interact with customers and prospects.

Diving into a little more detail, having spent 15 years working on fintech solutions for some of the world’s largest hedge funds and investment managers, in 2007 Ian founded Vanda.fit – Singapore’s first boutique boxing club – and alongside this, in 2008, the social media analytics platform Locowise.

It was at Vanda.fit that he identified the need for a system that would optimize the performance of his club; his expertise in tech and AI led him to develop Keepme, which since 2020 has become his full-time focus (some might say mission!)

A respected thought leader, white paper author, regular industry event speaker, and member of the ukactive Digital Futures Council, Ian has a singular ability to first understand the challenges faced by our sector, then demystify the ways in which technology can help neutralize them. His keynote is one you won’t want to miss.