VIRTUAL gyms are rocketing with more than 100 fitness websites already registered in the UK - and independents have been told to cash in on the trend.
Online personal training started in America and it has been growing in popularity in the UK for a number of years.
Ian Wakefield, business development manager of the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management, says that many chains are already making the most of the internet and that the independents must catch on to interacting with their members through cyberspace.
Stuart Ennis, co-owner of Virtual Fitness, believes these sites are proving to be successful because they target people are too self-conscious to go to busy gyms.
He said: “This new wave of online personal training has been designed to attract the computer using public who often live sedentary lifestyles.”
However, concerns have been voiced over the credibility of some of these sites. Although many are experts in the field it is feared that some may be cowboys who are just in it for the money.
Ian Wakefield stressed that the safest outcome for both users and trainers would be a combination of face to face and ‘cyber training’.
He added: “This way you develop a personal relationship with clients, injuries and risks are reduced and benefits will be increased.”
Co owner of Virtual Fitness Paul Boden says that people wishing to sign up for cyber training can carry out checks to see if the website they wish to sign up to is credible.
He told Workout that companies can register with (REPs) The Register of Exercise Professionals which has been set up to help safeguard and to promote the health and interests of people who are using the services of exercise and fitness instructors, teachers and trainers.
He said: ”Those registered have to provide proof of their qualifications. We have a direct link from our website to REPs so that people can check that we are qualified instructors and that the site is credible.”
Go backPosted on 16th August 2007