Will APPS & Other Tech Replace Personal Trainers?

Will the pic above be a reality in 2085? The movie Total Recall (1990) shows Sharon Stone, in all her hotness, working on her tennis serve with the help of a somewhat grainy and glitchy holographic instructor.

Well, it’s 2019 and there’s already better tech than that in the market today. It’s not affordable to the masses yet but it does exist.

The questions surrounding the replacement of personal trainers with APPS, videos and even hologram virtual trainers has some fitness trainers curious, if not downright concerned.

As Artificial Intelligence improves and new, more interactive technologies emerge and costs start to drop the question about job security can weigh heavy on personal trainers and anyone filling an in-person, hands-on type of occupation.

Weak AI and Narrow AI combined with holographic technology can offer a very one-dimensional limited demonstrator but not and instructor.

Self Awareness AI combined with Machine Learning AI will be the game changer but we’re not even close to having that on the market for home use.

Here’s why I think personal trainers and group fitness instructors will be okay for quite a while, even when Self Awareness AI becomes more accessible.

A real-life, living, breathing personal trainer gives a us special attention where Apps and VR systems fall short (with current technology). As a personal trainer I know a huge part of a client’s success has to do with our relationship and the mutual respect for each other and a common goal: Results. No tech on the planet can provide that  type of relationship…yet.

  • Total Accountability – you know you’ve got no choice but to suck it up and make it to your appointment. Even if you’re having a crappy day you’ve got a paid professional waiting for you. No excuses unless you’re ready to throw away your money. You can probably talk yourself out of doing a workout but try convincing your trainer. If he/she is a professional they’ll charge a missed session to reinforce the importance of accountability.
  • Form Training – only an in-person trainer can truly guide you through form adjustments. No VR system can look at you and explain where your wrong or help you correct dangerous for and movements.
  • Safe Training – No current VR or holographic projections can effectively determine when you’re maxed out or even getting close. VR trainers aren’t interactive enough to know when you should slow down, reduce the weight load or altogether stop and rest.
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I love technology and I know one day virtual reality and true reality will be indistinguishable.

That’s exciting, and also scary, but it will happen, like it or not.



Jed Miller

Certified Master Fitness Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Fitness Blogger and all around fitness and health nut. In addition to highly personalized fitness training, JM has worked in health club management as well as corporate wellness.

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