The Fitness Zone

The 2023 Top Fitness Trends Review: #9 Employing Certified Fitness Professionals

Dec 06, 2023 | by Steve Irwin

In this series of articles we are going to take a look at the top ten fitness trends for 2023 as created for the annual ACSM’s (American College of Sports Medicine) Health & Fitness Journal worldwide survey [1]

The survey list actually covers 20 fitness trends as collated as part of the survey, but we’re just going to focus on the Top 10 and dive specifically into some background information about the trend, how it can benefit you as a fitness consumer, as a fitness professional and also add some general guidance and / or recommendations.

So here we go… Its Number 9 on the List: Employing Certified Fitness Professionals

The Number 9 Fitness Trend for 2023: Employing Certified Fitness Professionals

In the ever-changing landscape of the fitness industry, the spotlight is on the pivotal role of certified health and fitness professionals. The emphasis has consistently been on recruiting individuals who have not only undergone educational programs but also hold fully accredited health and fitness certifications. 

This employment trend made a noteworthy debut at #6 in 2019, demonstrating its significance. Although it experienced a slight dip to #10 in 2020 and held steady at #13 in both 2021 and 2022, the core message remains unshaken.

The History of Certified Fitness Professionals in the Fitness Industry

The fitness industry in Australia has undergone significant evolution over the years, and one crucial aspect of this transformation has been the emergence and development of certified fitness professionals. These individuals play a vital role in guiding and motivating individuals on their fitness journeys, ensuring safe and effective exercise programs. The history of certified fitness professionals in Australia is a testament to the industry’s commitment to professionalism and client well-being.

In the early days of the fitness industry, anyone could claim to be a fitness expert without standardised qualifications. This lack of regulation raised concerns about the quality and safety of fitness advice and training. As awareness of the importance of exercise for health and well-being grew, so did the need for a more structured and regulated approach to fitness education.

The turning point came with the establishment of formal certification programs in the late 20th century. Organisations like Ausactive (Previously known as Fitness Australia) [2] and the Australian Institute of Fitness [3] were at the forefront of creating standardised certifications that ensured fitness professionals met specific educational and competency standards. These certifications covered areas such as anatomy, physiology, exercise programming, and client communication.

The 21st century witnessed a surge in the demand for certified fitness professionals as the fitness industry continued to expand. More Australians recognized the benefits of hiring trained and certified professionals to guide them on their fitness journeys, leading to an increased emphasis on professional development and ongoing education within the industry.

Today, certified fitness professionals in Australia are an integral part of the fitness landscape. They cater to diverse needs, ranging from personal training and group fitness instruction to specialised areas like rehabilitation and nutrition coaching. The emphasis on certification not only ensures a higher standard of service but also fosters trust between fitness professionals and their clients.

Consumer Confidence Influenced by Certified Fitness Professionals

Certified fitness professionals bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, and expertise to their roles, and this competence directly impacts consumer confidence. Knowing that their trainer or instructor has met industry-recognized standards creates a sense of security for consumers, as they believe they are receiving guidance from someone well-versed in exercise physiology, program design, and safety protocols.

A certified fitness professional will inspire confidence through their qualifications but also significantly contribute to the health and safety of clients during exercise. The thorough education and training that these professionals undergo equip them with the knowledge to create safe and effective workout programs tailored to individual needs and health conditions.

They understand the importance of conducting thorough assessments before designing exercise regimens. They consider factors such as a client’s medical history, fitness level, and any pre-existing conditions. This personalised approach minimises the risk of injuries and ensures that exercises are appropriate for the client’s current physical condition.

Furthermore, these professionals are well-versed in proper exercise techniques and form. They guide clients through movements, correcting postures, and providing feedback to prevent injuries. This attention to detail not only enhances the effectiveness of the workout but also establishes a foundation for long-term health and fitness.

What to Look For From Your Fitness Professional
  1. Certification and Qualifications:

Ensure that your fitness professional holds a reputable certification from recognized organisations. Look for qualifications that align with the specific services you seek, whether it’s personal training, group fitness instruction, or specialised areas like nutrition or rehabilitation.

  1. Personalised Approach:

A quality fitness professional takes the time to understand your individual needs, goals, and any health considerations. Look for someone who conducts thorough assessments before designing your workout program. A personalised approach not only maximises the effectiveness of your sessions but also minimises the risk of injuries.

  1. Focus on Health and Safety:

Your fitness professional should prioritise your health and safety during exercise. This includes a keen eye for proper technique and form, as well as an understanding of any limitations or medical conditions you may have. Ask about their approach to safety and how they adapt programs to accommodate individual needs.

  1. Continuous Learning and Professional Development:

The fitness industry is dynamic, with new research and techniques emerging regularly. A top-notch fitness professional demonstrates a commitment to staying current by engaging in continuous learning and professional development. Inquire about their efforts to stay updated on the latest industry trends and evidence-based practices.

  1. Client Success Stories and Reviews:

Positive testimonials and success stories from previous clients are indicative of a fitness professional’s effectiveness. Look for reviews or ask for references to gauge their track record in helping individuals achieve their fitness goals. A successful track record often reflects not only expertise but also the ability to motivate and support clients on their fitness journeys.

Thinking of Working in the Fitness Industry?

The fitness industry is not just about building muscles and burning calories; it’s a dynamic and rewarding field that offers a plethora of benefits for those who choose to make it their career. From personal trainers to fitness instructors, the journey in this industry is marked by fulfilment, personal growth, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

  • Health and Wellness Advocacy:

One of the most significant benefits of working in the fitness industry is the opportunity to be a champion of health and wellness. As a fitness professional, you play a vital role in guiding individuals towards a healthier lifestyle. This sense of purpose goes beyond merely helping clients achieve physical fitness; it extends to fostering overall well-being, mental health, and disease prevention.

  • Personal Transformation:

Working in the fitness industry often entails a personal journey of transformation. Many professionals in this field start as fitness enthusiasts who have experienced the positive changes that exercise can bring to one’s life. Sharing these personal transformations with clients creates a unique connection and inspires others to embark on their own fitness journeys.

  • Flexible Work Schedule:

Unlike traditional 9-to-5 jobs, the fitness industry offers a level of flexibility that can significantly enhance work-life balance. Whether you choose to work independently as a personal trainer or join a fitness facility, the flexibility to set your own hours allows for a better integration of work and personal life, making it an attractive career option for those seeking autonomy.

  • Diverse Career Paths:

The fitness industry is vast, offering a myriad of career paths to suit individual interests and skills. From group fitness instruction to specialised areas like yoga, Pilates, or even sports-specific training, there’s a niche for everyone. This diversity allows professionals to find their passion and expertise, creating a fulfilling career tailored to their strengths.

  • Positive Impact on Lives:

Few careers provide the opportunity to make a tangible, positive impact on the lives of others as the fitness industry does. Witnessing clients achieve their fitness goals, overcome personal obstacles, and improve their overall well-being can be incredibly rewarding. This sense of accomplishment fuels a deep satisfaction that goes beyond the financial aspects of the job.

  • Continuous Learning and Development:

The fitness industry is constantly evolving, with new research and trends shaping the way professionals approach training and nutrition. This environment fosters a culture of continuous learning and development. Staying abreast of the latest advancements not only enhances one’s expertise but also keeps the profession dynamic and engaging.

  • Community Building:

Fitness professionals have the unique opportunity to build communities around health and wellness. Whether it’s through group fitness classes, social media engagement, or local events, creating a supportive community enhances the overall experience for both professionals and clients. The camaraderie built within these communities fosters a positive and motivating environment.

Advice on Becoming a Fitness Professional

Embarking on a career in the fitness industry can be both personally and professionally rewarding. If you’re passionate about health and wellness and are considering becoming a fitness professional, here are three key pieces of advice to guide you on your journey:

  • Educate Yourself and Gain Certification:

Knowledge is the foundation of any successful career in the fitness industry. Invest time in educating yourself about anatomy, physiology, exercise programming, and nutrition. Obtain a reputable fitness certification from a recognised organisation.

  • Gain Practical Experience Through Work Experience and Hands-On Training:

Theory is essential, but practical experience is equally crucial in the fitness industry. Seek opportunities for work experience at local gyms, fitness studios, or wellness centres. This hands-on experience will allow you to apply your theoretical knowledge in real-world settings, interact with clients, and develop the practical skills needed to excel in the field.

  • Build a Strong Professional Network and Personal Brand:

Networking is a powerful tool in the fitness industry. Connect with other fitness professionals, attend industry events, and engage with the fitness community both online and offline. Building a strong professional network can open doors to job opportunities, collaborations, and mentorship.

In Conclusion

In an industry where misinformation and unsafe practices can pose risks, the presence of certified professionals acts as a beacon of reliability. Consumers are more likely to commit to their fitness goals when they have confidence in the expertise and professionalism of their fitness professionals, creating a positive cycle of motivation, adherence, and overall satisfaction in the Australian fitness landscape.

Please Note: The information provided in this article are the opinions and professional experience of the author and not all activities are recommended for the beginner or participants with underlying health conditions. Before following any advice or starting any fitness, health and wellbeing journey please consult with an Allied Health Professional and / or General Practitioner.


  1. ACSM’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2023: Thompson, Walter R. Ph.D., FACS
  2. Ausactive
  3. Australian Institute of Fitness
Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin

Steve has spent the last 19 years in the Australian Fitness Industry as a Group Fitness Instructor, 1-1 Coach, State Manager, Business Owner and is currently an Educator for the Australian Institute of Fitness. A lifelong fitness enthusiast he started his working life in the Military which guided him into the fitness industry where his passion for helping others on their health and fitness journey has been realised. Steve believes that for anyone thinking about getting fit or healthy they should “just get started” as “doing something is better than doing nothing”.

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Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.

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