COVID-19 has made parts of the personal training industry boom

Joanna Breto, 43, completes her daily personalized workout using the 54D Fitness app program. This photo was taken by her sister, Jenlianet Breto, at their at-home workout space last year. (Photo courtesy of Jenlianet Breto)

As restrictions are lifted in Florida, personal trainers in Miami are transitioning their businesses from quarantine alternatives back to in-person approaches.

The personal training industry in the region has became an extremely competitive field, according to Camila Troncoso, social media manager at Perfect B Med Spa in Doral. Trainers had to develop new approaches, she said.

Trainers, she said, developed PDF-based workout programs, applications and weekly FaceTime calls, among other ideas. Troncoso said she expects many of these will continue once restrictions are fully lifted.

Gabriel Monteiro, 21, who has been a certified personal trainer for two years and is pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy, said that the lockdown actually helped him grow his business through FaceTime and he will keep some of his methods during the transition back from lockdown.

“I had FaceTime calls with my clients, kept a file for each one in Dropbox to track their progress and I will definitely incorporate this new system with my old one even after things are fully back to normal,” Monteiro said. “This pandemic was eye-opening since it made me uncomfortable and that led to the creation of alternatives to overcome the obstacles that were presented.”

Troncoso, 23, said social media directly correlates to a business’ success. Perfect B, she explained, is for individuals who are pursuing a healthy lifestyle. They have a team of doctors and technicians who offer nutritional advice and shortcut treatments to burning fat.

“I have noticed that the demand for virtual assistance is much higher,” she said. “Not only are consumers and clients looking for online services, but they expect the company to have quick customer service and the company’s information readily available much quicker than before.”

Some training businesses had international success.

Rodrigo Garduno, the founder of the 54D Fitness Program in Miami, went from 3,000 viewers in March 2020 to 50,000 by August 2020. After the live Instagram training sessions were over, Garduno created an app with personalized training tailored to each client. His Instagram lives were being viewed internationally, with celebrities such as Adriana Lima in Brazil joining in.

Joanna Breto, who is a client of 54D, said she believes this new alternative is better than traditional personal training.

“I have trained before, during, and after lockdown and I have to say, using a personalized app like 54D has been much more convenient than having to take the extra time to drive myself to the gym, get through traffic, all for one workout,” Breto said. “I have my entire workout at the tip of my fingers, which I can do from the comfort of my own home and not have to worry about taking an extra time out of my day to make it to a gym full of people, so I hope this becomes our new normal forever.”