The Australian PT industry: the state of play 

pt-revenue A recent report has analysed the Australian Personal Training industry over the last five years, and forecasted its growth for the period 2016-2021. The industry has experienced strong growth over the last five years. Factors influencing this include rising awareness of being healthy, higher discretionary income in Australian households and higher obesity rates, as overweight people often prefer personal training over gym memberships for the privacy and the greater focus on results.

The personal training industry is expected to continue to grow over the next five years, in line with the projected ongoing growth in health consciousness and discretionary income. Health issues, such as obesity and our ageing population and their associated costs to the healthcare system, will continue to affect demand for personal trainers. However, it is expected to reach saturation point; when the large number of trainers will start to force the cost down.

The main competition for PTs lie in other fitness options, including gym memberships, home exercise and sports participation. While these can all be undertaken in conjunction with personal training, personal finances often play a part in deciding which exercise options to pay for. If not considering costs, the greatest perceived benefit of personal training is the customised, results-based focus, suggesting this is an area PTs need to promote when attracting clients. But continued health awareness through TV shows and government initiatives has helped keep the industry at the forefront of potential clients’ minds.

While more than half of all PT clients are female, the age groups can be broken down in the following way:


The largest proportion of people using a PT is in the 15-34 year age group. This demographic are likely to be more concerned with their appearance and are more influenced by the media and advertising that promotes a fit and healthy lifestyle. There has been a decrease in demand from this group over the last five years, as other groups have grown.
The 35-54 year old group has grown significantly over the last five years. People in this group generally have a steady income and established careers. Targeting time-poor, high-income earners who prefer flexible training times has been a major factor in this demographic’s growth, as have women who are having children later and are keen to get back into shape.
Our ageing population has seen the over 55 age group accessing personal training more over the last five years, and the market share for this group is expected to continue to grow. As older people realise the physical, mental and social benefits of remaining active, many personal trainers are starting to offer specific training programs to older clients.

segmentation Over the last five years, the number of PTs operating as sole traders has grown faster than trainers aligned to a gym. Groups training is the most popular form of personal training; it may not be as specific as one-on-one training, but it offers a more social and cost-effective means of training. Demand for one-on-one personal training is still strong, but recent economic uncertainty has seen more people move across to group training. Demand for online personal training services has increased in the last five years, as more people opt for a structured training program that doesn’t require face-to-face interaction and therefore complete flexibility.

Source: IBISWorld Industry Report OD4195: Personal Trainers in Australia