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Embrace Evolution To Meet Future Needs of Fitness Professionals


In a recent podcast episode, Paul Bowman, CEO of WEXER, engaged in a thought-provoking conversation about the fitness industry with Amy Thompson, owner and CEO of IDEA Health and Fitness Association.

Thompson shed light on the challenges faced by the fitness industry and what the changing needs are for fitness professionals and what they will need to grow and be successful in the future. We explore the important points from their discussion, offering valuable insights into the fitness industry’s overall transformation.

Amy Thompson’s Journey to Becoming CEO of IDEA

Amy’s story began in junior college, where she excelled in various sports and nurtured her passion for health and fitness. After completing her degree in kinesiology, she transitioned into a career focused on personal training. After witnessing the remarkable transformation of her clients, it inspired her to pursue her own journey in the fitness industry. 

Amy’s journey to becoming the CEO and owner of IDEA Health and Fitness Association was not without hurdles. The impact of the pandemic on the association and the fitness space was a turning point that motivated Amy to take ownership and steer IDEA forward. In April 2022, IDEA was acquired by owner and CEO, Thompson. She has returned IDEA to its roots as a family-owned business with leadership principles for the health, fitness and wellness industry.  

The Role of IDEA

IDEA stands as a professional association dedicated to supporting fitness professionals and fitness business owners alike. IDEA membership helps pros navigate the competitive landscape with confidence. Members have access to customized training inspiration, mentorship, education, business solutions and resources. They also have access to publications, live events, and online educational courses. 

Changing Needs of Fitness Professionals

The pandemic posed significant challenges for Idea and the entire fitness industry. It forced a shift in approaches to create strategies by reinventing, innovating, and adapting to the changing landscape. Everyone had to embrace change and find new ways to engage with fitness professionals and enthusiasts.

The fitness industry is witnessing a significant shift, with professionals now viewing themselves as independent businesses rather than working as employees of a fitness business. This empowerment allows them to choose when and where they work, catering to their personal and professional aspirations.

To ensure independent fitness professional needs are met to achieve success, they must have access to education, resources, support, and mentorship. This underscores the importance of associations like IDEA to help foster their growth. Furthermore, the fitness industry has seen the rise of fitness content creators and influencers who leverage virtual fitness opportunities and digital content to reach and inspire larger audiences.

Engaging Different Generations 

The industry is experiencing a surge in younger generations seeking meaningful careers in health and fitness. Many individuals are leaving traditional corporate jobs to pursue their passions in the fitness realm. IDEA plays a crucial role by providing a platform for aspiring stars, connecting them with industry leaders by fostering a conducive environment for growth. Events like IDEA World serve as stages for professionals to showcase their expertise, learn from others, and create valuable connections.

Enhancing Health Outcomes 

The fitness industry has made great strides by making fitness more accessible for consumers, promoting inclusivity, and focusing on individual goals. The industry has shifted away from extreme fitness fads and expectations. Instead, the industry emphasizes personalized approaches to achieve overall well-being. By continuously developing new training methods and embracing digital technology, professionals can reach a wider audience and make fitness more accessible to all. The fitness industry now shoulders the responsibility of inspiring individuals to lead healthier lifestyles and prioritizing health outcomes.

Amy Thompson’s remarkable journey, from a passionate personal trainer to the CEO of Idea Health and Fitness Association, provides valuable insights into the evolution of the fitness industry. The industry is adapting to the changing needs of fitness professionals and enthusiasts, with a focus on individual goals and inclusivity. As the evolution of the fitness industry continues, fitness professionals and enthusiasts can look to IDEA for guidance, mentorship, and valuable connections for their fitness journeys.



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