AI May Be the Future Of Fitness, Says New Survey

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming popular among Americans for its ability to provide instant knowledge. A new survey finds that eight in 10 respondents would be interested in joining a gym. Could AI be the future of fitness?

The survey from Velotric included 1,000 fitness enthusiasts who offered opinions on an AI-created commercial gym, and how they use AI in their workouts. Although AI may have many benefits, it may be difficult to replace human connections.

AI refers to machine-based systems that can make predictions, and recommendations, or influence real or virtual environments. For the survey, Veltric used AI tools such as Midjourney and ChatGPT to develop a brand identity, graphics, and class listings for the AI-created gym known as AI-thletic.

The gym included a mission statement focusing on utilizing new AI tools and techniques along with human coaching. AI-thletic included classes for strength training, running, cycling, calisthenics climbing, dance, yoga, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Of the fitness-loving respondents, 83% found the AI-created gym overall to be high quality. In fact, four in 10 respondents would cancel their current gym membership in favor of an AI fitness subscription. Velotric Co-founder and Head of Marketing, Ted Li, believes AI can have a positive impact on one’s fitness journey.

"AI can potentially enhance one's fitness journey by personalizing regimens based on individual data, ensuring precise and effective workouts. Using wearable devices, AI can track vital metrics in real-time, offering instant feedback and recommendations for peak performance," Li told Healthnews. "AI-driven dietary insights complement exercise routines, providing a comprehensive strategy for health and wellness, thereby empowering individuals with a deeper understanding and awareness of their fitness trajectory."

Li says in a few cases, some pioneering establishments are already integrating AI into their gym, trending toward tech-enhanced fitness experiences. Despite some of the positives technology may bring to exercise, it will also have some negatives.

"A gym heavily reliant on AI might lack the personal touch and human connection that many find motivating and essential for accountability," Li said. "Additionally, technical malfunctions or inaccurate data interpretations could lead to inappropriate fitness recommendations, potentially increasing the risk of injuries."

Velotric’s survey finds Americans are already using AI to enhance their workout routines. Nearly 20% of respondents find ChatGPT to be more efficient than personal trainers, which Li calls the team’s most significant finding.

Although AI has only been available for a short period of time, 12% of respondents admit to using ChatGPT to generate a workout plan. Strength training, running, and body weight exercises were the three most popular workouts fitness enthusiasts used AI to create plans for. Of those who used Chat GPT to create workout plans, 12% hit a new personal record. AI-driven success in the gym could lead to a damper on humans working with humans, Li says.

This growth of AI could pose challenges for personal trainers and gym staff, possibly reducing demand for traditional training roles. However, it might also push professionals to adapt, specialize, and find ways to integrate technology into their offerings for a holistic approach.

- Li

AI is not the only tool being utilized by workout enthusiasts, virtual reality (VR) based fitness programs are also becoming popular for providing a fun environment to exercise in. While technology is set to have an impact on the future of fitness, previous research shows the benefits of having a gym partner.

A study published in the Journal of Social Sciences reveals production for "low fit" individuals increased when working with a "high fit" partner compared to exercising alone. "High-fit" individuals who conducted workouts with "low-fit" partners did not receive any benefit. However, "high-fit" persons did receive added benefits when working out with a pattern containing the same level of fitness.

According to the CDC, working out with a buddy can be beneficial to those looking to increase levels of physical activity. The CDC says working out with a partner can increase motivation, chances to try something new, and be more consistent in your routine.

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