ChatGPT has exploded in popularity in recent months, with Tik Tokers filming gym routines made by ChatGPT. It's got people wondering, do we really need online Personal Trainers?
It’s pretty simple, all you need to do is type in the type of training you want to do and ChatGPT will come up with a full workout, describing the exercises along with the number of sets and repetitions you should perform.
The more specific you are the better. Say for example I told ChatGPT that I needed a workout to help with knee pain, the server first instructed me that I should go and see a medical professional, and that assuming that I had written out a list of exercises that it believed could reduce knee pain.
So, could this be the end of online personal training as we know it?
See the thing is, ChatGPT is still in Beta testing mode and has a lot of work to do. Obviously it will improve over time, but there are some things that a computer will never be able to take away from human experience.
It’s not specific
If you’ve ever bought a training plan online then you’ll know the pitfalls of doing a training plan that’s not specific to you and your training goals. ChatGPT can give you a plan, but it will be general. It doesn’t know if you’ve had a previous history of hamstring strains, or that you need to work on your elbow mobility in a front squat.
Because it’s just a plan, you’re receiving no feedback on your effort and therefore don’t know where changes and adjustments need to change. Even if you’re not with a face to face PT, you can still interact with an online coach through discussions of your training and even checking form via video.
There's no accountability
One of the biggest reasons people sign up to personal training is because they want to be held accountable for their actions. It’s actually got nothing to do with the workout itself. This usually comes in the form of check-ins.
This is something that Chatgpt cannot provide. Yes it can give you the workout, but you’ve got no one there motivating you to do it which is usually the hardest part.
Lose the personal interaction
Since the lockdown we’ve realised more than ever how important human interaction is. People need to feel like they belong and have relationships with other people.
Although you might not think it, online personal training can still be an extremely personal experience. 1-1 zoom calls, weekly check ins and daily interaction with your coach adds the personal element to your training. For many, the important thing is knowing you’ve got someone there to advise you and also offer empathy at times when you’re struggling on your fitness journey.
It could exacerbate injuries and niggles
As you can see from above, ChatGPT was wise to advise me to seek professional help when I mentioned knee pain. However, many people suffer with pains and are unsure of the cause, especially if they haven’t been to a health professional.
If you are unaware of what the pain is, there is a chance that ChatGPT could recommend exercises that further exacerbate the pain. Unless there is a specific diagnosis the exercises will be very vague, and even then, everyone experiences niggles and injuries differently.
Do Personal Trainers need to worry about ChatGPT?
Absolutely not. ChatGPT is advancing every single day, but it still doesn’t compare to the service of a Personal Trainer. There is more to the job than writing programmes, and even though there may be some elements that ChatGPT will improve on, it will never provide the human touch.