Introducing the personal trainer bot

According to a recent article in The Economist, personal training, like therapy, or hairdressing, is one of the few professions not at risk of being automated out of existence, due to the human touch it requires.

This led me to ponder what aspects of my job I would want automated.

Here’s a brief wish list…

1. Counting reps.  Rep counts are very personal to the person doing the lifting.  Turns out people are possessive about their pain.  Go figure.  At least, this is what I’ve discovered by consistently being wrong with my rep counts.

I’ve got a legit reason for it…

I’m studying your form and making corrections, or offering positive encouragement.

This occupies a generous amount of my computational abilities.

Therefore I might be one or two (or five) reps off.

I’ve tried explaining it’s tension that matters, and your body can’t count reps, etc., etc….but since that doesn’t seem to fly, just let a machine count the reps instead.

2. Form analysis.  I’ve gotta rely on visual cues to tell you whether you’re executing the movements correctly, or if there’s something you should do differently.  Presumably an AI could analyze every line more precisely, and contrast these with what perfect biomechanics look like given your body structure.

Then, electrodes could be attached to working areas, contracting and relaxing the muscles involved in the right sequence, thus enabling you to feel perfect form before you master it.

In the future, I’ll conduct our training sessions sitting behind a computer screen, from where I’ll more or less *supervise*, otherwise known as taking a nap.

3. Sympathy.  I’ve been told sympathy’s not my strong suit.


The trainer bot can easily be programmed to convey a range of pre-recorded platitudes such as “I’m sorry to hear that”, “I understand”, or “that looked like it really hurt, how terrible…I wish there was an easier way.”

Sure this one could use a bit more work, but it’s a step up from my standard response, which is to smile with intense satisfaction whenever you complain of how hard the workout is.

At the end of the day, a machine can’t be programmed to care about your success as much as I do.

So if you’re willing to put up with inaccurate counting, form analysis that’s not exact to the millimeter, and a dark void where you think sympathy should be found, call me at (416) 826-4844 for your complimentary personal training consultation.

Your results may not be automatic, but you’ll be miles ahead of what you can achieve working on your own.

And besides, a little human interaction never hurt anyone.  Wait…

Happy Counting,

Conor Kelly

Leave a Reply