For fitness professionals targeting the adolescent demographic, understanding the motivations and deterrents of this age group is vital. Adolescence is a pivotal time in life when health habits are formed, and the right influence can pave the way for a lifetime of physical wellness. A recent study conducted in Galicia, Spain, delves deep into what drives adolescents towards or away from physical activity, offering invaluable insights for trainers looking to make an impact.

Breaking Down the Study

At the heart of the research were 576 adolescents from 11 schools in Galicia. Using the International Questionnaire on Physical Education, Health, and Lifestyle, the team aimed to unravel the factors influencing their physical activity patterns.

What Drives Adolescent Physical Activity?

  1. Key Influencers: The study highlighted age, gender, perceived physical competence (PPC), and sports practised with friends as significant influencers. Surprisingly, the perception of physical attractiveness didn’t play a major role.
  2. The Age Paradox: As adolescents grow older, their involvement in physical activities tends to decline. This calls for the need to discover and promote activities that capture and retain their interest over the years.
  3. Gender Dynamics: Boys generally exhibited higher levels of physical activity than girls. Moreover, the activities favoured by each gender varied, suggesting that trainers should consider tailoring sessions based on gender preferences.
  4. Confidence Matters: A strong correlation was found between the level of engagement in sports and perceived physical competence. The more competent adolescents feel, the more likely they are to participate actively.
  5. Friends Play a Crucial Role: Adolescents are more inclined towards sports and activities that they can participate in with their peers. Those who engaged less frequently with friends in sports reported lower physical activity levels.

Inspire the Next Generation of Fitness Fanatics with Exercise for Adolescents Course

Guidelines For Us

To optimise training sessions for adolescents:

  1. Embrace Diversity: Introduce a wide spectrum of activities to cater to diverse interests and competence levels.
  2. Build Confidence: Provide regular, constructive feedback, emphasising effort and resilience. Encourage adolescents to view challenges as opportunities for growth.
  3. Challenge Gender Norms: Adopt an inclusive training approach, actively addressing and breaking gender stereotypes.
  4. Promote Group Activities: Incorporate sessions that allow adolescents to participate with friends, tapping into the powerful influence of peer motivation.

Adolescents present a unique set of motivations and challenges when it comes to physical activity. For fitness professionals, understanding these nuances is essential for designing effective training programmes. The insights from this research provide a roadmap for trainers, ensuring they are well-equipped to inspire and motivate the younger generation towards a healthier future.


  1. Alvariñas-Villaverde, et al. Sport practice with friends and perceived physical competence as predictors of physical activity in adolescents. JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE, 18(1), 46-58. (2023) Click here to review the full research article

Inspire the Next Generation of Fitness Fanatics

Dive into our specially curated course designed for fitness professionals passionate about shaping the future of health. Uncover the unique motivations and challenges faced by adolescents and master the art of crafting engaging workout regimes tailored for young energy. With a blend of scientific insights and hands-on training modules, you’ll be equipped to inspire and transform the younger generation into lifelong fitness enthusiasts. Enrol now and be the catalyst for a healthier, happier youth!

Exercise for Adolescent Clients – Distance Study

Course Info

Get Started

Get Started with the Basics: Gym Instructor & Personal Trainer Diploma

Whether you’re aiming to assist the dynamic energy of adolescents or guide the seasoned wisdom of older adults, our course offers you the comprehensive toolkit you need. Dive deep into tailor-made training methodologies catering to diverse client profiles. Understand the nuances, challenges, and aspirations of clients from every walk of life. This course isn’t just a steppingstone; it’s a prerequisite to mould you into a versatile fitness expert. Begin your journey to be the guiding force behind countless transformation stories. Enrol today and make fitness accessible for all!

Gym Instructor & Personal Trainer Course In-Person, Live-Virtual & Distance Study

Course Info

Get Started

View Dates