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Les Mills
Les Mills
Les Mills
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features

Editor's letter: Embracing digital

We’re in the middle of a change so vast we still can’t see the shape of it. The only definites are that achieving good health will become a new and urgent priority and technology will be a major driver of this, as the fitness industry embraces digital

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 1

Fit tech has become a tool of hope since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, offering health and fitness operators and professionals a fighting chance to save their businesses.

The adrenaline and urgency of the moment have driven the industry to fast track change. We estimate the COVID-19 emergency has accelerated the adoption of technology in the fitness industry by at least a decade in the space of just a few weeks.

Experts calculate that more than half the world’s gyms have been closed at some point during the pandemic, locking out hundreds of millions of members.

The impact of this displacement on the sector has been nothing less than revolutionary, with people in lockdown pining for their exercise fix and health and fitness operators and exercise professionals turning to technology to connect.

Live streaming and on-demand content have exploded to the point where every major gym operator now has a digital offering – many of them developed and launched within a matter of days, showing the huge resourcefulness and energy of the sector.

Deals have been done between competitors, collaborations have yielded new products and an array of new tech set-ups are being used to stay in touch with customers, monetise services, deliver remote and streaming workouts and keep companies and people in business.

The world has changed. The new future will be based on tech in a way that wouldn’t have seemed possible even a few weeks ago.

Now operators and fitpros have tasted the power of tech, there’s no going back. We expect the pivot to digital to continue, for tech to be refined and to bed down to be part of the infrastructure of the industry in a symbiotic relationship with gyms.

The pandemic has drawn the attention of everyone – including governments and corporations – to the fundamental importance of good health, as it emerges this is a major determinant when it comes to COVID-19 survival rates and outcomes.

When the storm has passed and we’re able to reflect on what has happened, it will become clear that being fit must be given far higher priority on a lifelong basis and we expect fitness technology to be one of the major drivers of this revolution to come.

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
Gallery
More features

Fighting COVID-19

In the aftermath of the pandemic, people will be more aware of the importance of their health and the strength of their immune system. Can fit tech alert users to potential immunodeficiencies or symptoms? And might these products assist governments? We asked industry leaders for their predictions
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Richard Hanbury

Founder and CEO, Sana
I was in Yemen, close to the capital, Sana’a, when I had the accident that put me in a wheelchair and gave me a chronic nerve damage pain problem. This led me to develop the underlying technology of Sana
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PureGym

We’ve been ranked number two on the App Store for health and fitness, second only to Fitbit
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Digital ecosystem

The digitisation of the sector was going to happen anyway. COVID-19 has simply accelerated the digital transformation
interview

Daniel Sobhani, Freeletics

People are set up for failure by the fitness industry with false promises and unrealistic expectations. We’ve always wanted to put a stop to this, and with Mindset Coaching we’re taking the next step
people

Ian Mullane

Founder, Keepme
Using predictive and machine learning models, operators can hyper-personalise engagement
Editor's letter

Monetising digital

Having made a lightening fast pivot to digital during lockdown, gym operators are now figuring out how to optimise the assets they’ve invested in – it’s time to monetise digital and find ways to create hybrid models
interview

Forme Life: Trent Ward & Yves Béhar

I think the big ‘a-ha’ moment was when we had the idea that a mirror would be the best way for somebody to learn
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Lindsay Cook, FitOn

Today FitOn is a totally different experience. That’s the beauty of software – it’s so easy to improve and change to meet your members’ needs

Functional wearables

A new ultra-thin, stretchable electronic material could be a game changer for wearable tech
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Sharon Hegarty, Samsung

We’ve worked with ecosystem partners, such as Calm and Fitplan, to bring their expertise to our devices
interview

Paul Bowman, Wexer

The future of fitness is hybrid, says the CEO of Wexer. He shares his thoughts on why and how the industry should embrace this change
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Patrick Lucey

VP of AI, Stats Perform
We can capture tracking data from historical videos, enabling us to do large scale comparisons of players, such as Michael Jordan, across eras

Create your own energy

A breakthrough in technology means wearable devices and other health and fitness products could soon be self-powered. Steph Eaves talks to Dr Ishara Dharmasena to find out how this could impact health and fitness
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Will Ahmed, Whoop

Whoop is taking wearable technology to the next level, providing deeper insights into individuals’ physiology and enabling optimised training. Founder and CEO Will Ahmed talks to Steph Eaves about the importance of personalised feedback
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Markos Kern

Founder & CEO, Fun With Balls
Like gaming, it’s very addictive, but this time in a good way. Imagine shooting space invaders on a squash court or kicking a soccer ball to kill some monsters
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Ali Yetisen

Lead researcher, Technical University Munich
The tattoos use a dye that changes colour according to changes in levels of three elements found in the blood

Tesqua upgrades its in-club experience

Tesqua Health and Sports Centre, Netherlands, has partnered with FunXtion, experts in digital fitness, to create an immersive, instructor-driven, group exercise boutique concept within its existing facility

Get smart

A new, smart exercise mask will analyse breath for a wide range of performance-related indicators, as Tom Walker explains
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Lauren Foundos, FORTË

We give data reports showing the most popular instructors, so they can get credit for driving users
Editor's letter

Embracing digital

We’re in the middle of a change so vast we still can’t see the shape of it. The only definites are that achieving good health will become a new and urgent priority and technology will be a major driver of this, as the fitness industry embraces digital

Get connected

Sony and Precor are collaborating. Henrik Bengtsson, head of business at Advagym, tells Wendy Golledge about Sony’s latest foray into fitness
interview

Toni Knowlson, Amazon Web Services

We see this technology as an enabler in ensuring sporting organisations remain relevant
people

Motosumo

Kresten Juel Jensen, CEO and co-founder and Nick Coutts, incoming chair
Everyone’s on their smartphones, so we saw this as a massive opportunity to gamify group fitness
Featured supplier: What does a socially distanced leisure centre and health club look like?
The world has had to get used to social distancing in 2020 and any business operating in the leisure and hospitality sectors has had to face this challenge more than most.
Featured supplier: Core Health & Fitness announces partnership with Énergie Fitness Iberia
Core Health & Fitness is proud to have signed an exclusive supplier agreement for the roll- out of all projected clubs with Énergie Fitness Iberia over the next seven years.
CPASE creates unforgettable luxury member experience at new boutique club with Technogym
Technogym
Technogym has equipped Clare Stobart's new boutique health club – CPASE. Read more
Company profile: Booker by MINDBODY
Booker by Mindbody is the industry’s leading cloud-based spa and salon management platform. Our cutting-edge ...
Company profile: Harlands Group
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 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Member feedback software
AskNicely: Member feedback software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Featured supplier: What does a socially distanced leisure centre and health club look like?
The world has had to get used to social distancing in 2020 and any business operating in the leisure and hospitality sectors has had to face this challenge more than most.
Featured supplier: Core Health & Fitness announces partnership with Énergie Fitness Iberia
Core Health & Fitness is proud to have signed an exclusive supplier agreement for the roll- out of all projected clubs with Énergie Fitness Iberia over the next seven years.
Company profile: Booker by MINDBODY
Booker by Mindbody is the industry’s leading cloud-based spa and salon management platform. Our cutting-edge ...
Company profile: Harlands Group
Harlands Group is the leading provider of membership management services to leisure operators, processing over ...
CPASE creates unforgettable luxury member experience at new boutique club with Technogym
Technogym
Technogym has equipped Clare Stobart's new boutique health club – CPASE. Read more
Get Fit Tech
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Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Member feedback software
AskNicely: Member feedback software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions

latest news

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While leisure operators can generate interest and build an audience fairly easily, the challenge is converting an audience into a ...
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More news
features

Editor's letter: Embracing digital

We’re in the middle of a change so vast we still can’t see the shape of it. The only definites are that achieving good health will become a new and urgent priority and technology will be a major driver of this, as the fitness industry embraces digital

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 1

Fit tech has become a tool of hope since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, offering health and fitness operators and professionals a fighting chance to save their businesses.

The adrenaline and urgency of the moment have driven the industry to fast track change. We estimate the COVID-19 emergency has accelerated the adoption of technology in the fitness industry by at least a decade in the space of just a few weeks.

Experts calculate that more than half the world’s gyms have been closed at some point during the pandemic, locking out hundreds of millions of members.

The impact of this displacement on the sector has been nothing less than revolutionary, with people in lockdown pining for their exercise fix and health and fitness operators and exercise professionals turning to technology to connect.

Live streaming and on-demand content have exploded to the point where every major gym operator now has a digital offering – many of them developed and launched within a matter of days, showing the huge resourcefulness and energy of the sector.

Deals have been done between competitors, collaborations have yielded new products and an array of new tech set-ups are being used to stay in touch with customers, monetise services, deliver remote and streaming workouts and keep companies and people in business.

The world has changed. The new future will be based on tech in a way that wouldn’t have seemed possible even a few weeks ago.

Now operators and fitpros have tasted the power of tech, there’s no going back. We expect the pivot to digital to continue, for tech to be refined and to bed down to be part of the infrastructure of the industry in a symbiotic relationship with gyms.

The pandemic has drawn the attention of everyone – including governments and corporations – to the fundamental importance of good health, as it emerges this is a major determinant when it comes to COVID-19 survival rates and outcomes.

When the storm has passed and we’re able to reflect on what has happened, it will become clear that being fit must be given far higher priority on a lifelong basis and we expect fitness technology to be one of the major drivers of this revolution to come.

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
Gallery
More features

Fighting COVID-19

In the aftermath of the pandemic, people will be more aware of the importance of their health and the strength of their immune system. Can fit tech alert users to potential immunodeficiencies or symptoms? And might these products assist governments? We asked industry leaders for their predictions
people

Richard Hanbury

Founder and CEO, Sana
I was in Yemen, close to the capital, Sana’a, when I had the accident that put me in a wheelchair and gave me a chronic nerve damage pain problem. This led me to develop the underlying technology of Sana
interview

PureGym

We’ve been ranked number two on the App Store for health and fitness, second only to Fitbit
interview

Digital ecosystem

The digitisation of the sector was going to happen anyway. COVID-19 has simply accelerated the digital transformation
interview

Daniel Sobhani, Freeletics

People are set up for failure by the fitness industry with false promises and unrealistic expectations. We’ve always wanted to put a stop to this, and with Mindset Coaching we’re taking the next step
people

Ian Mullane

Founder, Keepme
Using predictive and machine learning models, operators can hyper-personalise engagement
Editor's letter

Monetising digital

Having made a lightening fast pivot to digital during lockdown, gym operators are now figuring out how to optimise the assets they’ve invested in – it’s time to monetise digital and find ways to create hybrid models
interview

Forme Life: Trent Ward & Yves Béhar

The screen is effectively a six foot tablet, so developing the product from scratch took time, lots of testing and millions of cycles
interview

Lindsay Cook, FitOn

Not everyone can afford an expensive piece of fitness equipment or a personal trainer, but everyone has a smartphone

Functional wearables

A new ultra-thin, stretchable electronic material could be a game changer for wearable tech
interview

Sharon Hegarty, Samsung

We’ve worked with ecosystem partners, such as Calm and Fitplan, to bring their expertise to our devices
interview

Paul Bowman, Wexer

The future of fitness is hybrid, says the CEO of Wexer. He shares his thoughts on why and how the industry should embrace this change
Les Mills
Les Mills