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features

The way I see it: 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

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 2

• "If you don’t have a hybrid digital / physical model, you won’t survive."

• "Think about how disruptive low-cost was for those who didn’t respond quickly enough. Digital will be equally disruptive"

• "It’s no longer a question of ‘do we go digital?’ Now the only question is: do you merge digital into physical, or physical into digital? Which approach is most likely to succeed? I genuinely believe it will be the latter."

• "Instagram and YouTube offered quick, easy solutions, but in using them, clubs have effectively given away their contacts, their opportunity to gather insights and their ownership of the customer relationship. They now have to wrest it back."

• "On-demand retention figures beat most traditional operators: about half of online fitness customers are retained for nine months or more."

• "Digital fitness was already growing fast. Then COVID-19 happened and things accelerated exponentially: we had clients whose online user base grew 10-fold almost overnight."

• "Home fitness must be delivered on your own platform, not a third-party channel – like Instagram or YouTube – which you can’t monetise or use to generate brand loyalty."

• "The shift towards online is not a temporary measure: 43% of Mindbody survey respondents want to continue with at-home classes as well as going back to the gym; 60% of these expect to add 2-3 live streamed workouts a week."

• "Digital opens up bigger audiences. There may be less revenue per head, but there are many more heads to go after."

• "Clubs should start with the home fitness journey and work out how to gain a competitive advantage here, before working out how to dovetail physical visits into this."

• "Online requires strength in depth to be sustainable, because people only do the same online class twice before they look for something new. In-club it’s about the social. Online it’s all about variety."

• "Clubs want to create their own content, so on 1 June, Wexer launched Web Player Connect – a new solution that gives operators their own TV channel."

• "During lockdown, 40% of all spend on live streamed and pre-recorded workouts went to businesses those individuals had never physically visited."

• "In clubs that have re-opened, we’re seeing higher demand for virtual classes. This is the only way to take part in group exercise in many clubs, and with social distancing, classes are regularly full."

• "We’ve talked about personalisation for years. Digital fitness is the way to speed it up – it’s both the tool to gather the data, and the channel through which to deliver it. That’s hugely exciting."

• "Training at home is so convenient, it’s where the bread and butter of fitness will now happen."

• "People will still be willing to pay for programming, expertise and support in-club, but the baseline will be delivered online via convenient, high-quality, personalised fitness content."

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

Funxtion: A brand new app

FunXtion and GoodLife Fitness are collaborating to help Canadians stay fit in the gym and at home

Fit Tech Leadership Report

Fit tech is a growing, competitive sector. Executive search firm, Stronger Talent, recently analysed the backgrounds of more than 300 fit tech executives to provide insights into recruiting strategies, as Pete Leibman explains

Staying sticky

Bob Lawson explains how digital fitness platforms and apps can maximise retention and prevent churn
Editor's letter

Big (fit) tech

We’re entering the age of the wellness mega-corp, with the ultimate goal for investors being to dominate health and wellness markets in every channel. Prepare to expect the unexpected in this convergence of health, fitness and wellness

Digital retention top performers

Three digital fitness platforms tell Fit Tech how they work to achieve higher levels of customer retention
people

Kevin Dawidowicz

President, CoachMePlus
Fitness apps are designed to train clients, without a trainer on the other side. We give coaches a tool for connection
interview

Blurring the lines

Les Mills has launched a suite of digital solutions to help gyms future-proof by expanding their reach in the booming online fitness space, while complementing their live offerings. Steph Eaves talks to Les Mills International’s CMO Anna Henwood to find out more
people

Devi Mahadevia

Facebook director of sports and fitness partnerships
With Facebook paid online events, publishers can charge viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service

Collect wind power as you move

Researchers in China have designed a tiny device that can scavenge wind energy from the breeze you make when you walk or run

Clubs without walls

Venueserve Fitness is working with the Health Club Collection to drive its digital customer engagement
people

Andy Etches

Founder and sports director, Rezzil
Rezzil was able to have an injured player learning his new manager's philosophy, positioning and playing style – all from a seated position
interview

Robotic muscles

We identified the need to step beyond the current approaches to muscle weakness, and move instead to placing robotic muscles exactly where they’re needed – inside the body

Sky x Fiit

Fiit has secured a deal with TV giant Sky, to make its virtual workout platform available through the subscription-based Sky Q service. With 20 per cent of Fiit users now accessing the app through Sky, Fit Tech speaks to Fraser Stirling and Daniel Shellard to find out more
interview

Rodrigo Jesus, Salus Optima

Everything we do is evidence based and scientifically proven. Our technology is grounded in science and we have dozens of scientists and experts who collaborate with us in human performance
interview

Preston Lewis, Black Box VR

It’s clear that combining VR gaming with fitness has the potential to decrease pain, increase enjoyment, and allow players to push their bodies further than they would normally, creating real fitness gains over time

Virtual wellbeing check

Feelings of pressure, isolation and performance anxiety are commonly experienced by athletes, however it isn’t always easy for clubs to identify those who are struggling. Richard Lucas, founder of GoVox, explains how technology can help

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
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
people

Ian Mullane

Founder, Keepme
Using predictive and machine learning models, operators can hyper-personalise engagement

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
interview

Daniel Sobhani, Freeletics

Our company vision is to challenge and inspire people to become the greatest version of themselves. And I firmly believe that this can be achieved through what we do
interview

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
interview

Digital ecosystem

The digitisation of the sector was going to happen anyway. COVID-19 has simply accelerated the digital transformation
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
Featured supplier: How Gympass reinvented wellbeing
Over the last year, fitness and wellness organisations have faced challenges like never before. When gyms closed and members needed alternative support to keep up their health and wellbeing routines, Gympass swiftly pivoted its business model to offer a wealth of digital solutions for its partners.
Featured supplier: Forget the ‘Netflix effect’ – it’s all about the ‘iFit effect’ to boost member retention
Addiction – a word laden with negativity. But isn’t that exactly what the fitness industry wants? For members to be addicted (in a healthy way) to exercise – not just to increase profits but, most importantly, so they can live happier, healthier and longer lives.
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: Indigofitness Ltd
We Create Training Spaces! We've been designing and delivering high quality training spaces for almost ...
Company profile: Active IQ
Active IQ is the UK’s leading Ofqual-recognised Awarding Organisation for the Physical Activity sector....
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Featured supplier: How Gympass reinvented wellbeing
Over the last year, fitness and wellness organisations have faced challenges like never before. When gyms closed and members needed alternative support to keep up their health and wellbeing routines, Gympass swiftly pivoted its business model to offer a wealth of digital solutions for its partners.
Featured supplier: Forget the ‘Netflix effect’ – it’s all about the ‘iFit effect’ to boost member retention
Addiction – a word laden with negativity. But isn’t that exactly what the fitness industry wants? For members to be addicted (in a healthy way) to exercise – not just to increase profits but, most importantly, so they can live happier, healthier and longer lives.
Company profile: Indigofitness Ltd
We Create Training Spaces! We've been designing and delivering high quality training spaces for almost ...
Company profile: Active IQ
Active IQ is the UK’s leading Ofqual-recognised Awarding Organisation for the Physical Activity sector....
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
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
Sign up
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring

latest news

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Fitness tech firm Therabody has expanded into a new area of wellness with the launch of a new compression recovery ...
Les Mills has come up with an ingenious solution to get around the pandemic travel bans, which threatened a long ...
At-home fitness giant Peloton has officially completed the acquisition of equipment provider Precor, in a deal worth US$420m. Precor will ...
A new digital fitness platform has combined a digital exercise offering with online dating features which allow users to meet ...
Sport:80, a developer of cloud-based sport management software, has launched a club management system to help governing bodies and grassroots ...
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Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex has become the first chief impact officer of US-based coaching and mental health firm ...
Myzone CEO, Dave Wright, has announced the launch of MZ-Switch, a mobile heart rate monitor which can now sit on ...
A three-year-old-boy has died of the injuries he sustained in an accident involving a Peloton Tread+ running machine. No details ...
Fitness tech and software firm Exerp has secured a strategic partnership agreement with budget gym chain PureGym. The deal will ...
A new report shows how the pandemic is shifting consumer behaviours in fitness, sport and physical activity – and how ...
More news
features

The way I see it: 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

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 2

• "If you don’t have a hybrid digital / physical model, you won’t survive."

• "Think about how disruptive low-cost was for those who didn’t respond quickly enough. Digital will be equally disruptive"

• "It’s no longer a question of ‘do we go digital?’ Now the only question is: do you merge digital into physical, or physical into digital? Which approach is most likely to succeed? I genuinely believe it will be the latter."

• "Instagram and YouTube offered quick, easy solutions, but in using them, clubs have effectively given away their contacts, their opportunity to gather insights and their ownership of the customer relationship. They now have to wrest it back."

• "On-demand retention figures beat most traditional operators: about half of online fitness customers are retained for nine months or more."

• "Digital fitness was already growing fast. Then COVID-19 happened and things accelerated exponentially: we had clients whose online user base grew 10-fold almost overnight."

• "Home fitness must be delivered on your own platform, not a third-party channel – like Instagram or YouTube – which you can’t monetise or use to generate brand loyalty."

• "The shift towards online is not a temporary measure: 43% of Mindbody survey respondents want to continue with at-home classes as well as going back to the gym; 60% of these expect to add 2-3 live streamed workouts a week."

• "Digital opens up bigger audiences. There may be less revenue per head, but there are many more heads to go after."

• "Clubs should start with the home fitness journey and work out how to gain a competitive advantage here, before working out how to dovetail physical visits into this."

• "Online requires strength in depth to be sustainable, because people only do the same online class twice before they look for something new. In-club it’s about the social. Online it’s all about variety."

• "Clubs want to create their own content, so on 1 June, Wexer launched Web Player Connect – a new solution that gives operators their own TV channel."

• "During lockdown, 40% of all spend on live streamed and pre-recorded workouts went to businesses those individuals had never physically visited."

• "In clubs that have re-opened, we’re seeing higher demand for virtual classes. This is the only way to take part in group exercise in many clubs, and with social distancing, classes are regularly full."

• "We’ve talked about personalisation for years. Digital fitness is the way to speed it up – it’s both the tool to gather the data, and the channel through which to deliver it. That’s hugely exciting."

• "Training at home is so convenient, it’s where the bread and butter of fitness will now happen."

• "People will still be willing to pay for programming, expertise and support in-club, but the baseline will be delivered online via convenient, high-quality, personalised fitness content."

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

Funxtion: A brand new app

FunXtion and GoodLife Fitness are collaborating to help Canadians stay fit in the gym and at home

Fit Tech Leadership Report

Fit tech is a growing, competitive sector. Executive search firm, Stronger Talent, recently analysed the backgrounds of more than 300 fit tech executives to provide insights into recruiting strategies, as Pete Leibman explains

Staying sticky

Bob Lawson explains how digital fitness platforms and apps can maximise retention and prevent churn
Editor's letter

Big (fit) tech

We’re entering the age of the wellness mega-corp, with the ultimate goal for investors being to dominate health and wellness markets in every channel. Prepare to expect the unexpected in this convergence of health, fitness and wellness

Digital retention top performers

Three digital fitness platforms tell Fit Tech how they work to achieve higher levels of customer retention
people

Kevin Dawidowicz

President, CoachMePlus
Fitness apps are designed to train clients, without a trainer on the other side. We give coaches a tool for connection
interview

Blurring the lines

Les Mills has launched a suite of digital solutions to help gyms future-proof by expanding their reach in the booming online fitness space, while complementing their live offerings. Steph Eaves talks to Les Mills International’s CMO Anna Henwood to find out more
people

Devi Mahadevia

Facebook director of sports and fitness partnerships
With Facebook paid online events, publishers can charge viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service

Collect wind power as you move

Researchers in China have designed a tiny device that can scavenge wind energy from the breeze you make when you walk or run

Clubs without walls

Venueserve Fitness is working with the Health Club Collection to drive its digital customer engagement
people

Andy Etches

Founder and sports director, Rezzil
Rezzil was able to have an injured player learning his new manager's philosophy, positioning and playing style – all from a seated position
interview

Robotic muscles

We identified the need to step beyond the current approaches to muscle weakness, and move instead to placing robotic muscles exactly where they’re needed – inside the body
FreeMotion Fitness
FreeMotion Fitness