Fitness and Technology: Has anyone really nailed it?
Over the past three years, I've had the unique opportunity to participate in the humble beginnings of several start up companies who have focused on blending fitness and tech. While some start-ups build for the "at-home" mover, others wrestle with how to bring video or tech into the group fitness studio in hopes of updating the group fitness experience. I have watched some great ideas miss the mark and some who come close to delivering, simply run out of money and/or patience. The company that figures out how to simply bring users and instructors together will be the emerging winner in the race to grab a share of the ever changing and fickle fitness market.
Most companies have barely touched on how to successfully bring these two mediums together. They forget that the instructor is the key. They try to "over-tech" users, the technology is too hard to use, with too many buttons to press. This happens quite a bit in the indoor cycling community. Lots of cool new bikes, with lots of bells and whistles. Yet, nobody knows how to use it. The Instructors enthusiasm and articulation being the major make it or break it rule.
Many have barely scratched the surface. Some sites have failed miserably and others have forgotten the goal. The fitness community is always looking for the latest and greatest new widget to improve their physique or inspire the overall experience. It is the coach that remembers your name, that keeps people coming back. Building websites and apps that do not help expand a coaches reach cannot stand the test of time. It is the instructor that inspires their movers. We are the pushers of the fitness world using adrenaline & fun to coerce our students & clients to "buy-in".
While others are still trying to push the boundaries of technology by writing endless amounts of code. I prophesize the winners of the tech- fitness race to be those companies that learn to utilize great instructors and focus on building community locally.