We’re here to talk about the fitness industry and moving the industry forward. This is not a time to fear technology or change. As William Gibson said “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed”. We’ll take you through some third-party research conducted for Life Fitness that shows how technology impacts a workout and therefore, will impact you, as facility owners and operators.
Exerciser expectations today have changed. It used to be that facilities had to differentiate themselves and on value and product. But today, in order to be competitive, we see facilities today needing to differentiate not only on value and product, but also on content. People expect access to their personal content everywhere. This goes as far back as the days of the walkman.
People are more “connected” than they have ever been: - Today there are 6 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, which would be equivalent to 87% of the world’s population - In the U.S., there are more wireless devices than there are people. - There are 1 billion active users on Facebook and 170 million active on Twitter - YouTube users watch more than 4 billion hours of video per month - The fitness industry is no exception with more than 10,000 fitness and health apps on the market and millions of fitness blogs
Our company often introduces new trends to market, and about 6 years ago, when we introduced the first Apple-connected product, we saw a new wave of fitness approaching: The technology era. To put this technology era into perspective for our customers, we conducted the 2012 Fitness and Technology survey among exercisers in 7 countries, so that we could prepare our industry for the next era of the fitness experience. In July of 2012, we worked with Cint, a global market research firm, to conduct 745 interviews via internet with consumers who exercise regularly and own a smartphone or tablet in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany and Brazil, and asked them questions about how they use technology to support their workouts. The 2012 Fitness and Technology Survey results clearly show that consumers have embraced technology, with nearly three-quarters (72%) using some type of technology during their workout.
For most, this was as simple as placing a smartphone or tablet on exercise equipment to play music or videos, while smaller numbers were able to take advantage of connected equipment or docking stations, computer screens or video screens built into the equipment itself.
57% of respondents bring their tablet or phone to the gym to use during their workout. But only 1/3 of those surveyed could connect their equipment to their mobile phones. For a club owner, you have to provide connected equipment for tech savvy users. Also consider providing WiFi access to facility users. Nearly all respondents, age 18 and up—96%-- said they found better access to online content on equipment desirable.
We’re seeing that the appetite for technology tied to exercise equipment outpaces its current availability. A full third of gym members would be willing to switch gyms to gain access to WiFi, docking stations, video, audio or online content available on equipment. In fact, nearly three-quarters of respondents age 50 or younger believe they would be encouraged to work out more if they had access to their personal content while exercising. When looking at the older generation, those age 51 and up, 41% said they would exercise more with better access to personal content.
What we’re seeing here is people telling us what motivates them. Respond to your customers/exercisers by surveying your gym goers to find out what personal content they want. Most of our respondents said that the content they wanted most was music, and music videos, followed by workout videos and movies. But again, the fastest way to give people access to their personal content is to allow your equipment to sync with their personal devices.
Open product platforms also establishing a link between an exerciser’s digital life and the workout experience, because being open allows app developers, even customers, to create software that works with product. An open platform will provide developers with access equipment software and the ability to customize apps leveraging workout presets, workout results, real time monitoring and more. Facility owners and managers can take advantage of open platform products to create customer-branded solutions and offer exercisers the most up-to-date content and entertainment to improve the workout experience.
The survey also showed that a majority (62%) of exercisers use some type of digital content OUTSIDE of the gym to support their workout program such as websites, apps or social media that offer advice or track progress. Most use more than one, 2-3 on average. -- These are things like fitness blogs, Twitter advice, workout tracking websites and workout program websites. -- The average amount of external sources people use to support their workouts is 2.4; younger (18 to 30) use 3.5-4 outside sources, older use 1.1 Exercisers are telling us they need help with their workouts, so they’re looking for outside sources. As a facility operator, you can provide that help to your members and become more valuable—establish a deeper connection with them. People stop working out due to bad experiences, like too many mirrors in a facility that highlight weight problems, or strength equipment geared towards women too close to the free weight rooms. Although we recognize we can’t control the facility itself, on the cardio side, we can deliver tools to help create a better experience. The co-founder of our company, Augie Nieto, had a vision to get people to the perfect workout, choosing to focus on heart rate training, so they weren’t working out too hard, but hard enough that they saw results. He was an advocate of tools, like heart rate monitors, personal trainers, and workout tracking to get you to that perfect workout. --People either workout too hard and they become sore, have a bad experience and don’t want to come back. So they’re frustrated. Or --They don’t work out hard enough, don’t see results and become discouraged and stop coming back. The changes they were experiencing were too gradual.
Other ways you can support your members or exercisers are : a. You need a website for exercisers to find branded information about working out in your facility. b. Try a blog to tell users what to eat when working out and provide them additional support for workouts outside of the gym. c. Establish social media channels d. Create workout videos with staff e. Offer value to keep exercisers coming back to your brand online. f. Connect their outside experience to the in-the-gym experience
Consumers that have access to some type of technology during their workouts consider themselves to be more successful at achieving their goals. Those with a gym membership also consider themselves to be more successful. And, not surprisingly, those that have access to technology at their gym are most likely to consider themselves to be successful in achieving fitness and weight loss goals. [In case of questions] • Tech: 57% of those who use technology considered themselves successful in achieving their fitness goals, compared to only 53% of those who did not use technology. • Gym: 61% of those with a gym membership considered themselves successful in achieving their fitness goals, compared to only 49% of those without a gym membership. • Tech AND Gym: 62% of those with a gym membership and technology considered themselves successful in achieving their fitness goals, compared to only 59% of those with a gym membership/NO technology; 44% of those with NO gym membership/plus technology; 51% NO gym membership/NO technology.
Most owners and operators in our industry already know that exercisers with gym-memberships have been shown to be more successful in achieving their fitness goals because of the added support in the facility. Technology is beginning to work hand-in-hand as a support system, so use it. Train your staff and personal trainers on how to incorporate technology into their education. Encourage them to teach members about workout tracking and show exercisers how to maximize the benefits of the equipment they’re working out on—show them how to use it. Personal Trainers should be helping their clients even when they are away from the gym- they can create workout programs for their clients online, and have the client stick to them during off-session days
So to come full circle, club owners need to differentiate themselves on value, product and now content How should facility owners and operators react? Give them More content More personalization More blog/online/app support – digital connectivity You need to be connected – many gyms don’t have wifi or internet for their members, or can’t support a large scale use of internet by all members. This is a major shift for our industry, but it’s not unlike previous technology changes. Life Fitness has had to adapt many times over the years.
--Last month Life Fitness made 3 major announcements to support our customers in this technology evolution. We announced an open platform on our products so customers and operators, as well as third-party developers could create apps that work with our equipment and make the work out experience better. Then, we announced a new line of tablet consoles on our Elevation Series product called Discover with both Android and Apple iOS compatibility, as well as super-responsive touch screens and Swipe technology. And to tie these all together, we introduced LFconnect, a cloud-based solution to help that lets facilities customize preferences on the equipment and end-users personalize the experience.
Life Fitness has always been an innovation leader. --The Lifecycle itself was the first computerized piece of cardiovascular equipment. --Then the LifeRower was the first video interactive product, followed by LifeCircuit, which was the first computerized strength equipment, and arguably still ahead of its time, some 25 years later. --We talked about networking our equipment back in the 80s and then were first to introduce networked product in collaboration with IBM called Lifecenter. --Life Fitness was first to offer an integrated LCD console, and the first to offer seamless connection to Apple products. --Often when we talk about innovation it relates to technology, but even earlier this year Life Fitness disrupted the market again when we introduced Synrgy360, a multi-functional trainer that redefined how exercisers train in small groups. So we’ll approach this technology era together and we think this will allow us to give our exercisers the most interactive exercise experience to date.
For more information about the survey I’ve referenced, and details on the Life Fitness products that address the changing technology landscape, visit: www.lifefitness.com/2012survey. You can also check out our blog, at LifeFitness.com/blog for additional content marketing ideas to reach your clients, and a sample questionaire to survey your members to learn more about their content needs.
The Evolution of Fitness and Technology
Life Fitness President Chris Clawson As President of world’s leading fitness equipment manufacturer, Chris Clawson has a unique vantage point of the fitness industry’s changing landscape. With a range of experience, including product development, marketing, and retail management, Clawson is dedicated not only to global leadership in product design and innovation, but to fostering partnerships that provide commercial customers and exercisers with enriching fitness solutions.#LFwebinar
Exerciser expectations in today’s modern gym: VALUE PRODUCT#LFwebinar
People are more connected than they have ever been 6 billion mobile subscriptions which would be equal to 87% In the U.S., there are percent of world’s population more wireless devices than there are people. There are more than 1 billion 4 BILLION HOURS 10,000+ fitness and health active users on Facebook and of video are watched by apps on the market and 170 million active on Twitter. YouTube users per month. millions of fitness blogs#LFwebinar
The 2012 Fitness and Technology Survey July 2012 Life Fitness Survey 745 interviews with consumers who exercised regularly and owned a smartphone or tablet.#LFwebinar
FACT: Consumers have embraced technology. use a form of technology during their workout.#LFwebinar
HOW TO ADAPT: Provide connected equipment and WiFi. 57% of respondents bring their tablet or phone to the gym. Only 1/3 of those surveyed could connect equipment to their phones.#LFwebinar
FACT: Members would switch gyms for technology access. One third of gym members would switch gyms to gain access to WiFi, docking stations, video, audio or online content on equipment. Nearly 3/4 of respondents 50 or younger believe they would be encouraged to work out more if they had access to their personal content while exercising.#LFwebinar
HOW TO ADAPT: Allow your equipment to sync with personal devices.#LFwebinar
HOW TO ADAPT: Allow your equipment to speak to personal devices with open platform products.#LFwebinar
FACT: 62% of exercisers use digital content outside the gym. 2-3 sources on average Fitness blogs Twitter advice Workout tracking websites Workout program websites#LFwebinar
HOW TO ADAPT: Provide fitness resources outside of the gym.#LFwebinar
FACT: Access to technology and gyms make exercisers feel more successful. Access to a gym and technology Access to technology Access to a gym#LFwebinar
HOW TO ADAPT: Train your staff and trainers to embrace technology. Encourage trainers to teach members about workout tracking. Show exercisers how to maximize the benefits of their equipment. Create additional resources for your members to use outside the gym.#LFwebinar
Club owners need to differentiate themselves on: VALUE PRODUCT How should club owners react? • More content • More personalization • More blog, online & app support#LFwebinar
Life Fitness solutions to the changing landscape#LFwebinar
Life Fitness has always been an innovation leader LifeRower was the first Lifecycle was the first video interactive computerized cardio project, followed by equipment. LifeCircuit. First to introduce networked Life Fitness was first to offer an Earlier this year we introduced product in collaboration with integrated LCD console, and the Synrgy360, a multi-functional IBM called Lifecenter. first to offer seamless trainer that redefined how connection to exercisers train in small groups. Apple products.#LFwebinar
Additional Information Learn more at: www.lifefitness.com/2012survey Questions? Tweet with us: #LFwebinar#LFwebinar