Online Fitness
Taking it home

Tom Walker explores the apps that are using virtual exercise content to extend the reach of fitness far beyond the walls of the gym

By Tom Walker | Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 3


Insight by Les Mills shows that 82 per cent of gym members already train at home. More interestingly, perhaps, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of those who work out at home use virtual fitness apps and digital platforms to guide and aid them. This suggests that online-based classes and exercise programmes are no passing trend: digital, virtual fitness is now a sector of its own and is most certainly here to stay.

We spoke to some of the leading online fitness providers to see how they make their content available, and how clubs could benefit by prescribing a total at-home and in-club fitness solution.


Beachbody On Demand

 

Thomas Parrott
 
Thomas Parrott Vice president Beachbody UK

Broadly, our On Demand service is another iteration of our successful DVDs – a huge library of exercises targeting all ages and abilities. The platforms we’re on include iOS (iPhones and iPads), Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku. We’re very close to launching on Android too.

We have a huge On Demand library – if you were to do all the workouts included in just our basic package (£12.95 a month) without sleeping a wink, you’d be exercising for around 25 days continuously. However, we’ve made it very simple to navigate and choose workouts and programmes.

There’s also a large library of premium content available for purchase, such as the popular Core de Force programming. We’re constantly looking for new things. For an example, we recently added a 21-day yoga retreat programme and a food section to the app, showing users how to cook healthily – so the app’s content isn’t just about fitness. It’s about wellness.

The content is currently available in English and Spanish. French and other languages will come online as we grow and expand – we currently have just short of one million users globally.

But we want to work with clubs, not against them. For example, some of our content can be streamed directly to a screen in a club. Meanwhile, some users are taking their phones to clubs and using the gym equipment to do our workouts.


 


shutterstock

Beachbody’s app caters for all abilities

Les Mills On Demand

 

Martin Franklin
 
Martin Franklin CEO Les Mills UK

The Les Mills On Demand (LMOD) service is available as an app on a large number of devices – on iOS (iPhones, iPads, Apple TV4), Android, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, as well as through online streaming on any web-enabled device. It was launched in response to consumer demand – people are already exercising at home and are looking for content, so it’s a space we felt we needed to enter.

LMOD features a huge back catalogue of Les Mills classes, all customised for online video access. It’s the only app that has this content – we do have partnerships with virtual partners who screen our classes in clubs, but no other service can offer Les Mills classes outside the club environment.

If you consider that, in January, we launched the 100th release of BodyPump, that gives an idea of the huge back catalogue of content we have to keep the On Demand service fresh.

Subscription costs £9.99 a month and that includes all the content. There’s no premium content you have to pay extra for. There’s also a social platform – Squad – where people can share their Les Mills experience.

As for clubs, On Demand can help them break down their four walls and boost retention by offering members more. If members subscribe to LMOD through their club, they get a 20 per cent discount. In addition, after every film and activity, there’s a link to “find a class near you” which directs the users to local clubs offering the class they just did.


 



LMOD: Exercise anywhere, any time

Yogaia

 

Mikko Petäjä
 
Mikko Petäjä Founder and CEO Yogaia

I had the idea to set up an app that offered live, interactive online yoga about three and half years ago, when I was looking to attend real, live classes online and couldn’t find any. I saw it as an opportunity, as pre-recorded videos don’t really offer the same levels of engagement as live classes.

Yogaia is an early stage venture whose biggest owners – apart from myself – are Nokia Growth Partners, Inventure, Point Nine Capital and Sanoma, alongside a few angel investors and close to 100 crowd funders. All the employees are shareholders too.

Yogaia is available as a web service and as an app on the Apple App Store and GooglePlay. Premium users have the choice of attending live classes with or without webcam – with a camera on, the user gets personalised instruction during the class.

We do offer on-demand too: all live classes are automatically recorded and available as recordings after the event. Classes can also be downloaded for use without internet connection.

Membership costs between £7.49 and £14.99 a month depending on the billing period and it’s always all-inclusive. A free-to-use option offers limited recorded class content only.

We have around 50 new English-language live classes every week (alongside the 50 classes in Finnish). The bulk of the content is yoga (largely vinyasa flow and relaxing, but also other types) and also barre tone, stretch, pilates, core, total body workout and meditation. The class lengths vary from 10–75 minutes. We also offer special content such as talks and workshops.

Our mission is to make yoga more accessible to more people: we already have over 200,000 users and our biggest markets are Finland, the UK and the US.

We haven’t yet partnered with a health and fitness club, but have been in talks with some in an attempt to find a model that adds value to both parties.


 



Yogaia now has over 200,000 users, with the UK a key market

Max My Minutes

 

Finlay Murray
 
Finlay Murray Founder Max My Minutes

Max My Minutes is a platform that allows its users to upload, host and broadcast video to be played either by streaming or offline, on smartphones or mirroring to larger screens. The app has been developed with versions for both Apple and Android devices.

The idea is that, by opening up channels for any creator to offer their content to consumers, we can tap into the latest ideas and innovations. The content is then filtered by users to highlight the best videos, with ratings based on play popularity.

We wanted to provide a hub that connects content creators and players and where people discover new and exclusive content. We therefore offer two main user functions: ‘content player’ and ‘content creator’. Users can be both players and creators.

The ‘player’ can browse workout video content on a play dashboard, organised by popularity of plays. They can rate the workout, track creators, track minutes played and can compete with other users.

The ‘creator’ can upload and tag video clips, mix or sequence clips into workouts, tag workouts and broadcast workouts. They can open their channel on the platform, where they can curate a library of clips and workouts that can be broadcast as they like.

We leave the content to the creators and we’re already seeing workout videos covering everything from calisthenics, martial arts and boxing to dance, yoga, general conditioning and combinations thereof, which is where things get really interesting.  

Max My Minutes takes advantage of the technological innovations that now put high quality video-making and video-editing tools in our hands, on our phones.

Our overall ambition is to enable the best content creators to broadcast their content to a welcoming audience. We’re on a continuous search for the very best content creators and we’re always looking to promote the latest, most innovative content.


 


shutterstock

Max My Minutes is a content-sharing app

Wellbeats

 

Ian Donley
 
Ian Donley Managing director Wellbeats

The Wellbeats mobile app is best leveraged when paired with an in-facility system, as the idea is to offer fitness ‘on tap’ wherever users are – at a fitness facility, at work, at home or on the go. There are more than 20 channels/genres and hundreds of fitness classes, workout plans and assessments – all available anytime, anywhere, on any personal device. Our user-friendly filters make it easy for users to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Because we produce our own content, we can keep costs low. For example, 500 streaming licences cost 76p per licence per month for unlimited classes. Clubs can either pass these costs on to users, choose to make it an added-value service as part of the overall membership, or use it as an additional profit centre – charging members £4.99 a month, for example.

We aim to extend a health club’s relationship with its members outside the four walls of the gym. The at-home fitness market is vying for members’ wallet-share; clubs need to meet these needs to stay relevant and competitive in the technology age.


 



Wellbeats has over 20 channels

Wexer Mobile

 

Paul Bowman
 
Paul Bowman CEO Wexer

Wexer Mobile is a fully customisable app which allows fitness operators to deliver high quality fitness experiences to their members either through live-streaming technology or as an on-demand service. It offers a range of features including an exercise library, class timetable and booking system.

We’ve integrated three features that we believe will engage consumers inside and outside the four walls of the gym: result-driven fitness plans; group exercise classes on-demand (500 classes from our world-class partners); and live streaming (helping to grow the audience for health clubs’ own group exercise talent).

We offer two commercial models. Operators can integrate the cost of the app into their existing membership models as an add-on member benefit or a free member benefit. Alternatively, they can offer the app separately as a pay-to-access premium service, or as a ‘freemium’ model where users can access certain features of the app free of charge.


 


shutterstock

Wexer Mobile is a fully customisable app

Fitness on Demand

 

Garrett Marshall
 
Garrett Marshall Divisional CEO Fitness On Demand

Launched on 9 February 2017 and available on both Android and iOS, the new Fitness on Demand app offers virtual fitness as well as allowing club members to stay connected with their gym. Through the app, members can browse and preview hundreds of virtual classes, as well as viewing and booking upcoming classes at their club. The app can even be used to cast classes to the large format video display in a club.

The free-to-member app allows gyms to showcase a mobile app timetable (live and virtual), enables them to collect class and instructor feedback (on live and virtual), and provides a workout log for group fitness classes. The workout log feature also keeps users accountable, while integrating with wearable devices via Apple Health Kit.

Our content library is always expanding to offer the latest trends in fitness, plus all the classic favourites. We have content on the system for all fitness levels, and even content specific for kids and seniors. The product is available in English, Spanish and Italian.


 



The app is able to cast classes to a large screen in the club
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2017 issue 3

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Taking it home

Online Fitness

Taking it home


Tom Walker explores the apps that are using virtual exercise content to extend the reach of fitness far beyond the walls of the gym

Tom Walker, Leisure Media

Insight by Les Mills shows that 82 per cent of gym members already train at home. More interestingly, perhaps, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of those who work out at home use virtual fitness apps and digital platforms to guide and aid them. This suggests that online-based classes and exercise programmes are no passing trend: digital, virtual fitness is now a sector of its own and is most certainly here to stay.

We spoke to some of the leading online fitness providers to see how they make their content available, and how clubs could benefit by prescribing a total at-home and in-club fitness solution.


Beachbody On Demand

 

Thomas Parrott
 
Thomas Parrott Vice president Beachbody UK

Broadly, our On Demand service is another iteration of our successful DVDs – a huge library of exercises targeting all ages and abilities. The platforms we’re on include iOS (iPhones and iPads), Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku. We’re very close to launching on Android too.

We have a huge On Demand library – if you were to do all the workouts included in just our basic package (£12.95 a month) without sleeping a wink, you’d be exercising for around 25 days continuously. However, we’ve made it very simple to navigate and choose workouts and programmes.

There’s also a large library of premium content available for purchase, such as the popular Core de Force programming. We’re constantly looking for new things. For an example, we recently added a 21-day yoga retreat programme and a food section to the app, showing users how to cook healthily – so the app’s content isn’t just about fitness. It’s about wellness.

The content is currently available in English and Spanish. French and other languages will come online as we grow and expand – we currently have just short of one million users globally.

But we want to work with clubs, not against them. For example, some of our content can be streamed directly to a screen in a club. Meanwhile, some users are taking their phones to clubs and using the gym equipment to do our workouts.


 


shutterstock

Beachbody’s app caters for all abilities

Les Mills On Demand

 

Martin Franklin
 
Martin Franklin CEO Les Mills UK

The Les Mills On Demand (LMOD) service is available as an app on a large number of devices – on iOS (iPhones, iPads, Apple TV4), Android, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, as well as through online streaming on any web-enabled device. It was launched in response to consumer demand – people are already exercising at home and are looking for content, so it’s a space we felt we needed to enter.

LMOD features a huge back catalogue of Les Mills classes, all customised for online video access. It’s the only app that has this content – we do have partnerships with virtual partners who screen our classes in clubs, but no other service can offer Les Mills classes outside the club environment.

If you consider that, in January, we launched the 100th release of BodyPump, that gives an idea of the huge back catalogue of content we have to keep the On Demand service fresh.

Subscription costs £9.99 a month and that includes all the content. There’s no premium content you have to pay extra for. There’s also a social platform – Squad – where people can share their Les Mills experience.

As for clubs, On Demand can help them break down their four walls and boost retention by offering members more. If members subscribe to LMOD through their club, they get a 20 per cent discount. In addition, after every film and activity, there’s a link to “find a class near you” which directs the users to local clubs offering the class they just did.


 



LMOD: Exercise anywhere, any time

Yogaia

 

Mikko Petäjä
 
Mikko Petäjä Founder and CEO Yogaia

I had the idea to set up an app that offered live, interactive online yoga about three and half years ago, when I was looking to attend real, live classes online and couldn’t find any. I saw it as an opportunity, as pre-recorded videos don’t really offer the same levels of engagement as live classes.

Yogaia is an early stage venture whose biggest owners – apart from myself – are Nokia Growth Partners, Inventure, Point Nine Capital and Sanoma, alongside a few angel investors and close to 100 crowd funders. All the employees are shareholders too.

Yogaia is available as a web service and as an app on the Apple App Store and GooglePlay. Premium users have the choice of attending live classes with or without webcam – with a camera on, the user gets personalised instruction during the class.

We do offer on-demand too: all live classes are automatically recorded and available as recordings after the event. Classes can also be downloaded for use without internet connection.

Membership costs between £7.49 and £14.99 a month depending on the billing period and it’s always all-inclusive. A free-to-use option offers limited recorded class content only.

We have around 50 new English-language live classes every week (alongside the 50 classes in Finnish). The bulk of the content is yoga (largely vinyasa flow and relaxing, but also other types) and also barre tone, stretch, pilates, core, total body workout and meditation. The class lengths vary from 10–75 minutes. We also offer special content such as talks and workshops.

Our mission is to make yoga more accessible to more people: we already have over 200,000 users and our biggest markets are Finland, the UK and the US.

We haven’t yet partnered with a health and fitness club, but have been in talks with some in an attempt to find a model that adds value to both parties.


 



Yogaia now has over 200,000 users, with the UK a key market

Max My Minutes

 

Finlay Murray
 
Finlay Murray Founder Max My Minutes

Max My Minutes is a platform that allows its users to upload, host and broadcast video to be played either by streaming or offline, on smartphones or mirroring to larger screens. The app has been developed with versions for both Apple and Android devices.

The idea is that, by opening up channels for any creator to offer their content to consumers, we can tap into the latest ideas and innovations. The content is then filtered by users to highlight the best videos, with ratings based on play popularity.

We wanted to provide a hub that connects content creators and players and where people discover new and exclusive content. We therefore offer two main user functions: ‘content player’ and ‘content creator’. Users can be both players and creators.

The ‘player’ can browse workout video content on a play dashboard, organised by popularity of plays. They can rate the workout, track creators, track minutes played and can compete with other users.

The ‘creator’ can upload and tag video clips, mix or sequence clips into workouts, tag workouts and broadcast workouts. They can open their channel on the platform, where they can curate a library of clips and workouts that can be broadcast as they like.

We leave the content to the creators and we’re already seeing workout videos covering everything from calisthenics, martial arts and boxing to dance, yoga, general conditioning and combinations thereof, which is where things get really interesting.  

Max My Minutes takes advantage of the technological innovations that now put high quality video-making and video-editing tools in our hands, on our phones.

Our overall ambition is to enable the best content creators to broadcast their content to a welcoming audience. We’re on a continuous search for the very best content creators and we’re always looking to promote the latest, most innovative content.


 


shutterstock

Max My Minutes is a content-sharing app

Wellbeats

 

Ian Donley
 
Ian Donley Managing director Wellbeats

The Wellbeats mobile app is best leveraged when paired with an in-facility system, as the idea is to offer fitness ‘on tap’ wherever users are – at a fitness facility, at work, at home or on the go. There are more than 20 channels/genres and hundreds of fitness classes, workout plans and assessments – all available anytime, anywhere, on any personal device. Our user-friendly filters make it easy for users to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Because we produce our own content, we can keep costs low. For example, 500 streaming licences cost 76p per licence per month for unlimited classes. Clubs can either pass these costs on to users, choose to make it an added-value service as part of the overall membership, or use it as an additional profit centre – charging members £4.99 a month, for example.

We aim to extend a health club’s relationship with its members outside the four walls of the gym. The at-home fitness market is vying for members’ wallet-share; clubs need to meet these needs to stay relevant and competitive in the technology age.


 



Wellbeats has over 20 channels

Wexer Mobile

 

Paul Bowman
 
Paul Bowman CEO Wexer

Wexer Mobile is a fully customisable app which allows fitness operators to deliver high quality fitness experiences to their members either through live-streaming technology or as an on-demand service. It offers a range of features including an exercise library, class timetable and booking system.

We’ve integrated three features that we believe will engage consumers inside and outside the four walls of the gym: result-driven fitness plans; group exercise classes on-demand (500 classes from our world-class partners); and live streaming (helping to grow the audience for health clubs’ own group exercise talent).

We offer two commercial models. Operators can integrate the cost of the app into their existing membership models as an add-on member benefit or a free member benefit. Alternatively, they can offer the app separately as a pay-to-access premium service, or as a ‘freemium’ model where users can access certain features of the app free of charge.


 


shutterstock

Wexer Mobile is a fully customisable app

Fitness on Demand

 

Garrett Marshall
 
Garrett Marshall Divisional CEO Fitness On Demand

Launched on 9 February 2017 and available on both Android and iOS, the new Fitness on Demand app offers virtual fitness as well as allowing club members to stay connected with their gym. Through the app, members can browse and preview hundreds of virtual classes, as well as viewing and booking upcoming classes at their club. The app can even be used to cast classes to the large format video display in a club.

The free-to-member app allows gyms to showcase a mobile app timetable (live and virtual), enables them to collect class and instructor feedback (on live and virtual), and provides a workout log for group fitness classes. The workout log feature also keeps users accountable, while integrating with wearable devices via Apple Health Kit.

Our content library is always expanding to offer the latest trends in fitness, plus all the classic favourites. We have content on the system for all fitness levels, and even content specific for kids and seniors. The product is available in English, Spanish and Italian.


 



The app is able to cast classes to a large screen in the club

Originally published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 3

Published by The Leisure Media Company Ltd Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd