What is CoachMePlus?
CoachMePlus is built around a simple idea, to help coaches and athletes work together to achieve their fitness-related goals. From that idea, highly configurable enterprise software with an app front-end was created. We now have tools that manage fitness, nutrition, wellness and data from other wearables and fitness apps, all in one system, so coaches and trainers have the tools they need to help their athletes. Remote fitness has become the new normal, and we want to help fitness pros stay connected with their clients and athletes.
How did you come up with the concept? Why was it needed?
Back in 2002, the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres came to my company with a problem. All of their workouts were once delivered via paper books and out to the athletes. This effort was time-consuming, cumbersome, and not very helpful. We helped the team create a CDROM version of their workouts and nutrition guides, and made it more interactive.
The idea of taking the system to an online platform was only natural, and we built the first prototype in 2010. We also noticed something else. The coach, Doug McKenney, had technology all around the gym. A BodPod, Woodway treadmills, FirstBeat, Tendo, etc. Each of these technologies had their own software and silo. It only seemed natural to integrate with that data and make a comprehensive view of the athlete. Immediately, the coaches became more informed and more efficient. The players loved seeing their progress and getting competitive with their fitness results.
How has the service evolved over time?
As we built the prototype, we noticed that the same problem was playing out across the entire fitness industry. Gyms and personal trainers have the same issue as coaches from professional sports teams, colleges, high schools, and human performance facilities. Our app quickly grew in popularity in leading-edge facilities and those looking for those incremental increases in performance. Now, the fitness industry is ready for remote fitness, and our platform is now available for prime-time with trainers and clients.
What are the main benefits of CoachMePlus for coaches?
For gyms and personal trainers, clients walk into their facilities with the competition in their own pockets. Fitness apps are designed to train clients without a coach or trainer on the other side. We give coaches and trainers a tool for connection, retention and compliance for their athletes and clients.
We also provide those coaches with the data from their client’s wearable fitness devices such as Apple Watch, Wahoo, Garmin, FitBit, Whoop, Polar, MyFitnessPal, LoseIt, and more to help coaches become more informed and helpful. Using workout planning tools allows them to assign group-specific training and save time while being able to hyper-individualise programming needs.
Messaging and communication tools keep coaches connected, and hydration, nutrition, body weight, and an unlimited amount of goals tracking round out a complete tool for coaches to maintain their client’s progress and retain them as they continue their success.
And for athletes?
For athletes, the most important thing is knowing that someone on the other side helps them reach their goals. Their needs are specific to their situation, and no single fitness app or wearable can provide the guidance they require to get there. Having their coach or trainer provide individualised workouts, nutrition, guidance, and education while being connected to their data pushes athletes to maintain their health, wellness, fitness, and safety.
Athletes are empowered by connecting their own wearable devices and technology, reviewing their dashboards and progress, and seeing the programmes and guidance that the coaches prescribe them.
To what extent can the system be customised?
The one thing we learned is that no two organisations do things the same way. From single personal trainers to gyms, universities, and up to the United States Air Force and Navy, every coach has a distinct set of needs that have to be addressed. Our system is fully customisable to deal with all of the different roles an organisation may have, such as trainers, exercise physiologists, strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists, physical therapists, and athletic trainers.
Tell us more about the data that the system makes available
CoachMePlus turns data into action. Sources of data can come from the gym and at-home workouts, nutrition tracking, hydration tracking, and fitness technology. If you take a look at the technology stack from the fitness space, it is ever-growing, continually evolving, and will only continue. Using a platform like CoachMePlus allows an organisation to future-proof their technology decisions and develop as the market changes.
Data can be taken from heart rates, HRV, body composition, movement assessment, sleep, stress, mood, pain, soreness, GPS, velocity-based training, and more. Once this data becomes centralised, analysed, and displayed, it is turned into actionable insights that coaches can use to make informed decisions.
What technology is used?
The core of the system is what we call the Algorithm Engine. This tool allows any data point in the system to be connected and gives you the power to write unique algorithms to help make decisions. These algorithms can drive results in data visualisation tools and notifications that help a coach make smarter decisions.
Basing the data on trends, recent analysis, goal ranges, and future projections keeps training progress on track. Best-practice sports science-driven algorithms are built into the application, which takes some of the burdens off the coach who’s analysing the data. It’s a combination of algorithms and a coach providing guidance that creates the best outcome for the athlete.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
After reaching cash-positive in 2019, we approached 2020 with scaling in mind. The last year provided many lessons for us in scaling the packaged product space – while opening a new world of opportunities.
The entire fitness industry has accelerated through an evolution into a blended model of in-person and remote fitness. When the pandemic first hit, we were overwhelmed by the fivefold increase in inbounds and interest in our remote fitness offerings. We had to learn to become more efficient with our marketing efforts and lead-to-conversion ratio.
We found a sweet spot that allows us to scale effectively, and we now have a profitable business model that can scale with additional resources. We’ve added sales and marketing staff to go after the $1.3 billion market opportunity in front of us.
We expect the shift to continue as gyms and in-person training comes back to life. It is this blend of in-person and remote fitness that is the future.