How do you imagine the gym of the future? Does your vision include running on omnidirectional treadmills, devices that can be operated by voice activation or a holographic display with your most important health statistics that appears as soon as you enter the studio?
While some of these opportunities emerge faster than others, it’s never too late to make future plans for your own gym. There were some great suggestions at the leading fitness trade fairs IHRSA and FIBO 2019 , where the world’s leading fitness providers presented their latest and most interesting offers. In this article, we’ll look at fitness-related technologies that will come to us faster than you might think. Get an overview of the rapid technological developments before they have become an integral part of the fitness world and are available to the masses.
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Virtual and Augmented Reality
Can you imagine a world in which all of your training sessions take place in impressive locations, for example on rocky mountain peaks or even in the endless expanse of space? This adventurous and exciting idea is no longer so far-fetched thanks to the possibilities that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) offer us.
In addition to the training benefits that VR and AR have to offer, this new method has many other advantages:
- Gamification is an integral part of every VR experience, as game-typical environments are used as the setting for pursuing a central training goal. Since VR experiences with their playful elements can be addictive, there is a good chance that users will come back to face their next challenge or to outdo their friends’ scores. Gyms can use the VR gamification factor to strengthen their members’ loyalty and loyalty.
- You can concentrate on correct posture . An essential part of VR training is to perform your movements precisely and according to specifications in order to achieve your goal. No matter whether it is about beating an opponent or doing the chest press exercise with optimal strength.
- Data acquisition is easy . Each VR system is synchronized with the movements of its user and can provide important statistics during the game or training and afterwards. This data-oriented access enables trainees to set goals in order to advance in training and to optimize their own abilities.
What steps can you take to integrate virtual reality into your gym?
First think about the space required. VR users need enough space to be able to move freely. After all, you don’t want to get a bruise because you hit a wall instead of hitting the virtual punching bag. Black Box VR, a company that specializes in custom VR training environments, uses rooms that are approximately 2.5 x 2.5 m. Other VR and AR fitness offers take place on fitness equipment, such as cross trainers or indoor cycling bikes. Even if the space required for each fitness machine is smaller, the distance between the machines has to be generous if a user gets a little too much into training during a demanding bike tour around the rings of Saturn. Is there a place in your gym
Another aspect to consider is which VR or AR equipment you want to use in your facility. In order to be able to offer a training experience without compromises, you need suitable gaming software, headsets, hand sensors, screens and, depending on the type of training, other accessories if necessary. The initial investment can therefore be correspondingly high. Start with budget planning for all the necessary purchases to successfully implement your VR or AR project in the gym.
Pay Per Visit Gyms
Many fitness clubs use services such as ClassPass® or Zeamo®, which offer exercisers in many places around the world the opportunity to choose which fitness clubs or special boutique fitness courses they want to attend. As has been shown, it is becoming increasingly popular, especially among millennials, to pay for individual favorite courses or gyms without having to sign a long-term contract with just one institution.
What does this mean for conventional gyms that are considering using a pay-per-visit model in addition to regular memberships? Although the thought of making your studio less accessible to gym enthusiasts can be troubling, there are also some reasons to do so. The model can bring in additional income from people who would not normally drop in on you. For example, business travelers who are in the city for a week or two may be looking for an appealing location for their daily training.
In addition, these services give you the chance to gain trainees who use offers such as ClassPass® or Zeamo®. Every time trainees come over to try out courses or use your equipment, you have the opportunity to get in touch and convince them of your offer and staff. Use these moments to motivate new visitors to join you, or invite them to bring friends next time.
Today’s fitness consumers are looking for more than just the high-quality cardio and strength machines that are offered in the various fitness studios. You want an experience without compromises: friendly and knowledgeable staff, flexible opening times and courses, special services such as a smoothie bar or fine shampoos, as well as clearly recognizable prices and apps that you can use to register for training sessions. These consumers are used to relying entirely on technology in everyday life and expect that their life in the gym is no different.
Of course, integrating all of these functions into your existing fitness facility is easier said than done, as a seamless first-class experience depends on so many different aspects. In addition, the budget and priorities of each gym are different. Accordingly, the extent to which you focus on the member experience will vary as you consider the various options.
The Networked Fitness cardio console technology offers a first-class experience that is relatively easy to achieve . Today’s cardio consoles combine numerous program and entertainment options, third-party fitness apps and social media channels, in addition to other advantages such as the ability to track training and Bluetooth connectivity.
As fitness technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, we can assume that console technology will also make progress. Don’t miss the opportunity to let your members experience the strong fitness connectivity that Networked Fitness offers.
With many of these advances in technology already happening, it’s time to consider how your gym can keep up with them. Be realistic about your gym’s mission, but start planning how you can create such future-oriented experiences on your own premises.