In this episode, Matt and Rick discuss Alloy’s view on wearable fitness technology and how it fits into the whole wellness orientation of the Alloy Personal Training Franchise business model.
In the current Alloy model, we do not use wearable tech as part of our personal training programs, but use it as one point in a hub of wellness components. It has not always been the case; we used to have specific heart rate belts with a screen where people would track their effort during workouts and outside the gym. However, from our personal training experience, we intuitively knew that having your heart rate as high as possible is not the end goal of a workout, and neither is it the ideal way to train. We had essentially created a tool that drove behavior we didn’t want in the gym, and we focused on a broader wellness approach.
For personal training brands and gym owners, we need to understand where we fit into the broader ecosystem of fitness and wellness. We are more of a hub of our client’s health and wellness, and we are not competing with technology, but trying to understand how it fits in our client’s overall goals.
Where is wearable technology now? In the fitness industry, one of the biggest competitors is the cell phone. Cell phone technology is going to become more compelling with faster technology, virtual reality, and AI enhancing every app and feature.
At Alloy, we tried using heart rate monitors at first, but the problem that we had, is that we gave people a tool to focus on that wasn’t what we wanted them to focus on. So by default, we were endorsing it. Then we ran challenges that were based on exactly what we knew we shouldn’t be doing. From an overall wellness point of view, clients need to do different exercise and there’s proper ways to cycle exercise, which we call periodization. Just focusing on a heart rate monitor and counting how many calories you burn in a workout does not qualify whether it was a good workout. So we saw just tracking calories burned was not addressing the whole health, wellness, and fitness ecosystem. The overall ecosystem of fitness involves lots of moving parts including sleep, recovery, nutrition, supplementation, strength training, and cardiovascular training. So the client used the heart rate monitor or fitness tracker and only focused on one spoke of the wellness wheel or hub.
For gym owners. you can’t be one stop shop and you cannot own the entire wellness ecosystem like in the past where the gym was the hub of all health and fitness. With a 5G cell phone as a competitor in people’s pockets. Instead of trying to be all things to clients. Since you will not build your own watch or beat Apple at technology, you just need to understand how technology fits into the ecosystem.
For example, let’s say an Alloy client performs a lot of cardiovascular activity outside of the gym and wears their fitness watch. They already know their heart rate information, but we would teach the client about recovery and how to use their wearable for recovery. We help people manage their health and fitness in the wellness hub to understand how sleep affects your health and how nutrition and supplementation effect their recovery and performance.
So if the client really wants to use their tracking watch, we work on their goals and individualized approach to their personal training. At Alloy we don’t have thousands of members, which makes it much easier to approach each person as an individual. We look at this wellness ecosystem with technology and accountability to coach people around all the hub spokes. As the hub means understanding how all the moving parts work together and how those things apply to that individual right in front of you. So technology is going to be a big part of clients’ lives and it is a competitor, but we can also leverage it as gym owners. Now, there are many online fitness technologies providing digital offerings right now. The real magic is in setting us your fitness business as the hub, which means having knowledge of those working parts and being able to approach each person as an individual, point them in the right direction, and manage their overall wellness.
Listen in to learn more on how wearable tech fits into the wider ecosystem of fitness, health and wellness. We will also share how gym owners can fit wearable fitness technology into their business model.
- How tech is a competitor to any fitness brand (01:36)
- Where the Alloy fitness franchise brand stands on wearable tech (02:23)
- How wearables fit into the broader ecosystem of fitness (06:10)
- Why people who wear wearables gain weight (10:14)
- Why personal training brands are a hub of people’s health and wellness (11:26)
- Using tech to enhance customer experience (14:00)
- It’s about health and wellness, not just workouts (17:24)
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