Technology is rapidly changing the way we get fit. Innovations in connectivity and tracking are creating new opportunities inside and outside of the gym environment. We can track our wellness 24-7, 365 days of the year, compete with other gym goers all around the globe and take our personal trainer with us wherever we go. The gym of the future is already here.
There’s a fitness revolution going on. Technology is changing the way we workout and stay healthy. Innovations in connectivity and tracking mean we’re increasingly able to monitor our wellness 24-7, 365 days of the year. We can compete with other gym goers all around the globe, take our personal trainer with us wherever we go and access a customised training experience all at the tap of a smartphone screen. The gym of the future is already here.
The past 18 months have seen an explosion in wearable tech. From fitness bands like the the Polar Loop that count our every move, to apps like MyFitnessPal that monitor what we eat. Apps that log our activity like MapMyFitness, Strava and Runkeeper are finding new homes on our wrist with the wave of new Google Wear smartwatches. We're even checking up on how well we sleep with products like the Withings Pulse.
We've never had so much information at our fingertips. The influence of technology on wellness has never been more pronounced but this just the start.
Wellness beyond four walls
All this innovation has made wellness - the combination of fitness, health, diet and life balance - go mainstream and while the gym remains a vital destination for most people looking to improve their health, technology is rapidly connecting the worlds inside and outside the gym.
Embracing this new technology is at the heart of Technogym’s own Wellness on the Go strategy. The idea behind Wellness on Go is to empower gym operators to shape new and tailor-made business models by managing their member’s activities inside and outside the club. But the individual remains at the centre according to Technogym’s visionary founder Nerio Alessandri.
"I like the idea of wellness on the go,” says Alessandri, moving the concept of fitness on. “So it's not only three times a week in the gym but 24 hours per day, seven days a week. It’s an attitude, something you should practice all the time, at work, at home, during free time…"
The sky’s the limit for Technogym’s cloud innovations
In the past two years Alessandro has backed the vision with cutting edge innovation. The launches of Unity, the world’s first Android 4.0-powered console for cardio equipment, the MyWellness Cloud and MyWellness Key have created the Technogym Ecosystem, allowing users worldwide to connect with their personal wellness anytime and anywhere. And there are a lot of users. A whopping 65,000 Wellness centers worldwide are equipped with Technogym equipment and 35 million users train every day on Technogym kit.
Connecting what these gym goers do indoors with what they do the rest of the time has huge potential. Smart gyms, like those using Technogym’s internet-connected equipment and MyWellness Cloud, now enable all of your workout data to be recorded in the cloud. So whether you’re working out in Miami or Manchester your trainer can log in and see how the session has gone, alter your plan according and offer advice and support from afar.
Training gets personal
The Wellness Cloud, is driven by the desire to create a holistic view of your health and well being, aggregating data from apps, gym machines and other devices, so that whether you're in the gym or cycling to work, you can record, measure and fine tune your whole lifestyle. It's the internet of fitness things where everything is connected and all your data is shared.
The new technology offers a great opportunity for consumers and the industry. It allows the industry to reach more people and it’s a great opportunity for gym clubs to connect with members even when they’re training outside the club.
If a personal trainer is willing to embrace technology there’s a real opportunity to extend their potential client base and give their customers a better range of fitness options no matter where they are in the world.
Moving for a Better World
Tracking is one thing but the team from the Wellness Valley has also recognised that people need motivation beyond just looking good. The cloud-connected gym can help here too. In 2014, Technogym launched a campaign called Let’s Move for a Better World.
The campaign combined the MyWellness activity tracker, MyWellness Cloud and the internet-connected fitness equipment to create a global challenge tracking gym goers and rewarding the fitness centre whose members moved the most. with the opportunity to donate a Technogym gym to a local school.
The challenge saw 50,000 people compete across 200 clubs worldwide. This gamification on a global scale was so successful the next edition will start in March 2015.
Technogym MyRunning Log Book
For those looking for competition a little closer to home, there’s Technogym’s application MyRunning Logbook. It takes data, such as heart rate, GPS map and workout intensity, recorded by outdoors run-tracking equipment from the likes of Polar and MapMyRun, and lets you recreate the run on Technogym’s UNITY powered ARTIS and Excite+ treadmills.
The total indoor-outdoor integration lets runners race against recent outdoor runs and follow their progress on Google Maps. They can even choose from a variety of experiences anywhere in the world. It’s not impossible to see how effective this might be when the tech enables it to be paired with Google Street View and Google’s new Trail View real world imaging and something like Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets.
The personal trainer of the future
This technology isn’t just changing the gym goer’s experience, personal trainers will have to adapt to a new array of tech-powered tools at their disposal too.
From an iPad and PC, they can create custom workouts by simply dragging and dropping exercises into a client’s programme. Each exercise can be assigned a How to video to demonstrate correct technique and shooting a video using the iPad is a five-minute job.
The suite of tools also lets a trainer monitor your progress with stats from each workout, long term trends like weightloss and body fat also feeding directly into a single page. If they notice that you haven’t trained recently, they can contact you at the click of a button to give you some extra motivation or guidance.
Far from begin a threat to fitness clubs, technology is simply turning the world into a gym. Thanks to this innovation, Nerio Alessandri’s vision of fun and fitness combining to create fully-rounded wellness is happening right now.