All over the world, fitness facilities continue to challenge themselves to create innovative ways to stay connected with their communities. These loyal members depend on their favorite fitness providers to deliver the classes they know and love. But now, even as gyms begin to reopen, fitness lovers are depending on new offerings, such as virtual programming to maintain their daily fitness routines.
Virtual programming is a combination of exercise and technology and it is changing the landscape of the typical fitness routine. By providing virtual fitness offerings, facilities are showing their support for their valued members and strengthening their ties to their community while creating innovative revenue solutions for their business. This new wave of at-home-fitness has given facilities worldwide the opportunity to create new and innovative solutions for their members. Virtual programming not only allows current members to stay connected with their favorite instructors, but it attracts new members, who otherwise would be unable to participate. These online programs allow fitness enthusiasts to join hundreds of different fitness classes in different parts of the world, straight from the luxury of their own home.
One facility capitalizing on the demand for virtual programming is Ethos Cycle & Train in Bloomington, Indiana. Ethos was affected just as much as other local facilities which forced Ethos Owner and Certified Schwinn Master Instructor, Tatiana Kolovou to spring into action.
“When Covid-19 blindsided all of us, I was pretty stressed because cashflow would go down to zero and people would be fearful of group exercise for months to come,” said Kolovou.
Tatiana quickly thought of ways to jumpstart cashflow by renting out all their Schwinn bikes which created a way for members to pay for classes outside of the pricey booking system they were utilizing. Ethos created a professional Zoom account, purchased microphones, lights and cameras and created their first, virtual studio.
“Three months later I can confidently say that we have held onto our piece of the local fitness clientele and have gained support for community members who want to support a small local business,” Kolovou continued. “As businesses begin to re-open, our palette has expanded into TRX, rowing and stretching classes in an effort to meet the needs of our exercisers.”
Other facilities across the globe are doing what they can to stay connected to their members. Heart Cycling Studio in Romania has been in operation for over four years, continuously building their loyal clientele. When the global pandemic struck their facility and in flooded the wave of restrictions, Heart Cycling immediately began researching and planning their course of action. Heart also began renting out their equipment to their members and decided to teach free online classes through Zoom and Facebook LIVE. Teaching these online classes has made it possible for Heart’s members and followers to ride together, as one global audience.
Co-Owner of Heart Cycling Studio and Schwinn Master Instructor, Lucian Moldovan said, “After two months and more than 40 classes we’ve changed our plan to unlimited subscriptions per month and plan to keep at least one class per week after the world finds its new normal. We want to continue to offer people the chance to connect with us, even though they are hundreds or even thousands of miles away.”
In addition to the investments and preparations Heart Cycling Studio made to create their online presence, Motosumo played an integral role in their virtual programming success. Lucian continues, “We’re receiving live feedback from the side of the member, seeing how efficiently they enjoy our sessions by looking at their results on our leaderboard. It’s absolutely vital for any club who wants a future in fitness, to move their activity online and continue to keep close to the very essence of why we do what we do: our members!”
More and more businesses are quickly adapting to the situation and launching online training as the virtual programming trend seems like it’s here to stay. Various platforms are readily available to help establish a virtual presence in the fitness industry. Join the hundreds of businesses that have capitalized on this already to create virtual programming for their members.
If you need help getting started, let us know and we can connect you with our robust network of fitness trainers who are experts in this area, or our partners who are offering unique solutions to these new challenges.