In fitness we often hear about technology, data and artificial intelligence as a possible disrupter in the market. Although these terms sound interesting, it is not always easy to imagine how they look like in practice. Recently Les Mills Media CEO Jean-Michel Fournier talked about the fit-tech of the future.
A fitness survey shows that 80% of fitness users are Millenials and Gen Z. They all grew up with digital technology and “anywhere and everywhere” services like Netflix. These generations tend to prefer a five-star hotel-like fitness environment or.. fitness at home.
You might now the company Les Mills for its high intensity workouts – like Bodypump or RPM – that you have joined in your local fitness club. Chances are you expect a company like Les Mills to fully focus on their group workouts. Wrong.
Les Mills Media CEO Jean-Michel Fournier points at the fact that 85% of club members also exercise at home. 85 per cent. That is quite a lot. When I talk about exercising at home on demand, I often hear people don’t believe that this is the future. People are social animals who want to interact with other people, they say. And that is true. Therefore group workouts will always play an important role in fitness. However.
Liking social interaction at a fitness club does not exclude the possibility of exercising at home (or at work). With new augmented reality, it will be possible to have a sense of social interaction while exercising at home. Jean-Michel Fournier points at a new device of Microsoft, the HoloLens 2. These glasses can represent a hologram of a personal trainer and can translate his/her speech instantaneously into any language, anywhere in the world. In other words, whenever you wear these glasses, your personal trainer (the one you met at your local fitness club) is standing in front of you. He or she is ready to start exercising with you and speaks whatever language you speak.
Now it might take some time before you can welcome your personal trainer hologram at home. Technology is still developing. That doesn’t mean you should wait until it’s there. Both fitness entrepreneurs and members can start experimenting with this upcoming on demand training concept. Basic-Fit – the largest and fastest growing fitness chain in Europe – for instance, recently started working together with Virtuagym to offer all 2 million club members a free app for at home exercises.
Although this is far from what an on demand personal trainer should look like in the future. For fitness entrepreneurs: if you don’t start taking the first steps soon, you might lose the battle before it started. Both fitness entrepreneurs and club members should not look at it as an alternative-, but as an addition to what we already have.
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Founder of Molab, Human Movement Scientist and a sports enthusiast.