The majority of media and digital activity these days is taking place on mobile through phones, tablets, watches or other forms of wearable technology. In fact, mobile and tablet use has skyrocketed since 2011. Mobile-only Internet is driven by millennials, with 21 percent of them not even using desktop computers to get online. But boomers—the 55 and up set—are the “fastest growing faction of mobile users,” too. So it makes sense that now, more than ever, clients are turning to mobile apps for an easy way to get fit on the go.
FOR YOUR OWN STUDIO
Alexander Nicholas, owner and founder of EPIC Hybrid Training, says that with the ever-changing tech landscape, it can be difficult to keep up. But he’s trying to stay ahead of the curve.
Nicholas started EPIC’s app a little more than a year ago, when his clients were struggling to book classes due to glitches on the MINDBODY App.
“We wanted to put our own spin on something that was EPIC branded and pushed our agenda as a brand and a fitness program,” he says. “We went through about three rounds before we had the app exactly right, and it wasn’t as painstaking as we thought it was going to be.”
It was supremely helpful, he says, in keeping his clients happy and coming to the gym. And it also made it easy for clients to buy new packages on the go when it was fresh in their mind, instead of having to wait until they were in front of a computer. The reason it worked so well was because Nicholas and his team stuck to the basics, taking note from other apps that have failed by trying to do too much.
FOR BEYOND THE STUDIO
EPIC’s current app is a simple place for booking and canceling classes—but some clients, and external partners, are looking for more than that. As such, Nicholas is working on EPIC28, a home edition app that allows users to follow his workouts outside the studio. To build the app, he used AppMachine, a program that takes the coding out of the equation, making it much easier to build out videos and programs that are user friendly. The development has opened doors for partners looking to host app-based workouts in hotels, too.
A number of other companies are following suit, taking advantage of the flourishing wellness scene and the flexibility of mobile apps. Delta recently partnered with OMG I Can Medidate!, a guided meditation service that started as an app, perhaps a nod to Virgin Atlantic’s 5-year partnership with Headspace, another meditation app.
Take a brief moment to browse the fitness and health section of the App Store and you might find yourself overwhelmed by the numerous options available: from guided 7-minute HIIT workouts to daily vinyasa flows.
FOR FITNESS TRACKING
In can be hard to keep up with what users and clients are looking for, though, says Paul Veugen, CEO of Human, an all-day activity tracking app. Some gyms and programs offer rapid stats to users in app form, with charts and logs that can feel overwhelming.
When it comes to tracking apps, Veugen says, “It’s not just about building a timeline of activity. It’s about using that data to inspire people to be more active.”
Human has used the success of other game-like apps to grow to tracking users in up to 900 cities and has evolved to focus on what active people are looking for; namely, knowing how their everyday activity compares to people like them.
“When you think of how people are on social media, it’s not them being social,” he says. “It’s about comparing themselves to others. It becomes more about finding people like you, not just who you know.”
Human’s user-base wants benchmarks to meet, which is why Veugen “tried to create a playing field where we let you compare yourself to people like you so you can answer the question: am I doing enough?”
Nicholas says he’s looking to explore this gamification of fitness, though he is wary of it, mentioning QR codes as the once ‘hot’ digital item on the fitness scene.
“It’s almost like by the time you have it figured out it’s on to the next tech device.”