Technology is transforming all aspects of our lives. Including the way we stay fit, whether that be at home or the gym. As you will see, the pace of change is accelerating. Particularly when it comes to working out at the gym.
First, we are going to start with how gyms are now using technology to help them to provide a better service. Something which greatly benefits both parties.
According to this recent article by the IHRSA, a leading global health and fitness association, 50% of people are less active than they were before CoVid. As a result, many fitness centers have not yet returned to pre-covid membership levels.
Gyms have responded to this challenge by taking a far closer look at what they have to offer and working to tailor it to fit in better with what people really want. They are using data to help them to do this. For example, looking at how long each machine is being used. Machines that are not popular are being replaced with kits for which demand is consistently high. This article explains more.
They are also increasingly using technology to improve access to classes and workouts. That includes continuing with streaming live workout sessions. Something many gyms only started to do during the CoVid lockdown.
Surprisingly, using technology in this way is helping to entice people back into the gym. They enjoy the convenience of an at-home guided workout. But most people also appreciate having the flexibility to pop into the gym as well. There, they can bounce off other people´s energy and get a bit competitive. Something that tends to result in a more intense workout.
As well as streaming some gyms are offering around-the-clock access to video content, via a membership website or app. Again, this provides consumers with more choice when it comes to when and how they work out.
By adding community spaces and a forum, gyms are creating a digital space where members can go when they need support or advice. It is also helping to make the gym a more social place, with people who have connected on the app arranging to meet up and work out together.
In addition, a lot of gyms are now using technology to help them to keep their premises open for longer. In some places 24/7. Using a combination of access control and live CCTV monitoring tech a regular gym can easily extend its opening hours. The technology behind this format is explained in more detail here.
A lot of people are short on time, so gyms are doing what they can to make sure that everyone gets as effective a workout as possible. Here are a few examples.
Many are recognizing the fact that a lot of people wear smartwatches and/or use fitness apps. Where possible they are providing gym-goers with workout data that has been collected by the machines they use. A lot of people are surprised to learn that they are not sticking to the workout routine put together by their trainer. They soon realize that instead of doing the 20 minutes of cardio workout on the bike that has been recommended to them. Instead, they are regularly shaving a couple of minutes off of that session.
The way that digital signage in gyms is used has evolved over time. Now, digital screens are increasingly being used as a motivational tool. In the past, they were used primarily to entertain or market services and products to gym-goers.
Because digital screens can display any type of image there are many ways to use them. They are particularly good for use in a large class, where it might be hard for everyone to see what the instructor is doing. Nowadays, most gyms already own good-quality video cameras, which they use for streaming classes. So, it only takes a few minutes to set things up so that what the instructor is doing can also be viewed live on a large screen that has been set up behind them.
When it comes to gym technology, the above examples are just the beginning. The pace of change is speeding up rather than slowing down.