3 Reasons Why The Digital Fitness Boom Is Here To Stay

Digital fitness was already poised for strong growth for the foreseeable future, but the COVID-19 crisis will likely accelerate the use of digital fitness and create long-term changes

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The COVID-19 pandemic brought about unanticipated impacts both personally and professionally. While the near-term promises to be extremely challenging for us, as we try and adapt to the situation around—this ‘new normal’ of sorts, the long-term effects will be those where we come out stronger together.

Health and fitness-wise, the industry also has gone through its fair bit of change. The largest being the rise of ‘digital fitness’ from the comforts of your own home. Digital fitness was already poised for strong growth for the foreseeable future, but the COVID-19 crisis will likely accelerate the use of digital fitness and create long-term changes in how consumers manage their overall wellbeing.

Willingness To Experiment

Given COVID-19 and the lockdown that the country went through, the fitness enthusiasts—both young and old—across the world have been pushed to try at least some form of digital fitness solutions even if they have been hesitant to do so in the past.

Our smartphones have become our on-demand devices for everything including our fitness regime. People now can have a personal trainer in their pockets for an amazing workout, anytime, anywhere. I believe that this trend is here to stay and even though a lot of the members will eventually go back to using the gyms, the digital boom will remain. For businesses, it will be important to have both physical plus digital services available to their customers.

Flexibility & Convenience

While physical gyms and studios have you plan your workout routine around them, digital fitness solutions give you the freedom to work out when you want, where you want and with whom you want. This convenience factor plus the fact that you are within the comfort of your own home is a major advantage to fitness enthusiasts who lead a hectic work life or anyone looking to exercise at home.

These recent developments in the digital fitness space along with customer’s readiness to adopt shows us that digital fitness and wellness solutions are here to stay.

Accountability & Gamification With Your Tribe

We as humans are competitive by nature. Fitness is no different. Introducing gamification elements such as badges, leaderboards, competition and levels drive up motivation amongst fitness enthusiasts. This pushes us to be the best version of ourselves and makes us accountable to the people whom we work out with  our buddies, our tribe! What also drives us, is being surrounded by the people we love. Working out with the people we love, pushes us to do our best. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, streaming platforms like Zoom, Hangout and interactive chat mediums such as

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Technogym bets on home fitness boom as virus empties gyms

* H1 revenues suffered as empty gyms postpone orders

* Home fitness equipment sales jumped 50% in H1

* Home & Consumer sales could rise to 50% of total

* Sees pandemic opening up new business opportunities

MILAN, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Italian fitness-equipment maker Technogym is working to supply more of its exercise machines and virtual trainers to peoples’ homes to offset a drop in sales to gyms and studios due to the pandemic.

Restrictions to contain the new coronavirus, or even just fears of contagion, have prompted many people to give up training at their local gym. Italy has not ruled out closing gyms and swimming pools again to fight a COVID-19 resurgence.

“We are seeing a strong acceleration in the home fitness segment,” Technogym founder and Chief Executive Nerio Alessandri told Reuters in an interview.

Technogym has been the official supplier of the last seven Olympic games and its client book includes several top soccer clubs. Alessandri said the company had been selling equipment to professional athletes stuck at home.

It also received an order from a big company that bought a “Technogym package” for its staff, offering employees working from home training programmes and equipment.

“We think that the Home & Consumer segment could come to represent around 50% of our total revenues in four years from now. And profit margins match those of the professional segment,” added Alessandri, 59.

Companies such as exercise bike business Peloton have successfully tapped into the home workout market as people try to stay fit during lockdowns.

Technogym, which supplies equipment to gyms, hotels and spas in around 100 countries, can offer home-friendly products. An “entry level” treadmill costs 3,250 euros ($3,850) and an exercise bike 2,950 euros.

In September, Technogym reported that first-half revenue fell to 222 million euros from 295 million a year earlier. By contrast, the group recorded a jump in sales of its home fitness equipment.

Sales of exercise machines and online training programmes directly to customers soared by 50% in the first half. They now account for 30% of group revenues, twice the level of 2019.

Alessandri said Technogym would invest to support growth at its home fitness division, using budget savings linked to the cancellations of trade fairs and business trips due to COVID-19.

He said the pandemic had impressed upon people the importance of keeping fit, and he pointed to a boom in medical fitness centres, which combine healthcare and gym facilities.

“We see new markets opening up,” he said. “People are increasingly aware that good health is the true luxury.” ($1 = 0.8442 euros) (Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; editing by Valentina Za and Jane Merriman)

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Future raises $24M Series B for its $150/mo workout coaching app amid at-home fitness boom

With thousands of gyms across the country forced to close during the pandemic, there’s been an unprecedented opportunity for fitness companies pitching an at-home solution. This moment has propelled public companies like Peloton to stratospheric highs — its market cap is about to eclipse $40 billion — but it has also pushed venture capitalists toward plenty of deals in the fitness space.

Future launched with a bold sell for consumers: a $150 per month subscription app that virtually teamed users with a real-life fitness coach. Leaning on the health-tracking capabilities of the Apple Watch, the startup has been aiming to build a platform that teams motivation, accountability and fitness insights.



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Image via Future

Close to 18 months after announcing a Series A led by Kleiner Perkins, the startup tells TechCrunch they’ve closed a $24 million Series B led by Trustbridge Partners, with Caffeinated Capital and Kleiner Perkins participating again.

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Amid the at-home fitness boom, Future has seen major growth of its own. CEO Rishi Mandal says that the company’s growth rate has tripled in recent months as thousands of gyms closed their doors. He says shelter-in-place has merely accelerated an ongoing shift toward tech-forward fitness services that can help busy users find time during their day to exercise.

The operating thesis of the company is that modern life is inherently crazy not just during pandemic times but in normal times,” Mandal says. “The idea of having a set routine is a complete fallacy.”

At $149 per month, Future isn’t aiming for mass market appeal the same way other digital fitness programs being produced by Peloton, Fitbit or Apple are. It seems to be more squarely aimed at users who could be a candidate for getting a personal trainer but might not be ready to make the investment or don’t need the guided instruction so much as they need general guidelines and some accountability.

As the startup closes on more funding, the team has big goals to expand its network. Mandal aims to have 1,000 coaches on the Future platform by this time next year. Reaching new scales could give the service a chance to tackle new challenges. Mandal sees opportunities for Future to expand its coaching services beyond fitness as it grows, “There’s a real opportunity to help people with all aspects of their health.”

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The Fitness Boom

While the worlds of sports and fitness are intertwined, it was not until the 1970s that popular culture was ready to accept fitness as eagerly as it had accepted sports. Fitness had not yet taken on its importance for improving health, and popular opinion likened fitness to work and manual labor. In the 1940s and 1950s, few participated in fitness willingly. Among those who did were Jack LaLanne, Victor Tanny, Joseph Gold, Joseph Weider, and Les and Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton. These fitness pioneers, among others, drew people to the beach in Santa Monica, California-the original Muscle Beach. Visitors came to watch their feats of strength and acrobatic displays. More and more viewers became participants, and these people, originally on the fringe, became a part of the cultural mainstream. Jack LaLanne, Vic Tanny, and Joe Gold all started gym chains with bodybuilding as their main focus. Due toPage 602 the influence of Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton, women were introduced to the muscularity and strength that came with bodybuilding. No longer reserved for just for “strongmen,” bodybuilding brought about a change in the mindsets of all those who visited Muscle Beach.

From the seeds planted at the Santa Monica came Venice Beach, the home to bodybuilding legends Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, and many, many more. Venice Beach in the 1970s brought with it a fitness explosion across the globe. Not only did bodybuilding become mainstream, but the popular opinion of fitness changed dramatically. Americans in the 1970s would do anything to improve their health and fitness.

Sports and athletics grew in the 1970s as well. Women became increasingly more interest in participating in sports; however, very little funding was available for the development of woman’s athletics. A landmark law was passed in 1972. Part of a series of educational amendments, “Title IX,” legislated gender equity in athletics. Not only were women becoming more active and more physically fit, a law now existed that called for equal funding and equal opportunity for female athletes. On 21 September 1973, female tennis star Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in the first-ever winner-take-all “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match. The hoopla surrounding this event-and its outcome-provided even more incentive for women to become involved with sports and fitness. By 1977, a record 87.5 million U.S. adults over the age of eighteen claimed to be involved in some sort of athletic activity.

The fitness industry continued its growth into the 1980s. Gym owners tailored their facilities to attract customers and new gyms opened around the United States and around the world. A healthy lifestyle was becoming a part of popular culture. No longer was it unfashionable to be athletic, strong, or healthy. With the development of new technology, health and fitness were able to make their way into homes. Fitness tapes became available in the early 1980s and continue to encourage those to whom a gym or health facility may not be accessible. Innovators such as Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons were able to bring their exercise …

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