Simplifying Your Technology Decisions 



In the early days, adding fitness technology to your club was as simple as slapping a TV on top of a treadmill and calling it a day. Fast forward 20 years and there is now a dizzying array of fitness technology products to consider. Google “fitness technology” today and you will find everything from ellipticals with integrated internet-connected touch screens to biometric patches and virtual reality trainers. Each of these technologies are vying for the attention of the fitness industry and each comes with its own complexities and costs.  

As the consumer tech market drives harder into the fitness space, health clubs and fitness studios surely need to keep pace. The good news is, health clubs don’t have to do it all. Many fitness technology products are not practical or cost effective for the health club or studio environment. Others claim to be made for health clubs but overkill the features, resulting in extremely high costs. The trick to incorporating technology in a fitness environment is in discerning what is meaningful to your facility.

Before even considering new technology, give it a quick value test. Here are three questions to ask yourself about the technology in question:

  1. Does it provide significant value to my members?
  2. Does it provide significant value to my brand?
  3. Is it easy to use?

These may seem like ridiculously simple questions, but you would be surprised how often club owners head down a road toward integrating the hottest new technology and it ends up making their lives harder. If the technology adds value but isn’t easy enough to master in five minutes, no one will use it. If it is easy but doesn’t add enough value, the same is true. If your brand vanishes behind the product, you’ve lost a valuable brand loyalty opportunity. If it checks all three boxes, it might be worth investigating.

On the flip side, some health club owners are overly leery of the latest digital fitness trends. Often, it is because they were burned by early versions of fitness tech. They remember complex systems connected by snaking cables and plagued by functionality problems. These were systems that required a huge financial outlay to get started, only to find out the equipment they invested in was already out of date a year later. Sound familiar?

What these health club owners need to know is that fitness technology today is not the same ball game. Innovative companies have simplified digital fitness, utilizing app technology to access comprehensive programming catalogs that can be custom branded, deployed and leveraged within a fitness space simply and cost effectively.

Good fitness technology is designed to enhance programming and increase revenue by freeing up trainers to take on more clients and owners to focus on growing the business. It is customizable and brand-friendly, yet simple to operate and easy for members to understand. It is this type of technology that can add value to your club and your member experience. Above all else, do your homework to find a digital fitness partner that is solving problems with technology, not creating new ones.

April 30th 2019