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It’s no secret that we live in an age of technology. Every day, it seems like there’s a new “revolutionary device” that will change the way we exercise and understand our bodies.
With such a permeation of wearable technology into the health and fitness industry, it’s only natural that gyms would catch up. Health clubs are integrating wearable technology into their programming, encouraging members to use their own trackers in conjunction with gym equipment and classes to help reach their fitness goals.
Club Solutions spoke with Greg Cibura, the chief technology officer at Fitness Formula Clubs, about what wearable technology means for the fitness industry.
CS: How can wearable, heart-rate technology benefit health club members and personal training clients?
GC: It helps the client socialize their workouts with other gym members, and in addition to that, it helps the club provide results to the client through gamification. Fitness Formula Club is running our MYZONE challenge, we call it “Move 2 Win.” We have club-wide games and we have company-wide games where people get rewarded to workout more and show more activity by using the MYZONE equipment. It’s all about providing results to the member, which is very good.
CS: Operationally, how do you make sure wearable tech is implemented into a club correctly?
GC: The system needs to have visibility, so we have screens around the club that provide members that are wearing the technology live results. You need to keep it front and center — we provide MYZONE discounts for new members to be able to purchase it. We make it super easy for new members to be integrated with the technology within their first 90 days of membership, so they get used to it and it becomes ingrained in how they use the club — because it’s very beneficial for the member to have this data at their fingertips.
CS: How do you make the tech an asset for clients to use within the walls of the club?
GC: We provide documentation, literature, ongoing support and training. We also provide a significant amount of meetings and collaboration, and shared information access so the staff feels comfortable with it. We also have provided all of our staff with MYZONE belts so that, obviously, it gets them going with it but also shows the member that we’re committed to this technology and the benefits that result from it.
CS: If members have their own trackers they’re using, like Apple Watches or Fitbits — can trainers use those to help keep clients accountable?
GC: They can, but the MYZONE technology is significantly better than the Apple Watch or the Fitbit and that’s one of the reasons why we chose MYZONE to specifically use. The accuracy and the way that trainers and members can communicate and be held accountable is more for a trainer-client environment, which is better, obviously. We wouldn’t turn someone away or prevent them from using their Apple Watch or Fitbit, we would just show the benefits of a MYZONE.