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Industry Buzz: The Fittest Gladiator Challenge Results


Tracking devices like Fitbit and Netpulse can be great tools for clubs.The Fittest Gladiator Challenge is over! And although I didn’t win, I did double my activity over the course of the challenge, both inside and outside the gym. Which leads me to the conclusion that tracking devices can be great motivational tools for driving members inside your club and encouraging results.

I’m not the only professional in the health and fitness industry to come to this conclusion. A recent article in The New York Times revealed that clubs such as Life Time Fitness, Equinox and Crunch are not only encouraging members to buy tracking devices such as Fitbit and Up by Jawbone, but some are even selling them as well.

The New York Times article reports:

It’s the gym as Big Brother. Besides Life Time Fitness, which now employs a “national program manager of devices,” Equinox made its first appearance at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex., teaming up with the popular Up by Jawbone and presenting a panel on how to use all the data (“data is only as good as the person interpreting it,” said a slick video advertising the event). The chain recently began selling the Up24, the newer model, in its shops, and it is testing the device with personal and small-group training clients. Crunch encourages clients to buy the fittingly named Exerspy, while Sports Club/LA and Reebok Sports Club/NY sell the Polar Loop.

Other gym chains are not far behind. Anytime Fitness, for example, started testing the Fitbit versus the Up in March to decide which to recommend to franchises at the annual meeting in September. Eventually the chain, which has more than 2,400 clubs, will bundle the devices with training or membership and charge for “virtual coaching,” said Chuck Runyon, the company’s chief executive.

These examples showcase how clubs can use a rising trend in both technology and fitness to their advantage. Think about how you can do so as well by incorporating tracking devices into your personal training, or selling them in your pro shops. As the article suggests, getting a peek into members’ habits inside and outside your gym could be advantageous to both groups.


Rachel Zabonick is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@clubsolutionsmagazine.com. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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