Online Classes: A New Opportunity for Health Clubs
In today’s fast-paced environment, our busy lives can derail us from getting to the gym. A decade ago our only options would have been going for a run or popping in an aerobics tape in the VHS in an effort to workout at home.
This is no longer the case. In the age of the Internet and advanced technology, it is now possible to stream workouts on demand. More and more fitness clubs are exploring this option, recognizing that sometimes their members can’t make it into the facility.
Both big name gyms such as Crunch and smaller boutique studios such as Physique 57 are offering online platforms, where members can subscribe to stream classes online.
Joyce Wells recently launched her own approach to online fitness, EMG Live Fitness, an virtual fitness studio that streams live exercise classes.
When she had to relocate to Seattle to work at Microsoft, Wells was dismayed to leave her favorite fitness classes and instructors behind. Luckily for Wells, the relocation did not last too long and it inspired her to create her own business.
“When I worked at Microsoft, I had the opportunity to use video conferencing to manage global staff,” said Wells. “Then when I moved back to the East Coast and back to my favorite instructors, I started a business to allow everyone to have the benefit of these great instructors. And I was fortunate to have the technical experience to build it.”
The platform operates like a digital boutique fitness studio. Users have access to a variety of classes led by sought-after instructors. “We offer a free class when you sign up, and no credit card is necessary,” explained Wells. “We also have pay-per-view at $2 per class, a class card for $10 or a subscription for unlimited classes.”
Users can choose from multiple genres of classes without commitment to a singular gym. Classes include Pilates, yoga, cycling, Bosu Ball, dance, barre, kickboxing and more.
Instructors can apply to feature their classes on the platform as long as they follow the parameters designated by Wells. Her number one priority is commitment. “They must commit to a repeatable class time frame, for instance once per week, once every two weeks, etc.” she added. “Second the instructor must be committed to marketing and connecting with social media.”
With the convenience of steaming classes from the comfort of your own home, will on-demand classes replace the gym? “I do think they are the wave of the future, but online will never take the place of the gym,” said Wells. “It will be an add-on to the gym.”