Q&A with Sharad Mohan on the journey that led him to co-founding Trainerize, a personal training software that empowers fitness professionals and fitness studios worldwide to reach, engage, and motivate people to change their lives for the better.
CS: How did you get your start in the health and fitness industry?
From a very young age, I’ve been into fitness and sport, but I actually got into the industry out of personal need. In my early 20s, I was in a fire accident that resulted in 3rd degree burns requiring skin grafts over roughly 35 percent of my body. What followed was a couple of years of fairly intense rehab therapy, during which, I needed a way to stay connected to my physiotherapist. She assigned me programming, but after leaving the clinic I’d forget how to do the exercise, and I couldn’t measure my progress, or communicate the progress back to my physiotherapist.
So one day, while I was working out listening to music on my BlackBerry I thought I should be able to do it all on this device! And from there, my path into the health and fitness industry was born, starting with a simple consumer app that let you watch exercise videos and track progress.
It’s pretty neat, actually. Every time I look at my arm and see the scars, what I feel is a sense of being incredibly grateful for an event that led me to the amazing, positive, and exciting industry of health and fitness!
CS: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
As I mentioned earlier, we started out with a successful consumer-facing app for Blackberry, but things didn’t really work out. The iPhone came out, Nike got heavy into consumer fitness apps, and the industry was flipped upside down almost overnight. We were toast. But we weren’t quite ready to throw in the towel.
I’m a big believer in “leading with why” and the purpose it provides, so we asked our 800,000 users, “why did you join us?” And in doing so we discovered that it wasn’t just consumers using our app like we’d thought — it was also personal trainers and fitness clubs and they were looking for ways to strengthen the connection they had with their clients and members and drive engagement through technology.
This was a huge discovery, that inspired us to use the existing technology as the foundation for what is Trainerize today — an app for personal trainers and fitness clubs.
CS: What are the keys to your success?
- Positivity and the “yes, and” culture it can yield.
- Surrounding myself with a strong team who love being part of something bigger than ourselves.
- Maintaining a growth mindset. (This is probably my favorite and it connects with number 2 — that strong team is also a team that’s always on the hunt for new challenges, who continually learn to improve, and who don’t give up.)
- Staring with “why?” — a mantra probably best said by Simon Sinek when he said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
CS: What technology trends are you seeing and what should clubs be paying attention to?
Wow could I ever give you a super long list because the fitness industry is one where new ideas and technologies are constantly being developed. But if I had to pick one it would have to be the “digitally connected fitness experience” where all of the technology in a fitness club member’s life is working together to help them achieve and maintain a healthy active lifestyle.
From their phones and wearable devices, to the equipment they’re using at the gym, to their smart home devices — they can all be connected together to create a digitized ecosystem, collecting and compiling health and fitness data, and tracking progress toward specific goals.
Using that data, the member can be provided with guidance and programming to follow. And this is where the club has an opportunity to play a large role, by stepping in the be the provider of that training. I know some see this as an opportunity for AI, but I truly thing that the personal approach will win out here. After all, it is personal training.
CS: What are ways that Trainerize can help a health club boost personal training profits?
We know that, on average, fitness clubs are only successful in selling personal training services to approximately 10 percent of their members. But if you flip the traditional model of in-person personal training on its head and add online training to your services, a lot of the reasons members don’t buy personal training disappear.
With Trainerize, clubs can build a variety of new and flexible personal training service offerings, at a range of price points, with a varying level of “hands-on” guidance, breaking down the barriers to members purchasing personal training.
CS: How can Trainerize help clubs give members a 5-star experience?
You’re going to think this is my favorite word, but…engagement.
Trainerize is built to connect trainers with their clients, and open up the doors of communication, motivation, and support throughout a client’s fitness journey. We did that because we know when members are more engaged they have better success achieving their fitness goals. And successful members are happy members.
The other way Trainerize can help clubs hit that 5-star mark, is by acting as the vehicle for fitness clubs to offer convenient and immediate support to their members who have little to no knowledge of how they should be exercising. Think how much better those members would feel about their gym if they were being provided with guidance through an app with real people on the other side of it? You can bet they’d show up more often, get better workouts, and feel a stronger connection to their fitness club.
CS: What makes Trainerize unique from other options in the industry?
If you look at our beginnings, our roots are in the world of consumer fitness apps, so, even though we are now on the business-to-business side of things, we see both sides of the coin. We’re making an app that fitness club owners, personal trainers, and their members love to use.
On top of that, we partner with the best in the business, from MINDBODY to MyFitnessPal and FitBit. We’re building a connected system of platforms and apps that let our customers be their most successful and access all the tools and features they need.
CS: Why should clubs consider partnering with Trainerize?
We keep our ear to ground for industry and technology changes. This lets us stay ahead of the curve and deliver what fitness clubs need to compete in a changing digital landscape. If you’re with Trainerize, you’ll always be on the cutting edge of fitness technology.
Beyond that, we invest in our customers’ growth. We aren’t just giving you an app or technical solution, we’re also giving you a full-on support team who will not only help you learn to master the app and maximize its features, but who will share their industry knowledge and experience with you so that you can continue to grow your business. We’re behind you, every step of the way. We’ve got your back.
Trainerize is a personal training software that empowers fitness professionals and fitness studios worldwide to reach, engage, and motivate people, to change their lives for the better. Trainerize is making fitness more accessible by connecting more people to fitness professionals who can help them workout, eat better, and improve their habits. By combining online workout and nutrition tracking, meal planning, client communication, and access to the world’s best fitness add-ons, Trainerize allows fitness professionals to focus on what they love to do most: train and motivate their clients.
For more information visit Trainerize’s website at http://www.trainerize.com