Why Fitness Formula Clubs Went Virtual
In today’s digital world, missing out on a technology platform, like virtual fitness, can mean missing out on business.
Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC), located in the greater Chicago area, has always worked off the tagline, “Close to Home, Close to Work” emphasizing that convenience is key. In light of trends in technology over the past several years, they realized cell phones and apps bring a whole new meaning to convenient.
“What we found is, FFC now has 11 locations throughout Chicagoland, so based on where the doctors, hospitals and patients are, our locations may not be convenient to them,” said Merikay Marzoni, the director of marketing and public relations for FFC. “So, we said what if we were able to develop an app that represented the brand, and was able to be a low-cost, regular solution that could report outcomes to medical providers.”
In addition, the brand wanted to be able to reach people where they are — whether it was on the road, at home or work.
Thus came the FFC On Demand mobile and website app with the help of the club’s technology partner, Virtual Health Partners.
The app allows both members and non-members to access virtual fitness, nutrition advice and lifestyle classes — anytime, anywhere. Users get exclusive group fitness content, which allows them to take an FFC class while on the road for work, traveling with friends or when time is just too tight to make it to the club. This library — which is updated every quarter — offers everything from HIIT and strength classes to dance and yoga classes.
However, virtual fitness is more than just workouts. The app also features nutritional content such as recipes, meal plans, grocery store tips and unlimited messages with registered dietitians. This allows members to ask their pressing questions like, “What should I eat after a workout?” or “Which food is better for me?” Another feature is the lifestyle content on behavior modification, mindfulness and overall wellness.
FFC On Demand also capitalizes on a huge trend in the industry — tracking technology. According to Marzoni, the app features basic monitoring tools where users can track food intake, diet adherence and weight loss, etc. But it also integrates with Myzone and other popular fitness trackers like Fitbit so users can have all their data in one place.
If your club is considering capitalizing on virtual fitness, Marzoni’s advice is to find a partner who has a good process, good documentation and a plan to execute on. While she said finding this partner and working out a plan take a while, the payoff is well worth it.