Freemotion: Innovation in Action
How Freemotion from iFIT is using innovation to benefit exercisers and clubs the world over.
The most successful companies in the world are innovators — entities that are constantly coming up with new ideas, experimenting and looking toward the future to create the best product or user experience.
In the fitness world, there’s no greater example of innovation in action than Freemotion, an equipment and tech company that’s existed for more than 20 years. During its timespan, the brand has consistently developed game-changing fitness equipment and technology to transform health and fitness facilities the world over.
For example, it introduced cable-based strength training to the industry with the launch of the GENESIS line, effectively revolutionizing a modality that hadn’t seen drastic change for many years prior.
Next, it shook up the cardio fitness world with the introduction of the Incline Trainer and the world’s first road-simulating bike.
And last but not least, its cardio machines today are powered by iFIT virtual training technology, allowing users to work out in the most exciting destinations on Earth.
“Freemotion has — and continues to make — an indelible mark on the health and fitness industry, introducing revolutionary products and transformative experiences that can now be found in almost every fitness center across the globe,” said Dan Toigo, the managing director of Freemotion and senior vice president of iFIT Health & Fitness.
However, great innovators don’t just create great products or services. They also utilize great corporate strategy, something Freemotion has also been on the forefront of.
Freemotion is a subsidiary of iFIT Health & Fitness Inc., which boasts a family of brands including NordicTrack, ProForm, Weider, Sweat and 29029. In a strategic move, Freemotion was rebranded to Freemotion from iFIT, reflecting a shared vision with its parent company to offer genuine omnichannel solutions. Today, iFIT has an ever-growing community of more than six million members in over 120 countries.
According to Toigo, this rebrand and corporate strategy could not have been more fortuitous due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, which caused massive sea change among businesses and brands in all industries, but especially fitness.
“In 2020, Freemotion’s Jeff Esswein, vice president of business development, coined the phrase, ‘Gyms without walls’ to describe the time in which facilities closed their doors and pivoted to digital and online services, engaging and motivating members who couldn’t work out at the gym,” recalled Toigo. “Throughout this time, Freemotion has been driven by a passion to turn this phrase into reality for our customers around the world. Thanks to iFIT we can offer gyms and clubs a powerful hybrid solution, which demonstrates the direct relationship between results for members, retention and lifetime value for facilities, as well as how it motivates people to lead healthier lives.”
What does this look like in practice?
On iFIT-powered Freemotion cardio machines, members can train smarter at the gym. With interactive, auto-adjusting technology, they can work out in the world’s most breathtaking locations, enjoy an energizing live studio class, chart a course with Google Maps, and more. The equipment responds automatically with what’s happening on a user’s screen, adjusting the speed, incline, decline and/or resistance. As a result, all members need to do is focus on reaching their goal.
On NordicTrack or ProForm treadmills, indoor bikes, ellipticals, rowers and climbers, members can experience iFIT on their personal equipment and take their fitness journeys to the next level — without ever leaving home.
And if they’re on the go or training outdoors, iFIT travels with them. From HIIT workouts and yoga classes to strength conditioning and more, iFIT members can choose when, where and how they work out with the iFIT mobile app.
“Together, iFIT and its industry-leading brands provide world-leading omnichannel solutions designed to ensure operators can reach and engage their members wherever they are,” said Toigo.
Last year, Freemotion also launched FUSION Team Training — the ultimate cardio and strength training combination in a fun, engaging and exhilarating small group class. This 45-minute, high-energy workout enables participants to burn fat and build muscle simultaneously. They can also select their own resistance, pace and intensity, making FUSION accessible for all ages, abilities and fitness levels.
“FUSION Team Training is a coach-led experience that can host between five and 15 participants, offering personal training in a team dynamic,” explained Toigo. “Facilities benefit by ultimately creating a new profit center while increasing engagement and driving retention. We have seen great success with FUSION in Europe, and we’re excited to see its success expand even further worldwide.”
To further extend its impact, Freemotion has also recently launched the new GENESIS Dual Cable Cross — Inclusive Use that meets ASTM international standards for inclusive use. The G624-IU GENESIS Dual Cable Cross offers a variety of features that make strength training accessible to all, including an open design that makes the machine wheelchair accessible, and weight stacks with touch and color contrasts to accommodate users with visual impairments.
“Freemotion strives to make people healthier and fitter, and that includes people with disabilities,” said Toigo.
All of these solutions, from iFIT to the GENESIS Dual Cable Cross — Inclusive Use, enable clubs to put their best foot forward in a constantly changing fitness landscape, and innovate and solve challenges as they arise.
This includes improving member retention — which Toigo believes is one of the greatest opportunities for clubs today.
“Attrition is an age-old issue for our industry, but through working with our partners and customers, we have seen how interactive, connected omnichannel fitness services like Freemotion powered by iFIT can turn the tide on this,” said Toigo. “Integrating Freemotion and iFIT allows facilities to have more multimedia touchpoints with members. All these combined presents operators with a great marketing opportunity. iFIT’s gamification and binge-worthy qualities heavily impact the desires and motivations of today’s exercisers. The club of today and the club of 2022 and beyond is a club without walls.”
As the industry kicks-off another year, Freemotion from iFIT is up for any challenges that may come their way or for the industry at large. And no matter what happens, innovation will remain a key component of its brand make-up.
“Innovation is more than a word at Freemotion, and we are more than a fitness manufacturer,” said Toigo. “Freemotion leads the way with groundbreaking health and fitness experiences that redefine cardio, group, and strength training for health and fitness facilities worldwide.”
The driving-force behind this vision is ultimately to make an impact not on profits — but on people.
“We are in this game we call a ‘business’ to help people change their lives with immersive, exciting and rewarding experiences centered around exercise,” added Toigo. “Everything else is just a by-product of that primary goal.”