4 Ways Gyms Are Using Data To Drive New Members & Enhance the Workout Experience

Losing weight consistently tops the charts when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. And this year, big data might just be the best personal trainer to help people cross the finish line.

From keeping a watchful eye on heart rate to counting the number of steps taken in a day to closely monitoring caloric intake, aspiring and current fitness enthusiasts are heavily relying on data to shed light on their health habits and to inform necessary lifestyle changes. According to the Pew Foundation, 69% of Americans track some form of health-related information and 21% of them do so using some form of digital device — and this number is rapidly increasing with the explosion of wearable tech.

So as gym-goers convert from simply “finding what feels good” to being data-driven, see how popular fitness clubs are responding by using data to increase memberships, improve member programs and tailor the fitness experience to help their clients experience real and long-lasting change.

1.) USING WEARABLE TECH TO MONITOR CLIENT ACTIVITY OUTSIDE OF THE GYM

Allocating a few hours a week at the gym with a personal trainer might be effective, but that work can easily be undone in the several hours that are spent outside of the gym. Life Time Fitness encourages patrons to purchase wearable technology, such as a fitbit or Garmin, so personal trainers can monitor client activity outside of the gym — and call clients out if they are straying from their mutually agreed upon diet and exercise rituals.

2.) CREATING CUSTOM APPS TO COLLECT AND ANALYZE MEMBER’S FITNESS DATA

Instead of relying on disparate third-party applications to monitor client fitness habits, gyms are creating mobile apps to help collect and analyze their member’s fitness data. Gold’s Gym has launched a successful application called myPath that syncs with MapMyFitness and other fitness tracking tools to create one centralized platform for their member data. The app allows Gold’s Gym to sync app downloads with their CRM and create a highly customized 12-week program for each of their members.

3.) USING EQUIPMENT THAT INCORPORATES MEMBER DATA

Equinox has created a spinning class called “The Pursuit” that offers individualized data as the members ride their stationary bikes and displays this data on a giant screen in front of the class. The screen gamifies the spinning route so it feel as if the members are part of a bike race and also shows essential data points like heart rate, speed, etc, in addition to who is spinning the fastest. By incorporating real-time data into classes, members have an increasing awareness of how they are performing week-over-week and how they stack up against their fellow gym-goers.

4.) IMPROVE CLASSES AND PROGRAMS BASED ON MEMBERS’ HABITS AND DRIVE NEW MEMBERSHIPS

When gyms have insight into their aggregate member data, they can make meaningful decisions about how to improve their programs, create a more customizable experience and offer loyal members rewards and incentives to keep loyal customer coming back for more. By keeping close track of data around class attendance, high traffic times and the demographic of each classes, gym can optimize resources by using data to inform a better overall experience for members. By having a deeper understanding of their best existing customers, gyms are also using this demographic information to run targeted ads to prospective members who fall under a similar profile.

As we move deeper into trackability, gyms are sweating to keep up with current technologies to ensure that their tech-savvy members are able to optimize their digital experience at the gym.