When we first introduced virtual group fitness to the industry in 2008, the solution was designed to meet primarily scheduling needs through flexibility, convenience, and simplistic management tools. But when we started hearing stories from all the different types of people participating in our classes in various types of fitness facilities, it shifted our perspective and our focus.
Predictably, we heard stories from The Night Owl, The Shift Worker, and The College Student who valued virtual group fitness for its ability to fit their unique schedule. And we heard from The Downright Busy and The Lunch Break Warriors, who liked having access to shorter, efficient 20-minute classes. For these people virtual group fitness is everything we knew it was: flexibility and convenience.
But we also heard stories from The Insecure and The Intimidated, who didn’t know if group fitness or personal training was for them, but still wanted to benefit from the exercises and the motivational coaching. We heard stories from The Beginners who didn’t know all the moves or fitness lingo, and just needed a place to start with the basics, learn and practice. For these people we learned that virtual group fitness is a safe haven and an opportunity.
The Athletes and The Experts, we learned, appreciated the methodology in our programming that allows them to train differently within a certain format or across formats to progress smartly and not plateau. For these groups, virtual group fitness is self-selection and progression.
There were The Bored, who were so desperate for variety in their workouts that they were chomping every time we release new classes. For these people virtual group fitness is sanity, motivation and entertainment.
We heard from The Recovering, The Pregnant, and The Chair-Bound, who valued specialized instruction with coaches that either looked like them or spoke their language with programming designed just for them. For these people virtual group fitness is dignity, and more voices telling them “you can” as opposed to “you can’t.”
We heard from Soldiers and Youth, Young Moms, and Baby Boomers. The biggest learning for us at WELLBEATS has been that virtual group fitness does not attract one demographic for one reason. The wide audience it attracts is due to our solutions that remove barriers and cater to unmet scheduling, physical and even emotional needs. While virtual group fitness will never replace a live coach, instructor or trainer, what it will do is continually help facilities engage unreached groups and support them in meaningful ways along their wellness journey. THAT’S something to get excited about!