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Entries in apps (19)


Wearable Integration 101: Challenges and Opportunities for Health Clubs

The following is an excerpt from “Wearable Integration 101: How to Boost Health Club Member Engagement and Your Bottom Line,” available for free on the IHRSA Exclusive Member Content App.

Thanks to the technology revolution, mobile devices known as “wearables” are able to measure a wide array of biological details, while providing a tally of our daily activities. While heart-rate monitors and pedometers have been on the market for years, these new fitness trackers and wearables (known as Wearables 2.0) measure personal health markers with technology that was once available only to high-end laboratories and hospitals.

Continue reading "Wearable Integration 101: Challenges and Opportunities for Health Clubs."

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How Boom Fitness Earned $8,000 from Their Mobile App

This is an associate feature post, sponsored by Netpulse.

A health club mobile app can quickly become a fitness facility’s most productive sales tool. From getting referrals and converting prospects into members, to promoting PT sales, the most successful clubs are using their mobile app to generate real revenue.

Continue reading "How Boom Fitness Earned $8,000 from Their Mobile App."

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How Fitness Technology Enhances Health Club Member Engagement

For decades, using "fitness technology" meant little more than stepping on a scale. Now an array of wearable devices and digital applications offers detailed workout feedback in real time. 

According to Bryan O'Rourke, president of the Fitness Industry Technology Council (FIT-C), that presents health club owners with both a challenge and an opportunity. 

"The clubs that are going to be the most successful are the ones that integrate thoughtful digital strategies with the brick and mortar," O'Rourke said

Getting with the Digital Program 

A digital health club strategy can cover a lot of ground—everything from providing free apps to transferring your entire digital infrastructure to the cloud. As a club owner, only you can say what makes sense for you. 

Here are some options to consider: 

Wearables: As the name suggests, these are small fitness trackers that the customer wears, usually either as a clip-on or with a wristband. (They're sometimes called smartwatches.)

Digital trackers are light years beyond old-fashioned pedometers. Yes, they can count steps taken and calories burned. But they can also monitor heart rate and sleep patterns; some even have a GPS to help bikers and joggers map their routes. 

But the basic idea behind all trackers is simple: Trackers provide more data. More data leads to greater engagement. And engaged customers are happier customers. 

Apps: If you're not ready to make the leap to wearables—or you're worried that your customers will balk at the cost—fitness apps could a good alternative, says Michael Rucker, vice president of technology for Active Wellness

Basically, these apps tap into a smartphone's built-in tracking sensors and repurpose that data for fitness monitoring. And some of them are free. 

"If you're a high-volume/low-price club, your members are likely to be cost-conscious," Rucker said. "They're going to appreciate it if you offer them a free mobile app that does 80% of what a [wearable] does." 

And you'll appreciate the guests who renew their memberships because you made it easy for them to store workout data from both their home and your club on their phones. 

Mobile: Mobile devices and the health and fitness industry go hand in hand. The word "mobile" even suggests an active lifestyle. Health club owners can fully engage their busy, active guests by allowing them to use their mobile devices for all aspects of the health club experience—not just tracking, integrating, and customizing workout data, but also renewing memberships, checking club schedules, reserving equipment, etc. 

As O'Rourke noted, "It's irrefutable that a 'mobile-first' strategy is emerging, which means that you may need to rethink some aspects of your business model." 

A Revolution in Real Time 

You don't have to commit to a particular digital strategy today. You do, however, have to commit to having a digital strategy. Because fitness club guests everywhere are demanding a higher level of engagement that only modern technology can provide. 


Value Proposition: h2 fit

Imagine, if you would, putting the digital equivalent of a health club on a member’s smartphone or other mobile device. 

Imagine a platform that would track their exercise activities inside and outside of the club, their eating habits, and even their sleep patterns; allow them to interact directly with their personal trainer; and provide suggestions on programs, nutrition, and supplements to help them meet their health and fitness goals. 

Imagine, too, that this data could then be integrated with all of the club-generated data on a member—their demographic details, check-in record, choice of classes, on-site spending, etc. 

Imagine, if you would: Big Data brought to bear on the club/member relationship. 

A Data-driven Plan 

That’s exactly what h2 fit, a division of h2 wellness, is determined to provide. 

Since 2005, h2 wellness, which has offices in New York and Los Angeles, has been developing just this sort of digital health platform for major companies in the fitness, nutrition, weight loss, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and consumer products industries. To date, more than 3.2 million end-users in 15 countries have utilized the h2 platform to improve their health. 

Recently, for instance, it worked with Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., a leading provider of weight-control programs and nutritional supplements, to revitalize its free online community and digital tracking tools, and to create a new desktop interface and mobile app. 

The results, for the firms providing access to the platform, have included greater customer satisfaction, increased retention, and higher sales. 

“Improving both personal health and business performance is at the core of h2’s mission,” said Hooman Fakki, the cofounder and CEO of the company. “We help our clients succeed by making it possible for them to help their customers get the most benefit from their gym membership, weight loss program, dietary supplement, or other healthy lifestyle solution.” 

h2 is a special, cloud-based, proprietary system that combines data, digital technology, and behavioral science to obtain insights that are otherwise unobtainable, and then plot customized courses of action. 

“What makes us unique is our ability to transform a user’s data into a personalized plan that encompasses every aspect of their health—from diet and fitness, to stress and sleep management,” said Ben Taylor, a behavioral scientist and h2 product manager. “Based on that data, our system then delivers the support, education, coaching, and tools that individuals need, at just the right moment, to help them achieve their goals. It’s a deeply personalized experience.” 

And it’s all right there—convenient, easy, and accessible—on the member’s mobile device via the h2 app.

Continue reading "Value Proposition: h2 fit" in the April issue of CBI.


Schwinn Class Tamer App Garners Award

iPhone screen shot of the Schwinn Class Tamer app.The Schwinn Class Tamer App won the Outstanding Achievement Award, given by the Interactive Media Awards.

StairMaster, which markets and distributes Schwinn indoor group cycling, and Pinckney Hugo Group, which created the app, won in the Sports category. According to a press release the app “surpassed the basic standards of excellence that comprise the web’s most professional work.”

“It was truly a collaborative effort that led to the Schwinn Class Tamer App,” said Merrill Richmond, vice president of sales and marketing, StairMaster, in the press release. “Together, with Pinckney Hugo Group, we were able to develop the premier music player for group exercise professionals. It is a tool organized intuitively with large, easy-to-read fonts and controls to help them stay organized while they energize their classes.”

The entire press release can be found on the Pinckney Hugo Group website.


Mastrov Joins FitStar's Board of Directors

Mark MastrovFitStar, a digital health and fitness platform designed to inspire people to live healthier lives, has brought on 24 Hour Fitness Founder Mark Mastrov to its board.

Last month FitStar launched its second app - FitStar Yoga. Joining FitStar Personal Trainer the San Francisco-based company now has more than 2 million app downloads.

“Like FitStar, my goal is to make fitness more appealing and accessible to a worldwide audience,” said Mastrov, in a press release. “I'm looking forward to joining FitStar on its mission to transform health and fitness into a more personalized and interactive experience.”

Read the entire press release on BusinessWire.



Vivafit offers scheduling app

Vivavit, the women-only gym franchise in Europe, has tried to stay ahead of the curve in the past couple years with expansion in the Middle East and Asia and the opening of a group fitness compact studios.

Recently it made it easier for members to book classes with its new mobile app. It is available on three continents in five languages. Users can also see their class schedules.

"This online booking app intends to increase usage, retention and profitability of the franchise and, of course, members' satisfaction," said co-founder Pedro Ruiz.

For more on the app and Vivafit, visit the company website.


App usage high in Southeast Asia, Australia

A recent survey of health club members in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand found that three in every 10 used fitness apps to track their workouts.

The survey also found that 5% purchased the app, opposed to 25% using free options. With more than 17 million gym members in the area, according to the recent IHRSA Global Report, that equates to more than 5 million members using an app.



Weight Watchers purchases fitness app

Weight Watchers International, Inc., the world’s largest weight management company, is getting into the fitness business.

The company recently acquired Wello (, an app that makes use of Webcams and an Internet browser to connect trainers with people looking to take a class or book a personal training session.

Wello functions much like the ride-sharing services, Lyft and Uber, which connect drivers and passengers.

“I’m impressed with Wello’s talent, their technology, and their platform to deliver personalized services,” says Dan Crowe, Weight Watchers chief technology officer. “We look forward to combining our technology and innovation capabilities to better meet the needs of today’s consumer.”

Weight Watchers will now be able to use Wello’s digital system to help its customers manage their weight more effectively. The ability to scale quickly, Crowe points out, is one of the advantages of utilizing software and technology in the health management sector.

The acquisition represents yet another example of “digital therapeutics,” which employs technology to address heath issues.

Weight Watchers, a Fortune 500 company, reported revenues of $1.72 billion for 2013.


ACE Academy Elite now available on iPad

The American Council on Exercise's interactive study guide is now an iPad app.

Troy Apps Software, based in San Diego like ACE, developed the app for ACE Academy Elite. It includes new features like expandable graphics, tappable glossary terms and custom note organization.

“We want to cater to a new age of more technically savvy learners, and ACE Academy Elite for iPad helps us do that using a platform we know is effective,” said ACE President and CEO Scott Goudeseune. “Offering this option helps a wider range of aspiring personal trainers obtain the knowledge and skills they need to launch their careers and contribute to the national response to the obesity epidemic and other chronic diseases.”

For the entire press release, go to the Business Wire website.