Hyper-personalization Is the Next Big Trend in Fitness

Workouts tailored to individual biomechanics and training results present challenges to today’s health clubs. Here’s what to do.

Personalization is nothing new in the marketplace. E-commerce sites seized on it years ago, coding their algorithms to create individual recommendations tailored to data collected from online behavior. Consumers are now accustomed to personalized experiences based on their browser history.

Today, many people are happy to share their data if it makes their lives easier, and marketing pros and internet retailers are more than eager to comply. According to data from Forrester, 94% of marketers are harnessing the power of their analytics and data to deliver personalized experiences. This, of course, includes the fitness industry.

Most consumers encounter personalization in a fitness context through apps, smart watches, and other wearables. These bio-data devices are taking hold in all aspects of health management, including wellness and medical markets. This has led to services dedicated to helping people design workouts and diets customized to their specific needs as defined by their personal data.

Like everything else tech-based, this trend is going to accelerate. We’re at the advent of genomics (applied DNA data), artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, machine learning, 3D body scanning, and predictive analytics.

This integration of advanced technology into the fitness experience is creating a challenge for health clubs in responding to the personalization trend. Of course, health clubs have provided customized fitness experiences for decades. We call them “personal” trainers for a reason. But now clubs have to understand how to deliver the “hyper-personalized” experience beyond one-on-one human interaction.

“Hyper-personalization involves creating an engagement experience that’s customized for, specific to, a given user,” explains Bryan O’Rourke, president of the Fitness Industry Technology Council (FIT-C) “It’s about convenience, about reducing the number of steps a person has to take to get what they want.”

You need to integrate the hyper-personalized experience into your club’s ecosystem. If you don’t offer it, your competitor will—especially if you want to retain members in younger demographics.

Personal Training without the Trainer

As it stands now, most brands are failing to meet the demand of customization. In a study by marketing firm Pure360 called, “Beyond the Basics: Why Customers Are Demanding Next-Level Personalization,” consumers are no longer responding to basic personalization attempts, including using individual names in mass emails or sending birthday messages.

Other data backs up this conclusion. A report by research company Segment discovered that just 22% of consumers are pleased with the level of personalization they receive from businesses.

“In the age of the hyperconnected consumer, delivering a personalized experience is key,” writes digital strategist Andy Betts.

It’s time to move beyond the browser and email campaigns when delivering personalized experiences to customers. The connected world is opening up numerous opportunities to deliver customization from the enormous amount of data we’re collecting.

The good news is that health club members will pay more for a “personalized high-value experience,” says the 2018 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report. This is more true of Generation X, Generation Z, and Millennials. A preference for personalized experienced is one reason for the growth of boutique studios and small-group training (SGT) among this population, says the report.

“In the age of the hyperconnected consumer, delivering a personalized experience is key.”

Andy Betts, Digital Strategist

To underscore this point, IHRSA’s research found that younger demos are more likely to hire a personal trainer. “Millennials/Generation Y are the most frequent users of personal training and small group training,” says the Consumer Report.

Nothing beats having a personal trainer. It’s great for members and great for your bottom line. Personal training is the second largest source of ancillary revenue for the industry, and has been for the last decade, according to IHRSA data.

But while you still want to encourage personal training in your club, you need to provide alternative customized experiences for those members who will never hire a trainer for financial or other reasons.

How do you create hyper-personalized experiences for a member that allows for different ages, genders, and goals? That’s not to mention different biomechanics and fitness capabilities. And how do you serve this need on the gym floor?

The “one-size-fits-all” model of exercise equipment with basic adjustment settings isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Bringing Hyper-personal Tech to Exercise Equipment

Equipment suppliers are responding to the hyper-personalized movement and one of the most advanced is Technogym. The company’s latest innovation is called BIOCIRCUIT, cutting-edge circuit training connected equipment range. The circuit includes a training software that guides the user through a customized circuit program, sets up automatically each single equipment according to the user size and workload, including the seat position. Using a single login, members access programs that can target weight loss, healthy aging, muscle building, and other goals.

The technology behind the BIOCIRCUIT system is called BIODRIVE. Based on revolutionary aerospace technology, BIODRIVE brings machine learning to the equipment category. The program tracks and stores the user’s biomechanics and other personal analytics, then creates a circuit workout that delivers the best results in a short amount of time.

Fitness Programming Technogym Biocircuit column

The equipment doesn’t need to be monitored or guided by personal or group trainers. Once the BIODRIVE technology “learns” and adapts to the user, the exerciser never needs to make manual adjustments or provide inputs beyond the login. The software learns movement patterns for both concentric and eccentric repetitions and even allows for spotter assistance.

The BIOCIRCUIT system combines the best of the industry’s hottest trends: hyper-personalization and compact circuit workouts. It completely disrupts the one-size-fits-all equipment model and turns your club into a workout destination for consumers looking for a high-tech premium experience.

For club owners, this is a turnkey solution to providing the hyper-personalized workout that members, especially younger consumers, are increasingly demanding. BIODRIVE adapts to any fitness level and is simple to operate, even for those members uncomfortable with advanced technology.

To learn more about BIOCIRCUIT and BIODRIVE, you can download a brochure on Technogym’s website. T

Related Articles & Publications

  • The 2019 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report

  • Does Your Health Club’s Equipment Create an Experience?

Author avatar

Jim Schmaltz

Jim Schmaltz is Editor-in-Chief of Club Business International.