Gym chain Equinox is getting in on the mobile health craze with its new, revamped mobile app. The new platform combines not just information from the gym, but data on your fitness when you’re not actually there, encouraging users to think of the gym as being with them all the time. This sounds a bit like a nightmarish scenario of some sort of drill sergeant in your pocket, but according to Equinox, it’s all about supporting the fitness goals of its members in a positive, encouraging way. This could very well represent the future for physical gym chains, or a desperate attempt to forestall inevitable decline when we all have a trainer on our phones.
Digital health via wearable technology and advanced data analysis is still pretty new, but Equinox has some possibly useful ideas to measure outside gym work with what users do at the gym. It’s also combining with other fitness apps like MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness to keep track of your calorie burning. Based on your exercises and routines, it will actually be able to suggest new work out routines and, happily enough for the gym’s bottom line, classes and fitness groups with other Equinox users. Basically, Equinox wants the app to be a one-stop shop for working out. Since there are only a couple of Equinox gyms in the D.C. area as of yet, it’s almost definitely an encouragement for people here to try it out despite its relative lack of presence in the area. Everybody like a personal trainer.
“With our redesigned app and website, we’re looking at members’ behavior, in addition to their quantified self data, to provide them with recommendations, tips and content to inform and improve their fitness routines,” said Carlos Becil, the chief marketing officer at Equinox. “We’re delivering an unparalleled experience and creating a motivational environment to push our members toward their goals.”
The new app, which has both an iOS and an Android version, is very much about the motivation at all times. It is constantly tracking your movements and, if you have a FitBit or similar device, other measurements of your health too. It will tell you how far you’ve gone, how many sessions you have had and how many calories you have burned. If you don’t have a wearable, you can actually take pictures of your workout info, on a treadmill for instance, to upload.
“The app and website’s new capabilities and features are in place to create a highly personalized experience for our members,” said Matt Burton, director of digital marketing at Equinox. “We’ve created a useful tool to better serve our members so each individual can see a holistic view of their health in one place.“
And of course, Equinox hopes that they will be that one place. What’s really fascinating is the question of whether other gyms will take this as a model going forward. If everyone can have a personal trainer in their pocket or on their wrist suggesting how they exercise regardless of where they are, what’s the point of paying for a physical gym? All of that equipment can be replaced or worked around if you have solid, personalized advice and really good sensor technology. Equinox is going for what might be a viable future for the gym as a physical concept, but mobile health isn’t done evolving yet.