FitTech Insider

How could smart gyms wipe out a €40 billion market?

Gyms represent the biggest sports industry worldwide. But due to the pandemic, user expectations changed. If gyms can adapt to that, they will have a massive impact on societies health and wealth, says EGYM CEO Philipp Rösch-Schlanderer.

What insights have you gained about target group needs that changed the definition of a "smart gym"?
We are observing a trend of personalization in terms of user experience. We all still know the prejudice of an old gym, where we don't know how to use the devices. And when you leave the gym, you're asking yourself whether the workout was really worth it. This makes it hard to motivate yourself. We envision a smart gym, that offers a highly personalized user experience.

What is exactly your definition of a smart gym?
The basic requirement is that everything is connected to the internet. All devices know the user and flow into the personal training plan. It's constantly evolving, based on all the data, the goal and progress. When you leave the gym, you see the data in a meaningful way. These dimensions of sports science must be optimized without me as a user having to deal with it. And the second thing a smart gym works with is behavioral science - to keep people motivated. The gym is the only sport in the world that does not have a game day, but only training days. In every other sport, the game day is the reason why you show up for training day.

Philipp Rösch-Schlanderer: The non-successful gym-goer with a vision
Philipp holds a diploma in business administration and studied technology management in Munich, New York, and Aarhus. He founded his first company at the age of 19. Crunchbase says about Philipp: He is a "non-successful gym-goer with the vision to make the gym accessible to everyone". Since 2010, he has been implementing that vision as CEO of EGYM.
(🤝 Meet Philipp at LinkedIn)

EGYM: Smart training for less frequent failing
"Far too often you see ordinary people failing on day one because workouts offer too little guidance", the company writes on its website. The solution is fitness technology that combines smart training with health goals.
(👁️ Check out what EGYM does)

How does overall social health change as a result of gyms becoming smarter?
The gym is the biggest sport in the world. In soccer, the ultimate goal is to score more goals than you get yourself. In the gym, the goal is to maximize positive outcomes per minute, focused on a healthy body. When gyms become smarter, they can have a massive impact on public health. Germany spends €40 billion a year on musculoskeletal diseases such as back pain. A lot of money is spent on massages and painkillers. What would really help is to strengthen the muscles. The gym market in Germany is €5 billion. You could wipe out this €40 billion market with our €5 billion gym market.

How does the at-home fitness market affect the gym industry?
Everybody talks about the success of Peloton. They have a great product and after 12 years of market credibility they have two and a half million users. But gyms still have 200 million users. People who claim that gyms are dead have lost track of the numbers. However, that doesn't mean that the gym doesn't have to evolve. If someone at home experiences perfectly personalized workouts with fully connected hardware and suddenly visits a gym where everything is still completely analog, they might be disappointed. Users now have the expectations of a completely personalized and digitized user experience.