FitTech Insider

The digitalized fitness studio: The Art of Smart

Ecosystems, OpenAPI, onboardings: features like these are supposed to make gyms "smart". But what exactly makes a gym "smart", Philipp Roesch-Schlanderer (CEO EGYM)?

Chapter 1: What does Egym mean by "smart"?

  1. When software saves costs: The computer takes over routine tasks such as user management.
  2. When the user experience is personalized: All devices know the user and make customized adjustments. Personalized AI recalculates training every time a user touches a machine.
  3. When data motivates exercisers: Fitness is the only sport in the world that doesn't have a game day. The striker in soccer trains sprinting during the week because he wants to score a goal on Saturday. In the gym, we need to present data in a way that motivates people to keep going.
  4. When devices communicate with each other: Smart is two-way communication between machine and cloud. The machine adjusts based on the user's current performance level and sends the data to the cloud. There, the optimal next workout is calculated. And everything together motivates.

Philipp Roesch-Schlanderer: The non-successful gym-goer with a vision
Philipp Rösch-Schlanderer 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 the training offers 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)

Chapter 2: Which target group loves it smart?

  1. Gym operators: Just three years ago, many were asking: Do we really need this? Now they want to know how to get started. Our answer: digital transformation of the user experience is a journey - not an on/off. What we can illustrate: If the devices and software make a difference, that's an extremely interesting and high return on investment.
  2. Exercisers: German gyms lost about 25% of members during Covid. However, the number of EGYM equipment users only dropped by 13%. Figures like these illustrate that the turnover of users who use our products is lower than that of average users. This is despite the fact that we are more likely to target novice users, who tend to quit more quickly. We have 150 people constantly measuring and interpreting what users do and where. Example: In an early version, users saw three buttons after logging in: Regular Workout, Negative Workout, and a Strength Test. 95% chose Regular Training because - we later found out - it was on the left. Since then, the algorithm varies the order of the buttons.

Is EGYM the measure of all things, Stefan Schade?

... says Stefan Schade, CEO of Trackbar. The startup (claim: Creating Smart Gym) digitizes analog fitness offerings. Sensor technology and AI data analysis add intelligence and function to existing products. The dumbbell itself is your rep counter. The startup raised half a million euros at the end of 2021 - and recently won Ergofit as a customer.

Are offerings like Trackbar's favorable EGYM alternatives?
Philipp: No, this is an AND, not an OR. There are certain machines where you need less guidance. There, this one-way communication from Trackbar is a good solution. In contrast, we've built a platform that integrates all sorts of manufacturers in the industry - now over 100 - into one user experience. Trackbar data also feeds into the EGYM ecosystem, so the gym operator can provide a consistent experience for its users.

Chapter 3: How do smart gyms affect public health?

  1. Increased fitness knowledge: I estimate that 20% of users know how to exercise. For the other 80%, smart products can create a lot of value. In addition, the entire market can grow in this way, because everyone who is not currently in the gym is part of this 80 percent.
  2. Prevention instead of cure: The German fitness market generates five billion in sales. The German healthcare market alone spends 40 billion a year on musculoskeletal disorders - including massages and painkillers. So if the fitness market were trusted with this issue, we could save 35 billion.
  3. Fountain of Youth: We see that EGYM users become biologically seven years younger in the first three months.

Chapter 4: What is smart in ...

  1. Ecosystem: Our users can integrate their Apple Watch, which gives us maximum oxygen saturation data. With this value and the training goal from your Fitness First app, you log in to our partner device from Matrix. Ecosystem.
  2. Onboarding: When members get an introduction, they are less likely to quit. The problem, though, is that 50% of new members show up in the first quarter, but many gym owners don't have more staff there. That's where our onboarding software helps.
  3. Open Mode: With our newest feature, advanced members now train outside the circuit in the open workout area.

Chapter 5: How smart is EGYM growing?

At FitTech Summit IV in May 2021, you told us, "In February 2021, we raised 28 million euros." In an interview with at the end of 2021, you report another investment of about 40 million. Reasons are good relationship but especially your economic successes: in Q4 2021 you grow with 50% after you could keep the pre-level during the pandemic.

Philipp: Our strength is our focus - on the best possible experience in the gym. And that we only tackle one country at a time. That's why we will grow by 50% this year as well - and not only in the last quarter.

Context of this article: FitTech Summit - FIBO Edition: High Tech Society

The context of the contents of this article: The sixth FitTech Summit at FIBO 2022. The German- and English-language business conference asked: How are fitness technologies (Fittech) developing our society? Answers were provided by 14 experts on three live stage shows:
Power to the People - how fittech is changing the reality of (new) audiences.
Cases of Places - how Fittech transforms places of (public) life.
The Planet's Tenet - how fittech influence worlds and systems.