By Tom Cowan, Head of Operations, Vyta App.
As the 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report revealed, “the UK health and fitness industry continues to grow, being mainly driven from the private sector, which has more clubs, more members and a greater market value than ever before”.
So, in such a heavily contested market place, how do you get ahead of the competition and create a successful health and fitness business?
According to David Walmsley, Senior Leisure Analyst at Mintel, “Flexibility and technology are two important emerging forces in the private health and fitness market”. The recent surge in the number of low-cost gyms has brought a greater degree of flexibility to the consumer, which has encouraged more users to enter the health and fitness market, drawn by the offerings of flexible payments and affordable personal training. Technology, on the contrary, has trickled down from the premium sector, as clients demand more sophisticated training programmes and a more enjoyable, interactive experience, such as with the use of virtual reality treadmills and exercise bikes.
At Vyta, we have brought together these two aspects to create a service that is fundamentally built around both flexibility and technology, in order to appeal to the modern health and fitness user. As we know, trying to arrange a session with a personal trainer can at times be a difficulty just in itself, with the client often having to fit around the trainer’s schedule and existing clients, and they may then still need to travel to the gym, which for some people is a big ask in our increasingly busy lifestyles. This is where the flexibility can sometimes be lacking and one reason why initially keen gym-goers may not be able to sustain their fitness regime, leading to a potential loss of momentum, lack of progress towards their goals and resultantly becoming demotivated and giving up before often then entering a repeating cycle of starting and stopping their fitness regime. We think that we have the answer.
As an app, we revolve around the use of technology and as four out of five UK adults now own a smartphone (Deloitte, 2016), we are becoming ever more centred around booking things on-the-go, on-demand from our fingertips. Booking a training session is a slick process, taking just 20 seconds, and can be made just one hour before you would like to train. We even have intelligence within the app that tracks your trainer’s location for the thirty minutes before your session, allowing you to maximise your time and be as productive as you can right up until your trainer arrives.
We’ve given the client the power and made everything flexible to their needs, somewhat turning the industry’s usual trainer-client dynamic on its head. From the Vyta app, you can choose when and where you would like your training session and our trainers come to you at your home, park, hotel or office; taking flexibility to a whole new level. We essentially fit training into your lifestyle rather than trying to make your lifestyle fit around your training, to maximise your chances of sustaining your fitness programme and minimising the risk of dropout. Clients also get the chance to browse our trainers’ profiles and have a look at their experience, qualifications and areas of expertise before selecting their favourite trainer for their session.
This is another benefit of Vyta. The health and fitness industry has an abundance of personal trainers, so how do you know which one to pick, who is going to be right for you and your needs? Most people start with a personal trainer through a recommendation, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the skills to meet your requirements or that you’ll find that their style suits you.
Through the Vyta app, we bring clients and trainers together to provide the client with a whole host of trainers to choose from, all in one place so they can quickly and conveniently pick out the one who they think is best suited to them. However, we aren’t a marketplace, all of our trainers have been handpicked following a rigorous recruitment process, selected for their expertise, including industry-recognised qualifications, their style and personality.
The whole Vyta training experience is personalised for each client. No matter which trainer you select, they will perform a consultation to fully understand you and to be able to tailor your programme to your needs and objectives. You will also be provided with a team-to-one approach, backed at all times by a dedicated support team to give you added motivation and input to keep you on track.
We hope that Vyta will be successful as a business and become a model example for the agile, modern health and fitness company but also to be a successful solution for our clients, giving them a more sustainable way to train that brings them a much more realistic way of achieving long-term health and fitness improvements.