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Fitness First expands app, adding host of fitness-related mobile features

Fitness club chain Fitness First has added new features to its CustomFit mobile application designed to mobilize the brand for users both in the gym and at home.

Working with mobile service company DMI, Fitness First is introducing a host of new features to its app including social capabilities and an in-app class-booking feature. Combined with over 800 built-in workout videos, CustomFit is positioned as a comprehensive mobile fitness companion.

“Fitness First is the largest gym chain in the world,” said Magnus Jern, president of DMI’s mobile application solutions division. “With a focus on getting all users to adopt a healthier lifestyle, Fitness First backs up the app by drawing on its years of experience and expertise in the field.

“In conjunction with DMI’s app development specialists, a new app will help anyone embed fitness into their lifestyle, whether they are a Fitness First member or not.”

Personal mobile trainer
The CustomFit app has consistently been a mobile companion for Fitness First’s customers, but the new feature set provides a host of new ways for gym-goers to connect with the brand on a mobile level.

Users can see a large selection of premade workout routines created in-house by Fitness First. While many of those routines are designed to be completed in the gym, others are home workouts.

The app will also tailor itself to users by learning their preferences and measuring what features are used most and what workouts are done most. Using this data, the app can then create personalized workouts.

“The key to the program is the Fitness Logic system within CustomFit,” Mr. Jern said. “This innovative system gets to know the user once they have answered four simple questions and provides them with a set of workouts delivered directly to the users’ phone.

“The users benefit from having specialized advice and exercises without necessarily being a member – they have access to over 800 exercises – and FF benefits because the brand becomes synonymous with fitness and health on a general level beyond its gym network.”

CustomFit also serves as a mobile guide to navigating the bricks-and-mortar Fitness First locations as well. Using the app, users can book rooms and classes without having to go through the front desk are sign-up sheets.

Finally, the app also has a social component in the form of shareable progress and fitness goals. Users can post their personal progress and milestones, encourage others to do so as well and compete via an in-app leaderboard system.

Fitness companion
As other sectors become more and more mobile-centric, the fitness industry is starting to catch up. And that investment has paid off.

Last year, Total Gym saw a five-times increase in engagement through the use of mobile guides (see story).

Earlier this year, Planet Fitness had similar success with a mobile-optimized quiz that recommended workout routines to users based on their favorite pizza toppings (see story).

Those efforts by fitness clubs are vital at a time when they are competing with big fitness brands like Under Armour and Nike as well as fitness tech platforms like Fitbit or MyFitnessPal, brands whose digital strategies are quite strong. The upside for clubs is that they have a built-in loyal audience that engages with the club frequently.

The importance of mobile as a companion in all parts of life will only grow, and fitness is no different. Fitness First is even pulling health data from users’ smartphones directly to aid in the creation of compatible workouts.

“CustomFit also measures the user’s activity level by pulling in step data from Apple Health or Google Fit,” Mr. Jern said. “Combined with the logged workouts, fitness enthusiasts are able to see a complete overview of their activity level.

“If they record body weight, they will also see an integrated view showing how their efforts are paying off.”