According to a 2010 study by the World Health Organization (WHO), about 23% of adults were not active enough; men being 20% and women 27%. The percentages were higher in high-income countries, at 26% of men and 35% of women, compared to low-income countries where only 12% of men and 24% of women were found to be insufficiently physically active. Shockingly, 81% of children between the ages of 11 and 17 years were insufficiently physically active; a worrying trend for the future.
WHO is actively sensitizing sedentary lifestyles because insufficient physical activity is one of the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases like high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes; it can lead to obesity and also affect one’s mental health.
To avoid such effects, WHO recommends that adults aged 18 years and above should spend at least 150 minutes doing moderate-intensity physical exercises throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical exercises in a week. They can also opt to do an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activities. Children and adolescents aged between 5 and 17 years are advised to do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical exercises every day. The more you exercise, the bed.
There are a number of factors that have pushed people to lead sedentary lifestyles. Some may be worried about their safety outdoors while others are concerned about the air pollution and heavy traffic. A lot of job nowadays also involve a lot of sitting.
It is this need to stay fit through exercises that has led to the growth of the fitness industry; there are thousands professional fitness trainers, facilities, and applications. The gyms and weight loss centers provide either personalized or general training based on what the clients want. These trainings – schedules, routines – are made easier with the use of technology.
What is Virtuagym?
Virtuagym is an all-in-one fitness software solution developed by Amsterdam-based company with a similar name. The privately held company was co-founded by Paul Braam and Hugo Braam in 2008, has about 200 employees and another office in Medelin – Colombia.
The company first launched a consumer app then developed the Virtuagym Professional in 2012 which has features that help fitness professionals with client coaching, membership management, and other elements that are necessary in running a fitness business smoothly.
It is ideal for personal trainers, physiotherapists, fitness clubs, fitness chains, corporate wellness, pilates studios, yoga studios, martial arts studios and any other fitness establishment. Through the app, the professionals can: get in touch with their clients for exercise and nutrition coaching; manage their staff; schedule sessions; invoice and do online payments via the platform.
Virtuagym is an all-in-one fitness software solution that allows fitness professionals run their businesses from a single platform. This means that it saves the fitness industry players from the hassle of having to get several other solutions to handle different tasks in their establishment. It meets all the coaching needs through features such as; training plan editor, scheduling, nutrition software, booking, and online coaching. The software also helps in membership and staff management through online payments capabilities, retention dashboard, invoicing and business models that the fitness gurus can pick for their businesses.
The company has a robust customer support system that ensures the clients accomplish their tasks without any hitch. Upon subscription, the new users are helped to set up their portals just to ensure that everything is done properly in terms of branding and staff accounts opening.
Once the user portal is all set, the support team assists the fitness professionals to move their clients to the Virtuagmy platform from the software solutions that they were previously using like B.o.s.s, MindBodyOnline, Coach, Control Plus, Vreugd Software, and Logifit. The process mostly takes less than five days but can be longer is the clients are too many. During the migration process, no client data is lost; basic client information, bank and contract details get moved to the new portal.
The support team offers one-on-one onboarding training to ensure that new clients understand the platform. The company also has articles, webinars and videos done by experts.
Additionally, the support team is available to help new users who wish to have customized Virtuagym mobile apps. The team will handle the app development process and register it in the app stores where club members and clients can download it from.
Great client engagement
With Virtaugym, fitness experts are able to have one on one engagements with their clients thus helping them to know each other better. From the engagement, the fitness expert can decide whether to get a personalized routine or diet for a given client based on the feedback they give. The fitness experts can also get feedback from the whole club community. The engagements within the community can also create bonds that keeps the clients in the club longer – something that is good for the business.
Payment via PaySafe or PayPal, online sign up, online coaching eliminates most of the hassles faced by fitness trainers and/or coaches, and business owners, allowing them to focus on what matters.
Huge online community
Virtuagym is one of the market leaders in the health and fitness industry with over 7 million users worldwide. This gives fitness professionals an opportunity to expand their businesses and subscriptions by tapping into the Virtuagym community.
The software allows business owners to customize their portals and mobile applications thus giving them a platform to push their brands. The customized mobile apps also let members have access to their training plans, nutrition coaching, track their progress and book sessions.
Virtuagym has a number of tools that helps fitness professionals run a healthy business. It has a point of sale (POS), invoicing and online payment tools that make it easy to track sales and subscriptions. The retention dashboard also allows business owners to track the number of clients that they have and adjust accordingly based on the growth rate; if members are leaving the club, they can quickly notice and probe why. On the other hand, if the numbers are rapidly increasing, the business owner will have to add more facilities or adjust schedules to accommodate the new numbers. Virtuagym also offers viable business model options that the users can adopt for sound operations.
Training plan editor
This enhances sharing of training plans with members. This tool has hundreds of workout templates that can be accessed on any device. The fitness professional can also use the exercise database with 3,000+ fully animated exercises to create workout plans that fit individual clients. The plans can either be hidden from members until assigned, or left open for them to browse for independent exercise. It also helps in tracking clients’ progress by keeping an eye on a number of exercise metrics like sets and reps – the fitness expert can tell how many reps a client does.
This was developed in collaboration with dietitians from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, has a food database with over 1 million products thus having adequate information on things that the clients eat. This allows coaches to give expert nutrition guidance to their clients either individually or as a group. The clients can also keep track of their food and training goals: lose weight, maintain weight or build muscle.
This creates a social environment, similar to Facebook, where members can engage with each other and their coaches. Communication within the club community can be mass, targeting only members interested in certain sessions, or one-on-one through messaging. Engagement has been found to boost retention rates as the clients become more loyal.
Scheduling and booking
These make it easy for clients to book their personal training sessions and facilities via their mobile phones. It boosts occupancy with automated confirmations and reminders which reduces the number of clients who forget their appointments. If classes are full, the members can opt to join the waiting list and be notified immediately a slot is available. Attendance tracking feature helps club owners know how many members attend sessions hence help in making crucial business decisions. There is also an automated pay-as-you-go credit system that simplifies handling of paid services.
Challenges and rewards
This enhances client retention through motivation and engagement. The tool makes it easy for coaches to set either personal and group goals that can be motivating to reach through gamification. Leaderboards keep the competitive spirit alive, rewards motivate the clients, and social sharing (once a goal is achieved) helps to spread the word.
This helps fitness professionals to train their clients on the go as they can: easily access the clients’ files whenever need be; contact the clients; book classes; track clients’ progress; and create workout plans and assign them to the clients.
Membership management features
This helps in putting all membership administration – registration, payments, bookings, and access control – together in one platform. This feature integrates all members’ activities in a facility by creating member profiles for each. The software can be full customized best on a given business model and membership plans.
This sees clubs generate more revenue because it encourages client spending as members find it convenient and secure. It supports most common payment methods like PayPal, credit card, debit card, iDEAL, Sofort, and many others. This gives clients freedom to choose their preferred method.
Session credit system
This has been integrated with scheduling, POS and access control modules hence simplifying the payment process by creating a self-service platform. This automation relieves staff of some of the duties while still ensuring efficient service delivery to clients.
This gives useful insights on the health of the business. It shows the number of clients at the beginning of a set period and the numbers at the end. The club owner can quickly tell whether the numbers are going down or up and at what rate. These metrics are then used as guiding factors in making business decisions that will grow the club. The Virtuagym also offers business models that can boost revenue growth. There are options like becoming a reseller of NEON Health fitness products and offering premium services to clients. It also has an automated and sophisticated invoicing tool that with all the payment methods that the platform supports: cash, credit card, wire transfers and debit.
Webshop and online sign up
This allows for more subscriptions as it is more convenient for prospects to simply fill in the forms rather than walk to the fitness facility. The webshop can also be an additional revenue stream through sale of supplements, merchandise and other fitness related products. Virtuagym solution can also be connected to the facility’s hardware such as magnetics strips, barcode scanners, and RFID scanners in order to control or track how clients access the fitness facility. The software be linked to the cash drawers, receipt printers and drinking machines through the point of sale module.
Virtuagym has a subscription pricing model; either monthly or annually. The rates are provided upon quote request and they vary depending on nature and needs of a particular business. The sales team can be contacted by filing a quote request form on the company’s website. The company has a demo version for clients who what to test the platform before subscribing.
The software solution supports Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac and web-based operating systems. In terms of support, one can seek help in any of the 11 languages that it is available in – Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and others. Virtuagym is available to any size of fitness business – small, medium, and large – and freelance fitness professionals. For deployment, it can be cloud hosted, on premise, or open API.
- Technical support team: helps new users to set up their portals, import their clients, and customized their mobile apps; offers one-on-one on-boarding training and produces articles, webinars and guiding videos
- Online forms
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram