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Les Mills
Les Mills
Les Mills
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features

App analysis: PureGym

Apps are an important way for health and fitness operators to keep members engaged and motivated. Lucian Weston, head of business development at Puregym, talks about developing their app in-house to ensure it met member needs

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 2
New app upgrades include digital training support and body composition integration
New app upgrades include digital training support and body composition integration
We’ve been ranked number two on the App Store for health and fitness, second only to Fitbit

Tell us about your background
My previous role was a strategy consultant at PwC. I came to Pure Gym three and a half years ago.

In my current role I’m responsible for the development of new products and services to enhance member experience and deliver incremental revenue. Product management of the mobile app is an important component of this.

What were your main goals in developing the PureGym app?
Ultimately, we believe the app should be central to the entire member experience and provide a point of competitive differentiation. It’s also a great way of engaging and motivating those who don’t use our physical facilities.

Who did the development work?
We chose to develop it in-house. We see this as a real strength as it gives us complete ownership and allows us to continually add features and improve usability for members.

The first version was released in June 2018.

What functionality did you opt for and why?
Initially, our aim was to develop a tool for class management. However, over time, we’ve added a wide range of other features to be relevant for a broader audience.

Did you consult members in relation to the app?
Member feedback is one of the key principles of our development process. We always start with a member problem and think about how we can solve it.

Before starting development, we conduct research via a range of channels: online groups, in the gym, focus groups and one-on-one usability testing. We then develop and release a minimum viable product (MVP) of any feature before iterating based on usage data and feedback that we receive directly through our app.

Which features are most popular?
Class management still accounts for about half of overall usage. However, it has been great how quickly we have diversified usage and the remaining features are all well used. We released a new version of training plans in January, which have got off to a flying start.

Are there any features that don’t get used so much?
Honestly, there aren’t. The actual development is the costly, time consuming part of the process so we make sure we have as much confidence as possible before we start building. We do this through thinking strategically, conducting member research and analysing what works well in the market – as much in other industries as our own.

How do you measure success?
We set ourselves ambitious targets across a range of metrics and track our performance rigorously. First and foremost, we record usage of the app. At the start of January, we were ranked number two on the App Store for Health and Fitness, second only to Fitbit. That month in total we had more than 700k members using the app.

Do you plan to update it? If so, how often and with what goals in mind?
We release a new version of the app every two weeks, so it’s always evolving and improving over time. We’re committed to it as a long-term investment, with the goal of it being the centre of a member’s experience.

There are lots of exciting developments coming up this year, including digital training support, body composition integration, home workouts and intelligent messaging.

What advice do you have for other operators?
Think carefully about your business goals and how an app will help you achieve them. Be clear on your return on investment model. Also bear in mind there are plenty of fit-for-purpose third-party apps that can be taken ‘off the shelf’.

How have you updated the app since COVID-19?
After we closed our gyms on 20th March, we focused on expanding our home and outdoor workouts.

To continue supporting our members, we added tailored nutrition information, mindfulness and exercise guidance and made connecting with PTs for online training easier.

These were features of the app that we were already in the process of developing, however, the impact of COVID-19 has massively accelerated their rollout.

How has the app helped you to engage with members during this time?
Alongside our social media channels, it has been our primary engagement tool with members.

Since our sites closed, more than 500,000 members and former members have used the app to support their mental and physical wellbeing. There are now more than 100 free workouts across cardio, strength, yoga, mindfulness and running, which have been highly popular and received great feedback.

How do you hope to use the app going forward?
The app is central to our digital strategy. As we begin to re-open sites, members can use it to check how busy the gym is, and book a slot to visit safely. It’s also providing key information updates and being used to capture real-time feedback from members.

Meanwhile, tailored content is guiding members on getting back into their gym routine. The home and outdoor content will continue to be crucial for users in order to stay fit and healthy when they can’t make it to the gym.

About the Puregym app

The app currently has the following features and the PureGym team is adding to them all the time:

• Access: check how busy any gym is at any time

• Activity tracking: track gym visits and earn badges

• Training plans: workout plans tailored to fit members’ goals and experience levels

• Class management

• PIN entry reminder

• Manage your membership function

Lucian Weston is head of business development at Puregym

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
More than 500,000 people used the app during lockdown
More than 500,000 people used the app during lockdown
Members can use the app to check how busy the gym is and book a slot to visit safely
Members can use the app to check how busy the gym is and book a slot to visit safely
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/923141_115221.jpg
Lucian Weston tells how he designed PureGym's app to ensure it met member needs
Lucian Weston, PureGym,app, in-house development
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features

App analysis: PureGym

Apps are an important way for health and fitness operators to keep members engaged and motivated. Lucian Weston, head of business development at Puregym, talks about developing their app in-house to ensure it met member needs

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 2
New app upgrades include digital training support and body composition integration
New app upgrades include digital training support and body composition integration
We’ve been ranked number two on the App Store for health and fitness, second only to Fitbit

Tell us about your background
My previous role was a strategy consultant at PwC. I came to Pure Gym three and a half years ago.

In my current role I’m responsible for the development of new products and services to enhance member experience and deliver incremental revenue. Product management of the mobile app is an important component of this.

What were your main goals in developing the PureGym app?
Ultimately, we believe the app should be central to the entire member experience and provide a point of competitive differentiation. It’s also a great way of engaging and motivating those who don’t use our physical facilities.

Who did the development work?
We chose to develop it in-house. We see this as a real strength as it gives us complete ownership and allows us to continually add features and improve usability for members.

The first version was released in June 2018.

What functionality did you opt for and why?
Initially, our aim was to develop a tool for class management. However, over time, we’ve added a wide range of other features to be relevant for a broader audience.

Did you consult members in relation to the app?
Member feedback is one of the key principles of our development process. We always start with a member problem and think about how we can solve it.

Before starting development, we conduct research via a range of channels: online groups, in the gym, focus groups and one-on-one usability testing. We then develop and release a minimum viable product (MVP) of any feature before iterating based on usage data and feedback that we receive directly through our app.

Which features are most popular?
Class management still accounts for about half of overall usage. However, it has been great how quickly we have diversified usage and the remaining features are all well used. We released a new version of training plans in January, which have got off to a flying start.

Are there any features that don’t get used so much?
Honestly, there aren’t. The actual development is the costly, time consuming part of the process so we make sure we have as much confidence as possible before we start building. We do this through thinking strategically, conducting member research and analysing what works well in the market – as much in other industries as our own.

How do you measure success?
We set ourselves ambitious targets across a range of metrics and track our performance rigorously. First and foremost, we record usage of the app. At the start of January, we were ranked number two on the App Store for Health and Fitness, second only to Fitbit. That month in total we had more than 700k members using the app.

Do you plan to update it? If so, how often and with what goals in mind?
We release a new version of the app every two weeks, so it’s always evolving and improving over time. We’re committed to it as a long-term investment, with the goal of it being the centre of a member’s experience.

There are lots of exciting developments coming up this year, including digital training support, body composition integration, home workouts and intelligent messaging.

What advice do you have for other operators?
Think carefully about your business goals and how an app will help you achieve them. Be clear on your return on investment model. Also bear in mind there are plenty of fit-for-purpose third-party apps that can be taken ‘off the shelf’.

How have you updated the app since COVID-19?
After we closed our gyms on 20th March, we focused on expanding our home and outdoor workouts.

To continue supporting our members, we added tailored nutrition information, mindfulness and exercise guidance and made connecting with PTs for online training easier.

These were features of the app that we were already in the process of developing, however, the impact of COVID-19 has massively accelerated their rollout.

How has the app helped you to engage with members during this time?
Alongside our social media channels, it has been our primary engagement tool with members.

Since our sites closed, more than 500,000 members and former members have used the app to support their mental and physical wellbeing. There are now more than 100 free workouts across cardio, strength, yoga, mindfulness and running, which have been highly popular and received great feedback.

How do you hope to use the app going forward?
The app is central to our digital strategy. As we begin to re-open sites, members can use it to check how busy the gym is, and book a slot to visit safely. It’s also providing key information updates and being used to capture real-time feedback from members.

Meanwhile, tailored content is guiding members on getting back into their gym routine. The home and outdoor content will continue to be crucial for users in order to stay fit and healthy when they can’t make it to the gym.

About the Puregym app

The app currently has the following features and the PureGym team is adding to them all the time:

• Access: check how busy any gym is at any time

• Activity tracking: track gym visits and earn badges

• Training plans: workout plans tailored to fit members’ goals and experience levels

• Class management

• PIN entry reminder

• Manage your membership function

Lucian Weston is head of business development at Puregym

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
More than 500,000 people used the app during lockdown
More than 500,000 people used the app during lockdown
Members can use the app to check how busy the gym is and book a slot to visit safely
Members can use the app to check how busy the gym is and book a slot to visit safely
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/923141_115221.jpg
Lucian Weston tells how he designed PureGym's app to ensure it met member needs
Lucian Weston, PureGym,app, in-house development
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The number of active memberships across European health clubs fell by roughly 10 million – ...
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Peloton is expanding its reach within the online fitness market with the launch of a ...
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Dr Giles Yeo, a geneticist at Cambridge University in the UK, has written a new ...
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Plans have been revealed to build the world's deepest pool in Cornwall, UK, which would ...
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People with depression should be prescribed exercise and then monitored for the first 12 weeks ...
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Opinion
promotion
While much of the fitness industry has reopened its doors across the UK over the past weeks, many members are yet to return.
Opinion: Re-engaging your post-lockdown absent members
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: FunXtion enhance interactive workouts with the launch of Virtual Player
Digital meets personal with the new Virtual Player from FunXtion, experts in interactive fitness, which allows clubs to stream and schedule world class virtual classes anytime, providing an interactive workout experience on the gym floor, functional area or directly to members at home via an app.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Feel better for longer with Power Plate
Aligning fitness and healthcare as part of the wider health and wellbeing needs of the ageing population has never been more important.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
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Company profile: EMD UK
EMD UK is the national governing body for group exercise. Funded by Sport England, EMD ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Precor
Precor has been a pioneer in delivering fitness experiences for commercial customers for more than ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Funxtion
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
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Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Skincare
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Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Salt therapy products
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Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
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Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
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Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
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Diary dates
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Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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