Club Owner’s Guide to Opportunities in “Connected Strength”

Posted on Posted in Blog, Fitness Technology

Club operators – especially the big ones – get to influence and participate in the billion-dollar ‘connected strength’ training opportunity without risking any up-front capital. This is a guide to help you wield this power responsibly.


Connected cycling offers important historical context

In 2005 the first wireless, connected power meters hit the market. Only a small number of geeks cared about seeing their power numbers, but today we have a billion dollar connected cycling industry. Peloton alone will do $400M in sales next year. SoulCycle, Flywheel, Training Peaks, Zwift, Wahoo, along with hundreds of boutique studios coaches, manufacturers and apps push annual sales over a billion dollars.

Step 1: Connect the equipment.

Step 2: Sell new, digital products and services that weren’t possible without the data.

Treadmills and bikes have been ‘connected’ for more than a decade. Connected fitness equipment unlocks the ability to sell services and digital products, which is more scaleable and repeatable than traditional equipment or membership sales.


Connected strength: Goose that lays golden eggs

Strength training is 4x more popular than cycling (data here), and the time for ‘connected strength’ has arrived. If the connected strength ecosystem matures quickly, everybody at the table makes more money.

Regardless of where you sit on the adoption curve, we’re asking you claim your seat at the table. And the best part: sitting at the table doesn’t cost a dime.


15 Questions That Will Determine the Future of the Industry

Here’s an easy way to start. Consider your answers to the questions below and talk about them with your equipment vendors and colleagues. Do their answers match yours? Where are you aligned? Not aligned?

How you (we) answer these fifteen questions will matter a lot:

  1. Will we plug connected strength equipment into a power source, or does it need to be battery-powered?
  2. Is asset management sufficient, or are more advanced capabilities like coaching and retention tools important in your vision of connected strength?
  3. Do you want to empower personal trainers with tools, or do you favor more scaleable, digital solutions?
  4. Are there certain types of workouts that we should encourage or discourage?
  5. What data is most useful for club owners? For trainers? For members?
  6. How can we best encourage developers and service providers to build innovative new products?
  7. Is it OK to rely on (leverage) wearable devices? If so, which ones?
  8. How important is it to tie a member’s performance data into your ERP system?
  9. Do you plan to become a medical-grade data provider and work with hospitals and health systems?
  10. How much pro-active action is it reasonable to ask members to take to take when they use connected strength equipment?
  11. Should users have to belong to a gym?
  12. What behavior are you trying to encourage from your members / staff / vendors?
  13. Do you want to own the tracking hardware or let somebody else do that?
  14. Who is responsible for capturing and making meaning from the data?
  15. Do you see ‘smart’ strength equipment as a launching point for new digital products and services, or an amenity for customers?

There are no wrong answers, but the industry will mature more quickly if we hold hands on some of the key questions. We’re formulating answers to all of these questions, right now, as an industry and can’t afford to make assumptions about what you want – will you join us?

What’s at stake is billions of dollars. You get to be a key influencer with an investment of time and attention – no capital is required at this stage. If the connected strength ecosystem launches successfully and matures quickly, it leaves less time for new entrants to gobble up the market, as Peloton and other new companies have done in cycling.


About ShapeLog’s Approach

ShapeLog is a business-to-business fitness technology company that believes ‘connected strength training’ is a billion dollar opportunity that requires the participation of many stakeholders from across the fitness industry. We sell and distribute our unique technologies through OEM partners who bring expertise, relationships, and infrastructure to deploy scaleable, bullet-proof solutions. We are active members of the ANT+ Alliance, Consumer Technology Association, and Fitness Industry Technology Council.

You can reach us directly at 833-ShapeLog or brian@shapelog.com.

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