This article is brought to you by Matrix - Making Exercise accessible through technology.

Restrictions of the Covid-19 era have challenged the notion that exercise must take place in a facility. In fact, the push for home fitness solutions reached new heights in the last year. This means the commercial industry needs to pivot to reach members where they are. We must develop solutions that allow our customers to stay at the center of their members’ fit lifestyle, no matter where or when they exercise.

When it comes to connecting facilities and members, technology already plays a key role. Matrix has invested in technology solutions for this very reason. Using our Workout Tracking Network app and Personal Trainer Portal, customers can send workout plans, challenges and more to members, all accessed through their personal devices. These types of connected solutions will be essential as the industry recovers from Covid-19.

According to a THiNK Active December 2020 report, the average membership reduction in Europe is estimated to be between 9.9% and 13.9%, equating to a loss of up to 9 million memberships. That makes this the opportune moment to use technology to create and drive revenue against different membership levels, including virtual. Customers can extend this type of service to provide a virtual experience to new members who may not be able to join a physical facility.

Using new kinds of memberships to recruit 0.5%, 1% or even 2% of the EU population would have a tremendous impact, increasing the membership base by millions and gaining more than was lost to Covid-19. Technology can also create a much-needed sense of community. Connected apps expand the reach of facilities’ brands while allowing them to deliver a human touch with their own people and messaging. Members can engage with staff anywhere, which creates deeper ties and improved accountability.

 Virtual members can also engage with in-facility members, fostering a feeling of belonging to something bigger than a bike with a touchscreen. In-facility members can also benefit from enhanced on-console experiences with Personal Trainer Portal, for example, driving higher levels of engagement. With this tool, customers can personalize the exercise experience in a way that home fitness solutions cannot. This all boosts engagement and retention levels. Engagement and exercise are more important now than ever. As an industry, we need to create tools and content that reach members wherever they are to drive growth for our businesses and, more importantly, improve quality of life.

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Mar 30, 2021 By Carlos Fernandez