Earlier this year, Virke, the Enterprise Federation of Norway, published their report on the fitness industry in Norway. The report showed that the industry has a bad reputation amongst people who are not members of a fitness club. Meaning that the fitness industry has a bad reputation where it has it´s growth potential.
A small fitness center in Trondheim, Norway, wants to turn that negative reputation around.
“We want to strengthen the reputation of the fitness industry and make a gym membership applicable to more people”, Knut Løkke, Founder and CEO of the center TrenHer, says.
TrenHer is Myworkout´s own fitness center,and September 15th the company opens its second center in Trondheim, and along with the opening new opportunities appear.
“TrenHer is basically a conventional unmanned fitness center, offering affordable exercise to its members. However, what´s special is that in addition it is a center for research and development, which members also benefits from”, Løkke explains, and continues:
“TrenHer aims to develop the fitness industry. We put resources from technology, research and innovation into the center. This gives the members extra services you cannot find in other fitness centers, yet. It is not just a center; it’s an important piece of an overall goal to resolve the international inactivity problem.”
Løkke says he wants to challenge the “fitness center” concept, and try to further develop it in order to reach out to more people. TrenHer develops and verify various offers that can improve the reputation to the industry by, for example, reaching out to hikers who currently not see themselves as potential members.
“In the big picture, a fitness center is a training provider in the community. If we assume that fact before we build the walls, and at the same time think outside the box, we can through the use of technology and communication make a center able to offer training products in more relevant ways than we see today. It´s made some half-hearted attempts by other fitness centers, without success. We have already succeeded with some of this in our first center in Trondheim.”
Løkke explains further that he want´s to make it meaningful to exercise elsewhere than at the centers facility, but still under the direction of the fitness center you´re a member of. He says a mobile app is one way to do this.
“TrenHer offers a mobile adaptive technology that measures the biological age and oxygen consumption of the user. With the opening of our new center, we will launch a premium version of this app that´s free for all customers on TrenHer. The app is an exercise aid that makes it motivating following a class both outside, at home and at the center. This opens up for many new possibilities. If we succeed in this, I think we can enhance the reputation and expand the catchment area considerably. Remember that hiking is Norway’s most popular activity. There are many potential customers here,” he says.
This winter, the center starts a project that aims to solve the inactivity problem in specially selected groups, such as offshore employees and diagnosis groups. Løkke hope this solution is so good that other centers want´s to take advantage of it.
“The project will, among other things, create a motivational exercise solution that appears on screen. It is a further development of our online exercise videos. We have several good ideas, but first we have to see what works. We will test the solution at the new center, which opens on September 15th,” he says.
“We bring research from NTNU into the project, because we have a goal of making the exercise most efficient for the customer. It´s exercise that works and give a feeling of getting in better shape. To follow up on the research we’re opening a training clinic as well. There will be a full time employee exercise physiologist in the centers, as a shop-in-shop solution. This opens up numerous opportunities both for TrenHer and to users of the mobile app. Members who wants extra help and support can get it at the center, or anywhere else in the world via the mobile app. We can also provide the physiologist to other center’s members via this application,” he adds.
Løkke points out that he has no desire to outperform other centers. He refers to Virkes reports of grim figures and the failure of the fitness industry’s revenue, and believes that centers should think again to change this.
“Historically, there has been very little innovation in the fitness industry. There are more centers have and they are merged into larger chains, but that is neither new nor innovative. We see this as an exciting opportunity. We put entrepreneurship into the project, and keep your eyes open for win-win solutions that simultaneously help to resolve the inactivity problem,” he says.
“We have a goal that´s hard to reach, but if we are going to crack the code we need to turn the industry upside down,” Løkke concludes.