A big part of Fitocracy’s core offering is a community-driven encouragement platform. At first, users come to the app and get hooked because of the gamification and quantification of the user’s own fitness data.
However, founders Brian Wang and Dick Talens believe that it’s the encouragement aspect — giving and receiving feedback on progress from your friends’ and family — that keeps people engaged.
With Group Fitness, Fitocracy is simply taking that to the next level. Start by choosing a group to join, and you’ll instantly be brought into a private community with your trainer and your group mates. Within that group, you’ll all be given a personalized training plan and/or diet, with 24/7 access to your trainer and team mates to answer questions or give feedback.
“We think that this is what is going to make Fitocracy a billion dollar company,” said Dick Talens. “If you look at fitness spend in the last decade, a relatively small amount of money has shifted from offline to online. That shouldn’t make sense. People and products should get paid if they yield results, and from what we’ve seen on Fitocracy, the Internet is often unparalleled when it comes to getting people fit.”
Group members can participate in Google Hangouts and Q&A’s with the trainer and eventually coaches will modify the training plan based on progress.
Fitocracy has already launched a pilot page with four different group products, ranging from $50 to $77 and lasting between two and four months.
The idea here is that personal training coaches costs hundreds of dollars per hour at a gym. By letting the trainer coach multiple people at once, the price goes down for everyone while still maintaining the same level of engagement and accountability.
Fitocracy already has a business model in place with a premium account called Fitocracy Hero, which costs $4.99/month and gives users access to special features like the ability to copy workouts and rewards like titles. But with an abundance of regular folks and highly skilled trainers on Fitocracy already, the evolution towards paid group classes seemed natural to the founders.
“In thinking about why the online training model works so well, it’s the things that matter most – nutritional instruction, accountability, constant guidance – are all things that you can do online,” said Dick Talens.
Eventually, Fitocracy will offer a self-service platform where any certified trainer can start their own group course and begin making money.