Scenario: The Gym 2.0

Interactive support for personal motivation

Executive summary:
Fitness centers need to take their customer service to a new level and attract many new members. An experienced personal trainer can be very efficient in motivating members to continue their training and providing essential instructions on how to operate the training machines and set personal goals. But to hire a personal trainer regularly is too expensive for most people.

The Virtual Personal Trainer is a feasible and cost-efficient solution to this, offering most of the same services and helping with the daily motivation. A -real” personal trainer can monitor many more members that are their VPTs and sell individual coaching a couple of times per year. This scenario is based on existing technology.

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Robert”™s mobile beeps about an incoming SMS from his Virtual Personal Trainer:

-Message from your VPT: Your last training session was 7 days ago. Hope to see you today, come and get your strength back!”

Robert has worked long hours lately, skipping his sessions at the gym. He feels tired, so the thought of going there now makes him think of many other things he needs to do. But he knows by now that he will be energized if he gets it done, so he heads to the gym anyway.

Arriving at his gym, the electronic tag in his membership card is detected at the door, pulling up Robert’s profile page on the receptionist’s monitor. The receptionist glances at the monitor and then smiles at Robert.

-Hello Robert, it’s been a while, have you been away from town?”
-No, just too much work”, Robert replies, heading for the check-in panel.

At the panel his personal training goals and statistics are displayed. His Virtual Personal Trainer greets him: -Good to see you Robert, today we will work on your triceps and legs, here is today”™s program for you”.

A printout appears, with pictures of all the exercises and data from his last session. His personal goals and progress so far are clearly shown in charts.

Robert gets changed and puts on his headband with a built-in wireless headset. He can now train to his favourite music, selected by his profile that he updates on his Virtual Personal Training website. This profile also includes visualisations of his personal goals, with photos of Robert’s body today and in one year, along with his medical data.

At the triceps machine, Robert is greeted by his VPT appearing on a monitor. The music in his headset is replaced with the voice of the VPT: -Hello Robert, time for your triceps. I have set the seat height and the weights for you. The last time you did 12 reps, so try to beat that today!

Robert pulls the handles and works hard, listening to advice from his VPT. -Too fast Robert, slow down!” -All the way down, please!” -That was 9, just 3 to go!” -Great Robert, that was 11, now just do two more, and you will have broken your personal record, come on!”

At the end of the session Robert feels relaxed and confident again. His VPT gives him a sum-up: -You are doing well Robert! You have increased your triceps strength with 12% and your leg strength with 9% the last month.

I have now updated your web site with your stats and emailed you some useful nutrition tips that will help you reach your goals. See you again on Thursday!”

Henrik Ahlen 🙂

“Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.”
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

Published by

Henrik Ahlén

I am an eHealth Strategist in Stockholm, Sweden I drive eHealth development projects from needs analysis and idea generation to service design and implementation. See my LinkedIn profile: