Online fitness training is not just an add-on

Digital transformation in the fitness industry is here to stay

The current form of online fitness coaching is not just an add-on to the training module but a business model in itself, said Shwetambari Shetty, fitness expert at

Ms. Shetty, along with Sarvesh Shashi, founder of SARVA, and Ashish Bhushan, director, Business Development, Procam International, was part of The Hindu’s sixth episode of ‘Conversations’, speaking about the future of personal fitness in the verticals of training, yoga and running.

‘Conversations’, organised as part of The Hindu Group’s ongoing campaign, ‘Tamil Nadu Smiling’, are aimed at bringing together the people of the State, its traders, retail organisations and government authorities to find ways of emerging from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the fitness industry, the digital transformation is here to stay. “At, 5,00,000 sessions are done daily, with over 1,00,000 subscribers for online workouts alone,” Ms. Shetty said. “One of the mindsets pre-pandemic had been that health and wellness going digital would be a contradiction. That has changed,” said Mr. Bhushan.

The strength of the digital fitness programmes, however, would be reflected in how useful they remained even after fitness centres opened to full capacity. Using them as a stop-gap solution would make them redundant, he said.

Additionally, Mr. Sashi pointed out, this was a good time for young fitness start-ups to take part in the digital revolution because post-pandemic, attention to fitness was becoming an important part of lifestyles. The capital required to start up and the risks involved would be minimum, helped by the digital medium’s inherent ability to course-correct dynamically.

With a hybrid of digital workouts and in-person training becoming the norm, Ms. Shetty foresaw a steady rise in the at-home equipment business. “Resistance bands, yoga mats, dumbbells, kettlebells — all these are equipment that we see are doing good business,” she said.

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