Team vs. Technology and the Future of Fitness

Mar 15, 2024

"Group fitness is a solution for real, authentic, human interaction. It is the anithesis of screen time. It's people time. And it can't be replicated by technology."

Team vs. Technology and the Future of Fitness

I was in the crowd for the recent initial review of our MMA-style group fitness workout, Group Fight. There was a buzz in the room with team members chatting and preparing for the workout. The instructor Mike, part of our program development team, was walking around, “working the room,” building up the pre-workout energy. His excitement was contagious, his intro was electric, and the workout absolutely delivered. The experience reinforced what we’ve long believed: nothing compares to a dynamic instructor delivering a live group fitness experience.

To be fair, Mike has that X-factor. He’s been part of our program development and teaching team for years and his energy and passion are undeniable. You might be surprised to learn that Mike had never taught before getting trained in MOSSA programs – he’s the athletic, engaging “actor” that brings our pre-programmed workouts to life. He follows the formula, but he also makes it his own, and it’s the combination of Mike’s delivery, meticulously engineered music, and professional programming that ensures a great workout for everyone in the room.

That day, the connection between the instructor and participants, and between the participants themselves, was undeniable. Everyone was engaged and feeding off each other, evident by the high-fives, laughter, banter back and forth, and the grunts, groans, and moans that went with the punches, kicks, and strikes. Everyone was lost in the experience…together. You could just feel it. You could see it. You didn’t want it to end. And when it did end, the energy and connection carried on in conversation and laughter for another 15 minutes.

Social Motion and The Power of Together

All of us felt an electric buzz and connection because we were moving together, in-person. This Social Motion, coined by Blue Zones research longevity experts, not only enhanced our performance – literally making us work harder – but it also lifted our spirits and benefited everyone psychologically and emotionally. Social Motion reduced the feeling of fatigue and made everyone enjoy the workout even more. The excitement and energy were palpable.

This is human beings being human. Together. And, in the fitness business, it’s unique and incredibly valuable. So much of the conversation about “the future of fitness” revolves around tech, as if technology is the forgone future of the fitness business. Virtual workouts, leaderboards, tracking devices, AI, etc. But in most of our work lives, we’re overwhelmed with technology, leading to less in-person face time and more screen time.

And when too many people’s work lives are spent consumed with Zoom meetings, Slack channels, emails, and text messages, group fitness is a solution for real, authentic, human interaction. It is the antithesis of screen time. It’s people time. And it delivers the buzz, the bond, the results, and the real drive to repeat.

And it can’t be replicated through technology.

Technology and the Future of Fitness

So, where does technology belong in fitness? At MOSSA, we love offering our workouts to home movers through MOSSA On Demand. They have a live, team training feel and are led by the likes of Mike and the rest of our dynamic presenters. But MOSSA On Demand is a way to complement our service, not be the service. Not replace it. Not distract from it.

Likewise, our partner health clubs and YMCAs should absolutely use technology so members can conveniently view the schedule, book a workout, and maybe digitally track the workout as DONE. But the experiences, the group fitness workouts that will keep people moving, should be built around teams, not tech.

Our Group Fight workout with Mike was a slice of our quarterly program development process. Following initial review that day, we fine-tuned the workout and sent it (and 11 others) out for testing. More than 100 instructors around the world teach the new workouts to thousands of participants and provide feedback through surveys and conference calls. The goal: To produce the most trusted and tested workouts in the business, that by design are welcoming, motivating, amazing experiences. If your health club or YMCA are looking for a proven way to build an exclusive team that delivers Social Motion experiences, we can help. Learn more at https://mossa.net/clubs-facilities/why-mossa/.

"Group fitness is a solution for real, authentic, human interaction. It is the anithesis of screen time. It's people time. And it can't be replicated by technology."


Terry Browning
President and CEO, MOSSA

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