Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Orangetheory uses Apple Watch to boost fitness programmes

Steve Rogerson
December 17, 2019



The Apple Watch is helping billion-dollar fitness brand Orangetheory Fitness implement connectivity, membership programme and apps for coaches and sales associates to enhance the member experience
 
Florida-based Orangetheory Fitness has debuted the technology to increase personalisation, motivation and encouragement for its members, who can use Apple Watch to track heart rate data during workouts, along with iOS apps for coaches and sales associates to enhance the member experience both in and out of the studio.
 
"Member experience has been at the forefront of all that we do since the brand's inception," said Dave Long, CEO and co-founder of Orangetheory Fitness. "We're addressing the needs of our members by providing an integration between the workout they do and the technology they use, leading to a seamless fitness experience and healthier life."
 
The OTbeat Link is a custom-designed small device worn on an Apple Watch band that will give members the ability to sync their Apple Watch directly with the Orangetheory Fitness in-studio heart rate monitoring system.
 
Orangetheory learned that the most common request was to use Apple Watch in class. Now, not only will members be able to view metrics in real time in class with an Apple Watch, they'll also be able to see their workouts afterward in the Activity app, and Orangetheory Fitness workouts will contribute to closing Apple Watch activity rings.
 
As a part of Orangetheory Fitness's technology debut, the brand has also created a version of the Orangetheory Fitness app for Apple Watch to accompany the OTbeat Link.
 
"Apple Watch is designed to help people live a better day by being more active," said Jay Blahnik, senior director of fitness for health technologies at Apple. "With workout tracking, Apple Pay and a new membership programme, we are thrilled Orangetheory Fitness is integrating Apple Watch into a comprehensive experience for their customers."
 
Along with the OTbeat Link, Orangetheory is debuting its Premier+ membership, which includes a bundled offering of the OTbeat Link, tools and incentives for staying active with the OTearn programme to help members lead a healthier, more vibrant life. The OTearn programme, developed by Vitality Group and modelled after its rewards based incentive programme, is designed to keep members motivated to achieve their goals and earn rewards in the process.
 
The Premier+ membership is available starting in two New York locations, Soho and Astor Place, and will expand to all locations in the second quarter of next year.
 
To streamline elements of the in-studio experience and provide seamless interactions between staff, coaches and members, Orangetheory has also developed two iOS apps – OTassist and OTcoach.
 
The OTassist app helps Orangetheory sales associates navigate class schedules, view member milestones and check in members for an upcoming class, creating a frictionless, tailored experience that's also paperless and deskless.
 
OTcoach will empower Orangetheory coaches in providing members with more customised attention by allowing the coaches to lead aspects of the class such as music and timing more successfully from Apple Watch. Overall, OTcoach will enable coaches to spend 10% more time with members, equating to 7.2 million hours of additional guidance and inspiration across the network of all Orangetheory studios annually.
 
Each Orangetheory fitness class, taught by a trained coach, is an hour-long, science-backed, technology-tracked, full-body workout that helps members elevate their heart rate to the Orange Zone, which is 84 to 91 per cent of their maximum heart rate. 
 
Each studio has treadmills, water rowing machines, mini bands and TRX suspension unit systems as well as plenty of free weights and benches. Coaches conduct personalised group sessions designed for approximately 24 participants at a time, an approach complemented by technology advancements.
 
Orangetheory franchisees have opened more than 1300 studios in all 50 US states and over 23 countries.