| Antonia Lange |
STUTTGART (dpa) – For anyone who finds the trip to the gym too strenuous, online companies offer fitness training programmes you can do in the home or in the yard.
“We are seeing an ever growing trend to flexible workout times,” says Pierre Ostrowski, who is responsible for marketing at Freeletics, one of the big providers.
Subscribers receive an exercise schedule via the Internet or through a smartphone app, which they have to master in as short a time as possible. A visit to the gym is not required. About a million people around the world have registered with Freeletics.
The basic exercises are free but if you want more advanced techniques you will need to pay.
A 15-week exercise programme costs about 44 dollars and a nutrition plan 33 dollars. You will need to install an app on your phone to get access to all exercises.
Freeletics is just one of a number of online portals offering sports training to subscribers.
“They are seeing big growth rates and growing very fast in comparison to classic gyms,” says Karsten Hollasch, an analyst at business consultants Deloitte who has an eye on the fitness market. Turnover in the fitness branch has risen to about five billion dollars annually.
Hollasch says online training companies do not publish their figures and it’s difficult to get a precise overview of the business. Freeletics has declined requests to reveal numbers.
The online companies have one business advantage over conventional gyms.
“A traditional fitness studio has big costs in the beginning compared to an online portal. Decorating a studio and equipping it are very expensive,” according to German online exercise company Gymondo.
“Running costs like rent, electricity and repairs for equipment add to that.”
The exercise portals have none of those costs and can charge comparatively low subscription rates. Despite the rosy outlook Hollasch says the online exercise market is very competitive.
“I think the firms are trying to squeeze each other out and that one or two will eventually dominate,” he predicts.