When it comes to boutique fitness experiences, it’s not difficult to list out why someone might be drawn to them! Think about it: an increased level of personalization, a community experience, and feeling at home with the coaches and classmates. When you’re training in a small group setting, the instructor has more time to give you individual attention, and there’s often a social aspect to your workout. Unlike the traditional gym model, boutique fitness clients are a part of something that’s about more than exercise alone.
MUVFit Personal Training is a Nashville-based boutique personal training fitness center that offers one-on-one and small group personal training, as well as group fitness classes. Owner Daniel Meng founded MUVFit with the belief that everyone can benefit from the accountability of a coach and the support of a like-minded community. When the pandemic began, Daniel knew that he and his team needed to find a way to transfer that sense of accountability and community into an online setting.
Read on to find out how Trainerize helped this boutique business pivot during the pandemic, and find out what adjustments they plan to make permanent.
When Online Fitness Becomes the Only Option
Although Daniel had been considering making the switch to Trainerize for some time, the start of the pandemic in March 2020 hurried the process along. “When COVID forced the issue, we had to immediately jump in and modify everything so that it could be done virtually.”
Although MUVFit had previously used a habit tracking app, Daniel’s clients described it as bulky and unintuitive. “We were thrilled to learn that Trainerize offers habit tracking, because it allowed our workouts, client-coach communication, habit tracking and nutrition tracking to all sit under one umbrella.”
The seamless switch to Trainerize allowed Daniel and his team to focus on overhauling other aspects of their business model—and he introduced them to the concept with (what else?!) an online workout. “I immediately gathered my coaches on a Zoom call, took them through a workout, and I said this is what we’re going to do,” Daniel recalled. “We literally shifted our entire model online overnight.”
MUVFit lent out all their gym equipment to clients, which was hugely appreciated, especially at a time when dumbbells were harder to come by than hand sanitizer. Daniel’s trainers also worked quickly to rewrite programs that clients could complete at home with no equipment. “Using Trainerize, we were able to film exercise videos and demo all the moves for our personal training clients, and they loved the fact that they could do the workouts on their own time.”
MUVFit also continued running small group training sessions virtually, something that clients expressed intense gratitude for. “The virtual sessions gave them some sense of normalcy during that initial shutdown period,” says Daniel.
Maintaining (and Increasing) Accountability and Connection
A big part of what differentiates MUVFit from other gyms is their culture of encouragement and accountability, and their personalized approach to fitness. “Workouts are a dime a dozen; you can get workouts anywhere,” says Daniel. “At MUVFit, what we do differently is we literally customize something for everyone. We write everyone’s specific programs and they’re designed to help people reach their individual goals.”
This approach allows Daniel and his team to guide their clients toward a more impactful and sustainable approach to fitness. “We’re focused on helping clients achieve long-term transformations. Fitness should be something that complements your life, without creating situations that overrun it.”
To ensure clients stick to their personalized programs, each individual has their own accountability coach assigned to them.“This is the person that writes their program, they check in with them weekly, and they provide guidance on nutrition as needed,” says Daniel. “We really coach more on habits than meal plans or calorie counting. It needs to be a lifestyle that clients can commit to.”
“Trainerize has allowed my trainers to connect with clients more frequently, and having all the messaging housed on one platform allows trainers to maintain some work-life balance.”
A New Fitness Framework
As gyms in some parts of the world have been allowed to re-open, and we inch toward pre-pandemic life, Daniel is looking forward to seeing more of his clients in-person, but maintaining in-app engagement and communication. “The virtual aspect has been exceptional, and parts of it are definitely going to be permanent for us,” Daniel notes. “But I don’t think it will ever be able to replace in-person fitness. For the last year, people have missed out on the social aspects of fitness, and while Trainerize and platforms like Zoom have allowed us to offer these phenomenal home workouts and community-building virtual events, our clients will be craving those in-person human connections more than ever post-pandemic.”
MUVFit will continue to use Trainerize, as Daniel estimates that close to 98% of his clients were pleased with the increased accountability and access it allowed to trainers and workouts—and they were keen to keep the app going. “We weren’t sure if we were going to continue our virtual offerings after things started to-reopen, but our clients have loved having their workouts available to them wherever they go.”
Reflecting on everything he and his team have experienced over the past year, Daniel is optimistic about the future of MUVFit. “Knowing that we can weather something that shuts the world down and not only survive it, but make improvements to our business model is something that boosts your confidence,” he says.“We’ve built a really great in-person community and I’m proud that we were able to transition that online. Being in the fitness industry, my goal is really to impact as many people as I can, and help them understand that fitness is just one aspect of a full life. It doesn’t have to be the only thing you think about, it should really enhance all other areas of your life.”