July/August 2020 – Facing the Music

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

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Leveraging tech and underutilized space is not a new concept, but as the sharing economy takes a hit, virtual fitness could be the next expo- nential business category. "As a consumer, the focus is on conve- nience," say Curtis Christopherson, president & CEO of Innovative Fitness, headquartered in Vancouver. "We are accustomed to immediacy and saving time—our most precious commodity. And, the workforce wants the flexibility to work when and where they want to. Our new business model leans easily into those two things." On March 30, Innovative Fitness launched its new virtual training platform, Innovative Fitness Direct, to help its trainers deliver the ideal virtual experience from just about anywhere. "With COVID disrupting our daily routines, we wanted to provide immediate stability at a time when maintaining your health is more important than ever," said Christopherson, "but we also kind of woke a sleeping giant. We were already seeing a demand for flexible, convenient fitness and community interactions that lead to accountability. We took those trends, and we amplified and married them." Christopherson says that while 50% of members are ready to come back to the studio as restrictions ease, 27% want to stay on a hybrid model, and the rest plan to continue virtual training full-time. "We've tapped into people's spaces," Chris- topherson says. "Most have some experience working out at home. They have weights, a yoga mat, a built-out gym area, but the equip- ment sits there. We provide the accountability to use that space." Unlike large format gyms, which operate based on high volume, low-priced member- ships in high-density locales, and boutique stu- dios founded on community and group classes, Innovative Fitness has always been about the individual. Its brick and mortar service offers a pre- mium price point and a one-on-one training experience by appointment. Pivoting to a virtual model meant the team had to dig deep to understand the true, underlying value of that experience to deliver it online. "Fitness is greatly impacted by personal interaction," Christopherson says. "We knew that individuals would be willing to adapt by taking their workouts online. Beyond that, we wanted to provide the same, two-way service our clients are accustomed to and the same level of accountability, coaching, interaction, dialogue, and communication, but in your own home." According to Christopherson, the past few months have marked the beginning of a new era of fitness, where one-size-fits-all workouts are replaced by flexible, customized fitness that is accessible anywhere, anytime. "Going back to the old way of doing things just doesn't make sense to us," said Christo- pherson. "The world has changed, and we are changing with it." ■ Learn more at: www.innovativefitness.com Innovative Fitness lives up to its name with a successful pivot into two-way streaming its customized personal training services. INNOVATE OR DIE C R E AT E D BY BCBusiness I N PA RT N E RS H I P W IT H INNOVATIVE FITNESS

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