We have been using fitness apps to shape our bodies long before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the popularity of these platforms have surged over the past year during the lockdowns around the world. While gyms and fitness clubs were forced to shut down, downloads of health and fitness apps grew by 46% worldwide.
Gyms like Planet Fitness and Crunch also launched their own fitness apps and began offering virtual classes, allowing members to access gym services from home. Lockdown has also inspired people to invest in home workout equipment. For example, Peloton reported that their revenue surged 66% during the fiscal third quarter as more people purchased their fitness equipment and tuned into their live fitness classes.
Fitness app Freeletics, which has more than two million users in the United Kingdom, saw a 50% increase in use between March and June during the first lockdown period.
Freeletics is the number one fitness app in Europe with more than 600,000 paid subscribers. The platform offers AI-powered fitness and mindset coaching and has 48 million users in more than 160 countries.
Freeletics is on both the App Store and Google Play and offers users a “freemium” version as well. Free users are able to access the team’s signature workouts and a library of other exercises as well as mindset coaching audio recordings. Users looking for a more curated experience are able to download the tiered premium version beginning at US$11.99 for one month or US$74.99 for one year.
TMS spoke with Daniel Sobhani, the CEO of Freeletics, who explained how he’s adapted on a personal level during COVID-19. “I have kept up my tried and true routines while also adopting others that helped me cope with the situation of working from home and dealing with the uncertainty of the future,” he revealed.
“Our team did an impressive job transferring our employees into a home office,” Sobhani explained, referring to the start of the pandemic. “Almost overnight, they helped each employee adjust in a safe and comfortable manner while also keeping up the company culture, spirit and enormously high work ethic that made it possible to have a successful year despite the challenges.”
While the mission of Freeletics was always to empower individuals both physically and mentally, during lockdown this mission has been further emphasized. “More than that,” Sobhani continued, “the belief that we as a team can massively contribute to keeping people fit, mindful and healthy during these unprecedented times was and continues to be both inspiring and motivating.”
“We will keep on helping our users to become their greatest version of themselves, no matter the circumstance.” Sobhani said. “Our vision to produce the most advanced and holistic digital fitness coach on the market will only continue to flourish and grow alongside our community and their needs.”
Meanwhile, Freeletics isn’t the only digital fitness app that has seen tremendous growth.
Between January and November this year, the Nike Run Club app was downloaded 15.4 million times around the world, up 45.3% versus the same period in 2019 according to data firm Sensor Tower. The Nike SNKRS online store app was downloaded 59.5% times more than last year. Early in the pandemic, Nike also made in-app workouts for its Nike Training Club app free.
Strava (Swedish for the word, strive) now has 73 million global users. More than 1.1 billion activities were uploaded to the Strava platform in the last 12 months, a 33% increase from the year before. A large portion of this growth can also be attributed to the pandemic which saw the Strava community grow by about two million new athletes each month.
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