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Fitness 2.0 as Demonstrated by P90X's New iPhone App.

By now you have surely heard of P90x - the ultra-popular home workout program that become famous for the never-ending infomercials. After the success of P90x, parent company Beachbody recently released P90x 2... and in conjunction with the launch, they released an iPhone application. It's interesting for a few reasons: 1. Fitness 2.0. It's at the intersection of an evolving, important and fast-moving space: fitness 2.0 (for lack of a better description). What's that mean? Applying the new web to fitness: social, gamification, mobile, etc. Note: if you're working on something in this space, I'd love to hear from you. Contact me

2. Gamification & Social Hooks: notice that this app does more than just award badges. It is part of Apple's Game Center.

3. Paid & Premium. You would think that they would package this application for free as a way to drive awareness / purchases of the workout system. Nope. I guess they don't need awareness. SO they are selling it for $4.99 and include in-app purchases that are relatively expensive (videos & clips).

4. High Ratings. Achieving high ratings in iTunes is an impossible task. 4.5 stars out of 83 reviews... for a paid app? That's impressive.

Learning from Expresso Fitness: Make the Workout Interactive & Social

As an athlete and sports-enthusiast, I am disappointed by the news that Expresso Fitness is "turning out the lights" (according to the Wall Street Journal). Expresso makes interactive, web-connected stationary bikes for high end gyms. The machines monitor your workout while having you compete against the computer and/or other bikers on interactive courses. All of your activity is monitored, logged and available through the web-based system. I have logged hundreds of miles on these machines and, from a consumer perspective, I love the products... and I'm not alone, they usually have members lined-up waiting to use them. The trouble of course is that they are expensive to produce and expensive for the gyms to purchase / maintain (which is in part why there is usually a line - there is short supply). For full utility, they also need to be connected to the web (many gyms simply do not have this capability - even higher-end gyms).

expresso biking

I do believe there are opportunities in the sporting world (Athletes' Performance is a Polaris company and beRecruited's userbase and business are growing terrificly). While Expresso Fitness itself may not be the answer, I applaud them for:

- adding connectivity and interaction to the workout - it improves the actual workout and incents activity

- adding social to the gym - from contests to online activity, social 'game mechanics' make working out more enjoyable and consequently more effective. Brands like Athlete's Performance, Core Performance, and p90x understand this and are doing it in their own unique way

- adding analytics to workout - I love data - from the web to my golf game to my Facebook usage... data makes any routine more effective and productive