Technogym has announced that it has deployed about 5,000 GymKit enabled cardio machines since November. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, if I’m being honest. My gym, which has two locations, probably has at least 50 treadmills, and likely just as many bikes and ellipticals. That means, they only have enough equipment to sell to 100 gyms. Maybe that sounds like a lot, but not when you think about how big fitness is right now. Maybe I’m being too hard on the manufacturers. There’s a good possibility that gyms don’t want to buy the GymKit enabled equipment because they don’t need it right now. Why? Well, the equipment they’re using is probably fine.
That said, Life Fitness has announced that they are going to be expanding their rollout of GymKit equipment around the world. LifeFitness is partnering with PureFitness in Hong Kong and Anytime Fitness in Japan in order to deploy the first GymKit equipment within those regions. Details are sparse at this point, but Life Fitness says that these locations will be the first to add the new machinery, with other locations following as the time progresses. Furthermore, Life Fitness president Jaime Irick touts that the company’s adoption of GymKit is another way the fitness equipment company is leading digital innovation in the gym equipment market.
Life Fitness is an early partner for GymKit adoption, and they make it incredibly easy to use the equipment. Simply tap your Apple Watch on GymKit enabled equipment, and then Apple Watch users can sync their workout data between the devices. I’ve said for a long time that Apple does a really good job of making their devices and technology future proof, and this is no different. But what I don’t understand is why more companies aren’t rolling this out? Or are these such big names, that no one else wants to compete?
What’s not so great about this is that you don’t have to go to a gym to actually use this equipment. You have to go to the gym because GymKit is only offered on high-end equipment. I mean, that does make sense. But at the same time, if you have a nice home gym set up, and you don’t use a gym, then you’re not going to be able to take advantage of this feature. Ultimately, it’s still early days for GymKit and Apple Watch. In the short-term, we should expect gyms to adopt GymKit equipment as new options hit the market and hardware leases are updated. The equipment is quite costly – around $14,000 for a treadmill. So I guess that answers my earlier question of why?
Apple had previously indicated that GymKit equipment would be rolling out by the end of last year. And they were able to deliver on that promise. GymKit compatible machines are being developed by other companies including Matrix, StairMaster, and even Schwinn. Which means, no matter what you’re doing at the gym, you’re going to be able to access GymKit sometime in the not so distant future.