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Tech savvy clubs

Work Out, Log In: Virgin Active Launches Tech-Savvy Clubs

31 Jul 2014

Virgin Active, the UK’s number one health and fitness club, today announces the launch of two new clubs to join its network on London clubs. 

The new clubs, in Merchant Square, Paddington and the Walbrook Building, Cannon Street, will be Virgin Active’s first fully ‘connected’ health clubs in the UK, with digital technology built into every step of a member’s journey, from arrival, to the gym floor. Virgin Active’s ‘connected’ clubs will see the latest club equipment link with fitness apps and devices, so members can track and measure their exercise routine.

The new clubs will open in early 2015, and are part of Virgin Active’s 3-year, £100m investment programme, laid out in January this year, which includes investing in areas that meet members’ growing demand for the latest technological innovation. Of people who exercise regularly, 48% of 20-24 year olds feel having the most up to date technology is important or essential for their gym experience, and 51% of 25-24 year olds feel the same.1

The clubs will be designed to help members make the most of their time in the club, and make it easier for them to access their in-club and out-of-club workouts and progress.

For example, HD interactive screens would allow members to book classes, view which Personal Trainers are on the club floor and provide virtual workout advice. The company is also working towards a contactless solution, the first in a UK health club, which will see members receive an interactive wrist band and will do away with the need for membership cards and locker keys.

The two new clubs, as well as the others in our Classic Collection, will also be fully fitted with the best broadband available and the latest Technogym kit which enables members to:  

- Access web-based services on the fitness floor;
- Access apps such as YouTube videos, Skype, TED Talks and games while they use gym equipment;
- Link their fitness apps in-club as well as out-of-club to help them track personal progress against their fitness goals; and
- Enjoy recreational activities such as speaking to friends on social networks and using the web while exercising.

Andy Caddy, Chief Information Officer of Virgin Active Group, said, “There is a growing demand from our members to have the latest technology at their fingertips, which lives up to their increasingly connected and digital lifestyles. But we understand that different members have different needs when it comes to technology. Whether it is getting information about their class timetable, tapping into virtual workouts or accessing their online apps to track their progress, we’ve thought about it all whilst designing the experience in these clubs. It is all about making it as easy as possible for our members to personalise their work out and get the most out of their time with us.”

Matt Merrick, Managing Director of Virgin Active in the UK, added, “We’ve always thought about the most innovative ways to help our members get the most out of their workouts. The world of fitness and tech are coming together in exciting ways and part of the investment which we laid out in January to improve our clubs was to make sure Virgin Active is providing members with access to the latest innovations. That’s why every aspect of our two new clubs in the heart of London is designed with our members’ experience in mind - from the latest kit, to sensory experiences and cutting edge design.”

On top of the multi-million pound investment in technology, the club will also boast the latest in design features and Virgin Active will work with scent and lighting designers in both of these clubs, to give members a super sensory workout experience. The Walbrook club will also have exceptional spa facilities, with a salt room and sensation showers.

Members of the Virgin Active Classic Collection of clubs can also enjoy exclusive priority access to the latest innovations, as Virgin Active introduces new equipment and fitness trends to these clubs. Virgin Active has recently introduced the following equipment to the collection:

WATT BIKES: Virgin Active has installed Watt Bikes in 26 clubs which use technology to analyse each pedal turn. This detailed analysis enables users to adjust their technique and balance to ensure their exercise routine leads to the best results.

WOODWAY CURVE: Virgin Active recently installed the world’s first green treadmill which is powered by the user. The Woodway Curve’s design gives users a closer experience to outdoor running.

SWIMTAG: Virgin Active now offers SWIMTAG technology in 10 clubs. The technology, worn whilst swimming, tracks distance, calories and time spent in the pool, allowing users to track their progress.