What About That App?

When are  you going to develop an app to replace the Journal..?”

I often get that question.

First off, I will never replace our Transformation Journals.

They continue to be one of the best tools in the business as a means to help people achieve their goals.  Period.

And that goes for weight-management participants, professional athletes, coaches, trainers and medical experts.

I have volumes of testimonials.  And, there is a ton of research conducted by Kaiser Permanente and others that clearly demonstrate people who record their progress in a written journal achieve significantly better results… almost 3-to-1 over those who don’t.

REASON #1 – It’s All About You..

Here’s something else that is near and dear to my heart.  I do not want to create, develop or produce anything that does not HELP YOUR BUSINESS GENERATE REVENUE! 

There are plenty of apps out there, but, do they actually generate income for you..?   We create and develop products for you to RE-SELL under your own name.  Our goal is to help you leverage your brand and generate revenue.  It’s just not in our DNA or business strategy to circumvent our business partners…that means YOU!

REASON #2 – I Smell a RAT!

Listen, I “get it.”  Apps are cool.  They’re hip and trendy.  And, what the heck…. !  Your clients can download a free  app that tracks calories or exercises.  There are niche apps specifically designed for treadmill workouts, run training, interval training, cycling, Ironman, martial arts, yoga, pilates, weight-loss plans and I even found one for skiing that tracks altitude, degree of slope, length of ski runs, heart rate and more.

Guess what..?   Your clients can even download an app to REPLACE YOU!

There are plenty of “personal trainer” apps all over the place…!

That’s right. There are developers out there, right now, (who know absolutely nothing about fitness) who are working diligently….  to create apps that include hundreds of exercises with video demonstrations, workout music, graph tracking, calorie burns, goal setting, motivational email autoresponders, etc — all designed to replace you…!  Ouch!

Even at the Club Level

Yes, even at the club level are the big wide-screen group workout videos… (which are sort of like apps on steroids) leading members through various group workouts!  No group instructor requiredYikes! 

There’s the argument that these apps are merely aids.  That, they, in fact, enhance your personal training business.  And, I agree that on some level this is true. 

HOWEVER… if you peel back the onion and really take a hard look at the marketing messages targeted to clubs and consumers… it’s this:  “You no longer need to pay a trainer!”

As a business dedicated to creating private-label products to help drive success and create multiple profit centers for trainers, studios and clubs, this type of messaging tells me that you have a new competitor.   Hey, call me paranoid… but,  I smell a rat!

REASON #3 – Training is Still a “Personal” Business

Perhaps I’m just “old school.”  But after 20 years of being in this business, I can assure you the MOST SUCCESSFUL trainers, studios and clubs (financially and otherwise) are the ones that totally understand they are in the “personal services” industry.  That, in fact, they are the exact OPPOSITE of what an app has to offer.  

Listen, all apps basically are “commodity technology.”  They assume that all people burn the same amount of calories during a treadmill run.  They assume that all people approach an exercise with proper technique, or that a simple video will cure all technical issues.  

Apps are not particularly interested in a person’s past history, injuries or work-arounds.  And, I don’t know about you, but “canned” motivational pep talks and auto responder emails are not particularly motivating!  An app will never understand that each person is a unique individual with unique requirements…

And, finally, almost all apps that are marketed for Weight-Loss are measuring POUNDS-ON-THE-SCALE instead of BODY-COMPOSITION Augggghhhhhh! 

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Our App!

Nonetheless, having said all this, I can’t deny that apps are popular… and, frankly, they serve a purpose for the individual fitness enthusiast. 

I use MapMyFitness with a heart rate monitor to track my own runs, walks and rides.

So, recently we began development of an app that was similar to our Daily Journal.

As we began the R&D process, it was important for us to speak with dozens of top fitness professionals, coaches, medical professionals and club/studio owners who actually own and operate their own businesses and offer personal training services.

The more we spoke with this group, the more a specific pattern began to emerge.

Across the board, these professionals liked certain apps, but almost all of them told me that mobile devices were disrupting their training sessions.

Everything from phone calls, emails and text messages to compulsive FaceBook and Twitter sending and receiving.  Even at the trainer’s request, people just couldn’t seem to shut them down..!  (talk about addiction..!).

Trainers were requesting of their clients: “Look, you can use apps… but, use them on your own time, NOT when you’re in session with me.”

What Goes Around Comes Around…

There’s no getting around the fact that our Daily Journal sales dipped from 2009-2013.  And, I can directly trace it to the popularity of apps.  But, then, in October of 2013 we began to experience a significant upswing in Transformation Journal sales.

As I spoke with more and trainers, coaches and other health professionals, it became clear that many of them had made it a condition of their training protocol to use their Transformation Journals…  at least during sessions.  We now offer these  mini-posters to reinforce their protocol.

Today, we’re selling more Transformation Journals than ever as trainers, health coaches, medical experts, athletes and other health professionals have either switched back to Transformation Journals or are using both apps and Transformation Journals, together.