Tag Archives: fitness

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How to Earn Money on the Fly

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Last week, I was avoiding responsibilities and wasting time scrolling through Snapchat, when I saw that one of the musicians I follow posted a story. I, of course, opened it to see what she was doing in her life of fame, and an add- like post came up. It took me by surprise because the only brand she usually promotes is her own, so instead of clicking through, I read about it. She talked about an app that she’s using to make a little extra money by just walking around. Hm. I was intrigued. An app that pays people based on the number of steps they take in a day. Just out of curiosity (and the wind blowing through my empty wallet), I downloaded the app called Sweatcoin. I had seen advertisements from this app previously, but I never thought it had any legitimacy behind it until now. With that being said, I am currently writing this blog post as more of a “product review” per se.

The app is set up to where you link your health app to the Sweatcoin app, and that allows Sweatcoin to track your steps throughout the day. As you walk, the app logs your steps and translates those into SWC, which is the cryptocurrency used by the app. I’m not sure what the exact exchange rate is between SWC and USD, but there are ways to see what the amount you earn in the app can get you on other websites who partnered with Sweatcoin.  There are Amazon rewards, Apple rewards, audiobooks, and other daily/ weekly specials that can be viewed on the shopping bag tab. Other tabs in the app include “My Balance”, which allows you to view your balance in the app and spend it or transfer it (via email), the “Updates” tab that tracks your steps and money amounts you earned, and the profile app that is a summary of your movement throughout the day, week, and month.

I have had this app for a week now, and I will say it is a pretty cool idea. The fact that I can accumulate “money” through walking to my classes instead of driving is fascinating to me. I have earned $25, or at least that’s what my balance says. I have not tried to transfer or purchase anything through the app yet, but I think that might be my next experiment.

One of the downsides to this app is that some of my steps get lost or aren’t recorded, so Sweatcoin will think I have 2,000 less steps than my Apple Watch says I have. There might be some algorithm that translates my actual steps to what the app thinks are actual steps, which could cause a slight disconnect; however, it doesn’t seem like too much of an issue. It is a battery draining app because it must constantly be running in order to “keep track and log” all of my movement. Lastly, like most free apps, there are limitations to what you are offered and what the paying customers receive. As a free member, I can only early up to $5 per day, but if I were to upgrade my account and pay $5 per month, then I could make up to $10 per day. I’m sure there would be more special features offered with the upgraded subscription, but I’m just not that in to it.

Overall, the idea of this app is extremely motivating and rewarding. Although I can’t be certain that I will ever get those $25 that I earned, I’m not too worried about it because it cost me nothing in the process. With talk of cryptocurrency sill looming, this app has the potential to take off and take over the daily lives of people. Could be a major break or a major bust, but the idea of getting paid to get fit is something I believe most of us could get behind.


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New Culture of Fitness is… Digital?

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It’s hard for millennials to think of a time when you couldn’t look up everything you wanted to know on the internet. If we want to know what is trending, we google it. If we want to find new music, we browse a music app and let it tell us what we would like to hear. Now, if we want to look up a new way to stay in shape, we turn to the internet. Trends in fitness have increased tremendously as a result of social media. Some may say they enjoy learning about new ways to stay in shape, while others feel discouraged by the constant change in trend. Whether people agree or disagree with the way fitness individuals communicate to their audience, social media has made it increasingly easier for those people to create a new fitness fad.

If you’re anything like generations y and z, you browse YouTube for videos on just about anything from fixing your car engine, to learning a math problem, to learning more about fitness. And most likely, you don’t like to admit it. There are hundreds of people all over YouTube telling the audience their “fitness journey” and how they came to be the fitness guru they are today. With all these individuals on social media telling you their tricks to being fit, more and more audience members are turning to social media as a means of personal training. Instead of meeting with a hands-on professional, they are spending hours sitting in front of the computer listening to a person talk about their own journey.

This shift in personal training has allowed any individual to start their own YouTube channel and become a fitness guru. People such as Sarah’s Day and Cristina Capron started their videos on the simple idea of sharing what their experience is and using the YouTube channel as a video diary of their transformation. While more audience members have followed them, they have been able to make a living off of YouTube videos. Instead of being a traditional personal trainer who meets with each client that contacts them, they are able to document what they do and reach out to hundreds of people around the globe. This has enabled them to reach a much greater audience and share their story further.

With their success on YouTube, both fitness moguls have created their own digital form of a workout routine. Sarah’s Day has recently launched her second ebook “Sweat it Reload” and is a continuation of her first ebook “Sweat it to Shred it”. Sarah’s Day used a downloadable digital ebook that you bought form the internet for her audience to enjoy the workout routine she created. Cristina Capron took it a step further and created a smartphone app where you can subscribe and follow the different workout routines, challenges, and tournamentshe creates for her audience. Both digital versions have helped the fitness icons grow their influence and power among the fitness community.

Sarah’s Day and Cristina Capron are just two examples of the growth social media and the digital platform have had on fitness. Instead of contacting a personal trainer in their area, individuals are searching for people on the internet that they can follow and different social media platforms. People get advice on how they should exercise, what they should eat, and what lifestyle routines they should do from someone they have never encountered before. Although some may see it as a downside, if you take the advice properly and realize everyone is different, social media can continue to influence more people and lead to a healthier, more aware society.


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Stop Exercising Start Training

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Nike Training Club

Nike Training Club is a health and fitness app created in 2011 by Nike Inc. It is a personal trainer built for women. The best thing is that the app offers more than 160 workouts all free. Nike promotes the idea of:  “Stop Exercising Start Training” with the intention of publicizing that by training you go through a progress and you know what you are doing and why you are doing it; by setting goals and creating workout plans and being able to train with a professional coach, all available to you by Nike.

With my personal experience after trying a variety of free apps for fitness training, NTC is the most complete and reliable one. Most of the other apps are advertised as free but only offer limited content. As a user of this app I can use the exercises whether I am in the gym or at home, and it is flexible to my schedule.  It also offers a lot of variety and can be used as the only exercise or as a complementary workout.

About the app

It is a personal trainer guided by experts through instructional audio and video clips for each workout. It offers a variety of exercises for all levels; you can either browse by muscle group or by workout type (endurance, mobility, strength, yoga). It also makes available different routines that vary on duration from around 15 minutes to an hour long. The user can select goal and fitness level. There is also personalized training plans and training recommendations based on each user´s routine; the more you use the app the more personal the recommendations become. Users are encouraged to unlock exclusive workouts by training more and more. In addition NTC features some well-known athletes and workouts inspired by them.

The app also offers NTC live workouts all around the world. Nike Trainers lead the workout and you can find upcoming events and find other members of the NTC according to the user´s specific location. The app also allows you to find and connect with friends to see their trainings, like a newsfeed.  Another available feature is to build a community and create community challenges in which you can train together with acquaintances.

Social Media Presence

Through this app Nike sells the idea of “Smart Training”, they advertise NTC through Nike.com and other social media channels. Nike Training Club is constantly mentioned online as one of the best apps for training. Its social media presence it is mostly devoted to encouraging app downloads in which exclusive content can be found. They also use different channels to connect with fans and let them know what´s to come in the app.

It is advertised in Facebook through Nike´s official page and Nike Women page, however there is no Nike Training Club official page. Even though fans can find a variety of NTC non-official (community) pages for each country, it is a weakness for the brand not to have all of their followers in one place promoted by the company itself.

Twitter also drives followers towards the app. The official NTC profile on Twitter has 180k followers; 11,9k tweets, 1895 likes. Posts about new and old features in the app and talks about partnerships made to improve the app. Finally, Nike uses a lot of celebrity endorsement both in their official Nike profile and in the Nike Training Club profile. On the other hand, in Instagram Nike creates a presence and uses attractive visual content. Currently it has 1.3m followers and only 310 posts.  The company uses it mainly to advertise Nike apparel and shoes. As with Twitter it features celebrities in small clips. However they don’t emphasize much on the app and its features and user´s results.

We can see that there is definitely some social media marketing aspects that the brand can improve on. They should do it for 2 main reasons: the first is to encourage more app users, the second is to engage their current users more by creating communities and worldwide movements. This would be a win-win situation for both the brand and women like me that are interested in a good fitness app and community.

What does Nike gain from this?

With NTC, Nike is creating a presence, meaning they want to be in top of the mind of the consumer. Consumers feel that Nike not only sells athletic apparel, footwear, equipment and accessories but that the company cares about our fitness and health. It tries to establish and maintain a relationship with the consumers in a daily basis. Besides Nike being in the app´s name we are also exposed to the brand in all trainings and videos since the coaches always use Nike gear. Finally, they also try to encourage sales with the catch “Train in Training Gear”, when they make potential consumers aware of their need of adequate training gear to help them with stability and support for every move.

 

 

 


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Digitally Fit: 9Round

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For this week’s blog post I tried out 9Round. 9Round is a kickboxing inspired workout which takes only 30 minutes to complete. There are nine “rounds” (duh), which are nine different stations where you do different exercises until moving on to the next station. This design means there are no class times; you can show up at your own convenience and be done in 30 minutes. It’s a fun idea that works well for the modern American.

Unlike my topic from last week (Kayla Itsines), 9Round seems more like an effective workout with a poor digital strategy. The company works via franchises, which means they have pretty minimal control over how franchisees run their social media. The website itself is polished and effective; it advertises owning a franchise as well as trying out a free class. The corporate Instagram features a clear theme with a color trend (red, black, white….go dawgs?) and motivational quotes. There are no before and after photos, perhaps because that would ruin the theme. I think it would be good for them to find a way to incorporate those since making people feel bad about themselves is the gas the fitness industry runs on, but overall it’s a good Instagram page.

Unfortunately, things start to unravel at the franchise level. The location I visited has a private Instagram…uh? They haven’t accepted my follow request yet but it’s already looking bad just for the fact that they’re private. I checked out a few other franchise pages and they all featured grainy photos getting less than 50 likes. Owning this type of franchise is probably attractive to mostly 45+ year old adults with a background in the fitness industry…i.e. people who don’t quite grasp the importance of social media or know what they should be posting. I get it, hiring a social media manager seems like an unnecessary expense. But I know from experience that there are plenty of people who will do way more work than they should for minimal payment…it’s called an internship. Especially in Athens where your main target group is college students, there’s no excuse for a bad/non-existant social media strategy.

On the bright side, I really enjoyed the workout! I think it would be great for people who want to lose fat and gain some lean muscle but feel they don’t have the time. Since there are nine different stations where you do different exercises, I didn’t get bored out of my mind like I usually do with cardio. However, if you think you’re going to learn actual kickboxing, think again. The focus was definitely on cardio and there wasn’t a lot of actual instruction. I was pretty much just flailing around like a sad fish when it came to the kickboxing influenced exercises…. but yay, burning calories! While I don’t want to name the actual location I went to, I’m sure this could be different depending on where you go. I’m not sore today but again, it’s mostly cardio (like all of these chain gyms).

Here’s the thing: The price tag on this workout is absolutely insane. When the trainer showed me the EIGHTY DOLLAR PER MONTH COST I clearly did not hide my shock well, because she didn’t try very hard to sell me on it. Or maybe I just look poor (true…hire me). Regardless, here’s the other thing: I looked at the employment application to work there, so I know the only real requirement is to complete a three month training course. I personally will not be paying $80 per month for Becky from my Management 4000 class to train me. If you want to lose weight and tone up, 9Round is great…but if you really want to learn kickboxing, it’s not so great. And the digital marketing strategy definitely needs improvement.


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Digitally Fit: Kayla Itsines

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It’s no secret the world has gone digital, and the fitness industry is no exception. Companies must compete not only to provide the best results to customers, but to spread the word of those results via social media. My plan for this blog is to try out different workouts and discuss my opinion on the actual workout as well as the social media strategy the brand is using. As someone who loves fitness, I’m very interested to see for myself whether these brands are just using smoke and mirrors or are actually effective.

When I began thinking of brands that are thriving in the digital age, Kayla Itsines immediately came to mind. Her Bikini Body Guide is a PDF that you purchase for a whopping $90 and which includes 12 weeks of workouts as well as a meal plan. Kayla’s claim to fame is her Instagram, where she posts transformation photos of her impressive 8.5 million followers. Girls upon girls are showcased going from pale and mildly overweight to freshly spray-tanned with abs. I’m not sure where the spray tan comes into play or how they’ve coordinated this, but it’s a definite trend. Her workouts are basically very fancy, very intense cardio. I would describe them as cardio, but super extra. Each workout contains two circuits which you complete in 7 minutes each and repeat twice for a total of around 30 minutes. This is another aspect of Kayla’s genius –She has catered to the modern culture of never having enough time and eliminated the most common excuse people use to not work out.

 

Related imageImage result for kayla itsines

 

As far as the workout, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was too easy for me. When I tried Kayla Itsines freshman year in my dorm, I was sure I was going to have a heart attack and my roommate would find my sweat-soaked corpse. Three years of loving fitness later, I actually ended up doing some other stuff in the gym because I didn’t feel like I could count it as a full cardio workout, let alone the arm workout it claimed to be. It definitely got my heart rate up a bit and got me doing exercises I don’t usually do (I simply don’t hate myself enough to do burpees on my own free will). The one thing I struggled with was the self-motivation aspect. I’m great at motivating myself to do workouts I want to do…But intense cardio is not on that list. I kept wanting to stop and look at my phone, especially when I had to check it to see what was next on the guide. Overall, I left the gym at a very average sweat level.

Final Verdict: It’s a no from me. I won’t bore you by getting into the nutrition element of her plans, but basically she recommends 1200 calories per day regardless of age, weight, height, or really anything that a reasonable person takes into account when deciding how many calories to eat. This paired with doing crazy intense cardio 5 days a week will obviously make you lose weight. Touting these girls who have lost weight by starving themselves on her recommendation is unethical, and many professionals in the fitness industry have commented on it. I definitely admire her eye for business and her ability to stay on top of digital trends, but I think she could spend more time developing her knowledge of health and exercise. She has developed a business model which requires minimal actual work from her. She does no customized consulting with her “clients” and it’s very easy to buy the guides and never use them (aka what I did freshman year). She has successfully used social media and digital technology to take an industry that generally has clients and turned them into customers.

If you just want to lose weight and don’t care about building muscle, this could be a good guide for you. If Spring Break 2k18 is looming and you’re trying to get some semblance of abs before bae sees you in a bikini at PCB, this could work. But you could also just, ya know, jump around for 30 minutes. Pretty much the same thing. And free.


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The story behind the success of an Australian-based personal trainer

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Kayla Itsines is an Australian 26 year-old personal trainer and author, but most important she is an entrepreneur. Her success is because she promotes her brand wisely, worldwide through different social media channels. Due to her impact in social media in March 2016 Time named Kayla one of the 30 most influential people on the internet. In April 2017 she was listed on the top of Forbes’ list of the world’s top social media influencers in the fitness world.

Currently she has more than 17 million likes and followers on her Facebook page; almost 20 million followers on Twitter; more than 220 000 subscribers on her YouTube channel and 8.5 million followers on Instagram. She is also on Tumblr, has a webpage and an app: SWEAT.

Kayla has been a personal trainer since 2008. Her market segment is women, due to the fact that she as a women understands their health and fitness goals. She started with a personal training business where she used to encourage people to take before-after photos to track their progress. That is how she came to use Instagram, at first only as a way to store her client´s transformations, but it ended up being much more.

Later, Itsines and her partner Tobi Pearce founded the Bikini Body Training in March 2013. They have published 2 eBooks called: Bikini Body Guide, which include both: workouts and nutrition facts. In November 2016 Itsines published her first print book, The Bikini Body 28-Day Eating and Lifestyle Guide, which later became a best-selling book. After a year, she published The Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide.

Who would imagine that music artists were not the only ones that went on tours but personal trainers go as well! To promote her brand, in 2015 she made a world tour leading free group fitness classes called: “Kayla Itsines Bootcamp World Tour”. In 2016 she made another world tour called “Kayla Itsines Sweat Tour”, having huge success in both.

Her social media strategy is based on focusing on her followers and their transformation journeys rather than herself. Her success is due to her emphasis on the community aspect by making the product be women´s renovation itself. In all of her social media sites she introduces herself as a personal trainer and encourages women to join her force by promoting confidence, health and fitness.

“Join my online BBG Community and be supported and encouraged throughout your fitness journey. No matter where in the world you are, you can connect with positive women who help inspire you to keep working towards your personal goals.”

Her followers created the #BBG, which she now uses in all her media. She is the only person who posts on her social media accounts; though she has a team that helps her. Furthermore she is consistent in her brand´s image in all media channels. Even though the medium used the content is very similar. All of her social media has 5 main subjects:

  1. Photos of women´s transformation´s before and after using BBG and/or SWEAT
  2. Pictures and/or videos of Kayla herself exercising different series and routines
  3. Motivational quotes
  4. SWEAT products promotion and selling
  5. Pictures of healthy food options

Itsines doesn’t:

  • Promote anything relevant only to her personal life style
  • Promote something she doesn’t believe in
  • Sell any products (besides SWEAT products)

In addition to the previous content stated, on her Facebook page Kayla puts her information and then in a couple of paragraphs she tells a story about herself, explains her workouts and programs. Using motivational wording as persuasion. Her most viewed video on Facebook has 17 million views. In her Facebook page she also has different events she is going to host for the next months. On the other hand, on her website she offers a blog, a forum and BBG Groups. This last one encourages members of the BBG Community to join individuals that live in the same cities.

Kayla Itsines has become one of the most influential trainers worldwide because through social media she promotes changes not only in women´s bodies but also in their minds. Showing “women who have changed their lives” by using her guides.

“I’m known as one of the most influential trainers in the world and I’ve made it my personal mission to help as many women as possible to achieve their ideal body and to feel more confident and happy.”


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