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Why A Human-Focused Fitness Platform Launched A Digital Coach


In a bid to better meet the needs of today's mobile and digital-first consumers, Aaptiv launched a virtual trainer service that helps members achieve their goals on their own terms

In Brief:

Aaptiv is a comprehensive fitness platform centered around providing trainer-led classes and workouts to members on-demand. The app recently took a turn in launching a digital personal trainer service.

•While providing members with a personalized fitness plan, Aaptiv Coach also provides mindfulness and wellness tips to help members achieve an overall healthy lifestyle, addressing consumer desires for more holistic approaches to wellbeing.

•As part of a deep-dive into ways brands and services are catering to the needs of younger, digital-first audiences, PSFK spoke to Aaptiv's founder & CEO, Ethan Agarwal, for insights into designing a digital coach not as a substitute for but rather an enhancement of personalized, expert-led fitness experiences for today's consumers.

PSFK: What led to the creation of Aaptiv Coach? 

Coach is something we at Aaptiv have been working on, quite literally, since we started. We so often saw questions come in that expanded far beyond just “which workout should I do?” The questions were “which workouts should I do and when”, and “what other habits outside of fitness should I be doing to get to my goals?” It was these questions that sparked the idea of creating Aaptiv Coach.

Other digital fitness tools don’t take a holistic approach to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Coach looks at the bigger picture to give the personal guidance many people need on their health journey.


How have consumer attitudes and needs towards fitness changed, especially among younger consumers? 

Similar to consumer attitudes in general, the trend of turning to technology very much holds true when it comes to improving health and fitness. Fitness has always been a crucial component of health and that has not changed over generations, but how they work out has changed given lifestyle changes—long hours at work, traveling more often, etc. They also have access to technology so they are able to take advantage of tools like Aaptiv that give them on-demand coaching and workouts, that fit into their schedule and budget.

Aaptiv built its name on its human-led workouts. How will this AI-enabled coaching complement the human element? 

Coach is very much complementary to our human, trainer-led workouts. Coach analyzes each member’s specific goals, time constraints, available equipment, preferences, etc., and combines that knowledge with our existing and future content to best organize an individual plan for each member, a plan that is constantly evolving. It’s such a natural extension of our class content.

Has Aaptiv Coach made people more likely to stick to their workouts?

Since the launch of Coach, we have seen a significant lift in class completion rates, which indicates that members are setting a plan and sticking to it. This is ultimately the primary goal of Coach; to help members stay accountable. It’s still early in Coach’s life, but we’re confident we’ll see even greater evidence of engagement and accountability as we go.

Aaptiv Founder & CEO, Ethan Agarwal. Aaptiv

Aaptiv Coach