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Equinox to 'revolutionise' fitness sector with real-time data driven competitive cycling classes

Equinox has begun to roll out a data driven fitness regime it believes will revolutionise the fitness market with cycling classes that are gamified but also personalised to drive competitiveness .

The proposition, developed by R/GA, lets classes of up to 40 or 50 spin cyclists compete in front of a large LED screen displaying their pace and guides them visually to experience the best work out.

Led by a trained instructor who can monitor and lead the workout through an iPad that is connected to the bike, they can push each member of the class and call them out to push them harder through the data visualised on their screen. Cyclists are also able to save their progress through a dedicated Equinox app that details their performance during each class.

Different games each use red rings on the screen to signify each participant in order to drive competitiveness further and allow them to see how other members are performing. Cyclists can also choose to be an anonymous participant should they ask the instructor in advance.

"We were looking at how we really rethink cycling for our members and our club," Carlos Becil, senior Vice President and chief marketing officer for Equinox told The Drum during a purpose built demo-space at SXSW.

"Equinox is about how we rethink cycling for our members and our club. Everything about Equinox is built on the science of fitness and how we deliver better results for members and that's why we have a performance class and an endurance class. There is so much data that's available - how do you take that data and work with a team like R/GA to come up with something that is completely unique, motivational and inspiring and take the science and make it consumer friendly and engaging?"

With the development of the class now complete after a year in the works, and each instructor trained over a two-month period in operating the system, the classes have begun to roll out across three locations in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.

"It was a great brief and the goal is to iterate. So we worked with them closely, tested around 90 game concepts to see what would really work, and we looked at getting the data visualisation right. It has to be quite compelling, motivating and artistic but not nauseous. If you are not careful with what you do with motion you can make the experience worse, so there was a lot of fine tuning to get to the right design," said Chris Colborn, executive vice president, global chief design and innovation officer for R/GA of the project.

Becil backed the technology's ability to drive competition through real-time data being delivered to members and hailed it as a "revolutionary step" in the fitness sector.

"We think it'll disrupt the whole category," he stated. "There is really nothing else like it in our market [because] it makes members not want to miss the next class. There's some great programmes out there that are different but leveraging data to drive results in order to inspire like this is completely unheard of."

Becil also revealed that Equinox hoped to extend the classes into Europe in London and Toronto, Canada.

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