Fitness 2.0: The next generation of fitness

by John Berardi, Ph.D.
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One look around the fitness industry is all it takes to recognize something big is happening. Technology, particularly web and mobile technology, has permanently changed how people get fit and healthy. We’re witnessing a revolution: Fitness 2.0.

If you wanted to get in shape 10 years ago, you had three choices. One, you could buy a diet or fitness book; cheap, but impersonal and ineffective. Two, you could join a gym; better, but also impersonal and lacking any kind of accountability or direction. Or three, you could hire a personal trainer; even better, except incredibly expensive and often hit or miss in terms of quality. That was Fitness 1.0. It was cumbersome and ineffective, but the best anyone could do at the time.

Well, no longer. Fitness 2.0 is here, and it’s giving everyday people access to the very best experts and the very best science, more affordably than ever before. And in some cases, for free.

Fitness 2.0 means personalized exercise and nutrition programs, designed specifically for you, and affordably delivered to you using web and mobile technology. Through your laptop and your phone, innovative fitness companies like ours can hold you accountable to your commitments, restore your control over food, answer questions and concerns whenever you have them — and even guarantee the investment you make in yourself.

These are things unheard of a few short years ago; things previously available only to professional athletes or the super rich. Now, everyone has access, and if you aren’t taking advantage, you should be.

What is Fitness 2.0?

Web and mobile-enabled. Exercise videos, training programs, recipes, progress tracking applications. If you have access to a computer or a mobile device, you can have the best the fitness field has to offer at your finger tips, in the gym, in the kitchen — anywhere you are.

Geographically independent. With that same technology, you can access the leaders in fitness and participate in their programs from anywhere in the world, whether you’re in an urban hub, suburban community, or halfway around the globe. That’s unprecedented.

Data driven. Web-based programs, by their very nature, collect and organize your fitness data; on the web, experts can’t guess or eyeball you, so they track as much as possible. Photos, correspondence, weight, body composition, blood work. And because of that transparency, there can be no doubt as to whether it’s working or not. In the fitness world, which has long been dominated by hucksters and charlatans, that is a hugely positive change for clients.

Expert led. On the web, you have access to the best coaches in the world, no matter where you live, no matter “who you know.” Before, you were largely limited by whoever hung up a shingle in your town; now, you’re just one click away from most skilled and most innovative experts anywhere.

Socially supportive. Research consistently shows that people do better on fitness and nutrition programs when surrounded by other people doing the same. Fitness 2.0 brings the like-minded together for social support — even friendly competition, if that’s your thing. Either way, you no longer have to go it alone.

Affordable. Since web technology can now handle the administrative work and marketing stuff, world-class coaches can focus their energy on what they do best: helping people become their best, at such low costs that anyone can at least try. Our coaching, for example, is $99/month; other alternatives on the web are even less, some even free.

Anonymous. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I’d love to get back to the gym, but I just need to get in a little better shape first,” Fitness 2.0 allows you to participate anonymously. On the web, no one knows your name unless you want them to, so you can start today, as you are, and you will be welcomed.

Gym independent. Even if you don’t want to (or can’t) join a gym, getting in shape is completely possible. Countless companies, including ours, will offer you workouts you can do on your own, at home, with whatever you have available to you.

Fully integrated. There is no longer a need to get information from half a dozen different sources, some conflicting with others. Fitness 2.0 companies are now wrapping exercise, nutrition, sleep monitoring, stress management and personal coaching into one all-inclusive service. You can now have a single source take care of everything for you.

What came before—Fitness 1.0—was the polar opposite of that, on almost all counts.

What was Fitness 1.0?

Fitness 1.0 was exclusionary and expensive, but it was the only model of health that existed at the time. The financial and psychological barriers to entry were extremely high.

If you wanted to get in shape, you joined a gym. And, let’s face it, gyms can be scary places for people new to exercise.

Then, once you joined the gym, you had to figure out how to use all the equipment. After all, a gym membership doesn’t come with free advice or even an owner’s manual (though recently, the better gyms are changing that). As a member, you were essentially just renting the equipment and left to fend for yourself.

If you figured things out, great. If not, you had the option to hire a one-on-one personal trainer. Of course, that service didn’t come cheap. Just 3 sessions a week could cost more than $1,200 a month.

And, even once you hired your trainer, you weren’t quite sure if they were actually qualified to help. It was sort of a mystery. Do they know what they’re doing? Could they help you reach your goals? Could you trust them with your health?

Maybe the biggest flaw was the narrow approach. Personal training only offered exercise advice. You had to figure out other important factors—such as nutrition, stress-management, and sleep—all by yourself.

That, coupled with the overall low trustworthiness of the fitness industry in general, left in its wake a nation of frustrated, unhappy, and unhealthy customers. Customers who had, to a large degree, lost their faith in their own ability to control their health and fitness.

Fitness 2.0 turns all that on its head, making fitness possible for anyone and accessible to everyone.

Where do you begin?

Since we’ve been offering this type of coaching for over 10 years now, we consider ourselves to be pioneers in the Fitness 2.0 field. We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to do for our clients. We’re not the only ones, though, and a quick web search will reveal options for everyone. If you’d like our help, we’d be happy to have you, and you can start by reading about our Lean Eating Coaching Program.

Wherever you begin, the message is clear. If you’re looking to get fitter and healthier than ever before, we strongly recommend you discard the old methods that have consistently failed people. Give yourself access to what truly works. Fitness 2.0 is here.

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