As part of a multimillion-pound push to bring its gyms into the 21st century, Virgin Active will offer it’s members smart wristbands, which keep track of their workout history. Virgin Active has launched the ‘Always Discovering’ campaign and has also opened two ‘tech-centric’ gyms in central London,UK as part of the £100m investment scheme.

To coincide with the new tech-centric gyms, Virgin Active is also introducing new virtual workout regimes; a class which focuses on ‘primal pattern movements’ called ZUU, a fusion of Yoga and Pilates called Nova, and also a tough, circuit-style workout called The Grid.

Andy Caddy, Virgin Active’s chief information officer spoke of the two new gyms, (in Cannon Street and Paddingon) which will feature contactless systems. These systems will allow members to swipe and swipe out using a smart bracelet. It is this smart wearable that can also track and measure the members’ workout history. Users can also pair their fitness devices or apps with Virgin Active’s equipment, thereby creating a more rounded out picture of their workout progress, by including these exercises that are done outside the gym. Members will also be able to access web services such as Skype, TED and YouTube whilst inside the gym.

Caddy said Virgin Active had incorporated the digital offering after observing more members using fitness apps and devices, and the arrival of wearables in the tech sector. “As the UK’s number one health and fitness club, we are constantly keeping track of the latest fitness technology available and how our members are engaging with these innovations….As more members use apps to track activeness outside of club, we wanted to ensure our definition of activeness is not constrained to what happens in club but takes into account the entirety of our members’ lifestyles,” he said.

Caddy also said that the arrival of fitness devices and apps gave Virgin Active a chance to personalise its offering to it’s members. “The rise in fitness devices and apps is a very positive trend; anything that encourages people to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle is a great thing…At Virgin Active we don’t think of wearable tech and connected fitness as a threat. It provides a catalyst for health clubs to improve their digital experience. Our role is to keep our members inspired and we are always looking for the best ways to help them do this,” he said.

[Image via virginactive]