Concept2’s App Library is Actually Really, Really Amazing
At-home fitness has become a key part of daily life due to COVID-19 and lockdowns around the world, forcing fitness enthusiasts to search for a variety of options to pursue improved health. As it turns out, Concept2 has a jaw-dropping number of answers through its diverse library of apps connected to the RowErg, BikeErg, and SkiErg.
Why it matters: There are multiple companies embracing at-home fitness options to provide robust platforms for users at home. Some have partnered with existing equipment manufacturers while others have built their own. Concept2 forged its own path.
- Fiit, a UK-based provider of interactive workouts, partnered with Assault Fitness for a special program focused on the AssaultBike.
- RPM, the manufacturer of jump ropes and training gear, launched an at-home functional training program called Atom. Subscribers can order equipment packages from RPM and then attend virtual classes coached by Pat Barber.
One big thing: When, if ever, will CrossFit Home Office decide to get more into digitized fitness?
The app library has options for all three machines. For example, there is Zwift, a community for owners of the BikeErg. This app has training plans, messaging, and group rides through virtual environments.
- Regatta, a creation of Regatta Fitness, offers live and on-demand rowing classes for owners of the RowErg. These classes have video, music, real-time metrics, and a competitive leaderboard.
- Krew provides the opportunity to create your own workouts and program them into the PM5. Users of Krew can compete against each other in real-time for bragging rights.
- CrossFit enthusiasts are familiar with one particular app, WODProof, that adds a timer overlay while recording workouts for participants of the CrossFit Open and other competitions. WODProof also connects directly to the RowErg for seamless data collection.
A major step up in technology: Concept2, which began in 1976 by producing composite oars, has spent decades trying to help users race against each other. The company introduced the ability to have rowers race against each other in the 90s, but the creation was too technologically advanced for the days of dial-up internet. The situation changed with major improvements over the years, leading to the introduction of apps.
- The perfect junction point for Concept2 was the introduction of the Performance Monitor 5 in 2014, which added a Bluetooth Smart connection. This feature brought in a multitude of apps and led to a significant decision by Concept2.
- Concept2 decided to create an open platform so that any developer could hook into the stream of data coming from the company’s machines and put it into their respective apps.
“We saw this gradual growth of…there were two or three apps, and then there were five or six apps, and then there were 10 or 12 apps,” said Alex Dunne, who works on the apps technology team at Concept2. “And then we saw a lot of growth as soon as lockdown started. There were a lot of developers who were stuck at home and maybe thought that there was an opportunity then to do something.”
The bottom line: At-home fitness remains a focus for people around the world, especially if there are no gyms or group classes within a reasonable distance. The robust app library provides seemingly endless opportunities for varied workouts and a simple connection to an existing piece of equipment. The open platform means that there will be a constant stream of available apps that will prevent exercise staleness.
- “There’s just such a breadth of possibilities, whether it’s something like an online gaming solution, whether it’s more of a class-based offering, whether it’s an individual video, whether it’s using videos that are already out there in the world that you can join in with, whether it’s heart rate monitoring,” Dunne said.
- “There’s so many different opportunities, and over the last couple of years, we’ve seen that snowball so there’s now 40 or 50 apps that we list on our site.”