In the early days of fitness, members went to their local gym, lifted some weights or went for a jog on the treadmill, and returned home with an eased conscience. Today, digital platforms such as Facebook enable peers to create online running groups, where the members can track each other’s progress and cheer each other on. It has become easy (at least in theory) to work out at home with the use of one of the countless apps coaching you through sit-ups and push-ups on the floor of your own living room. Accordingly, the borders between training at home, in the outdoors or at the gym are being erased. However, Olav wants SATS ELIXIA to become the starting point of all training, by providing the opportunity for their members to be part of a community. “I believe that in order to be a successful fitness provider in the future, you need to provide relevant training to your members wherever they are. Building a community is the key. We have 500,000 members – all with very specific goals – and they can find their peers among the remaining 499,999 members”, Olav explains. “For us to be successful in the future, we need to go beyond training at our clubs. We need to be present and relevant for our members, whenever and wherever they are. That is our ambition”.
By focusing on the social aspects of training, Olav also sees a potential of strengthening the public health, which is becoming increasingly important with the ageing of the population. “There’s a big potential for fitness clubs, which are distributed across all countries in the Nordics, to work together with the municipalities in creating programmes especially for the elderly. Everybody can do strength exercises at home, but nobody does it, because it has to be part of a social interaction. It is not easy to become stronger, and it is very boring if you have to do it yourself. I think that the role of fitness clubs as social centres that bring people together is extremely important in regard to the public health. And it is something I hope will develop going forward”.