How To Make Your Fitness Business Better With The Hybrid Model

Fit tech - tracking fitness metrics
Fit tech is here, and it's not going away any time soon.

The hybrid model. All the cool kids are doing it.

But, um… What is the hybrid model, and how do you offer it, if your business is a brick and mortar space?

The hybrid model sadly does not have its roots in the Terminator Trilogy (although how cool would that be?) – but is, in fact, a relatively new business model rapidly being embraced by the fitness world.

The hybrid model offers your clients a blend of in-person fitness services complemented by a digital provision. Think of it as a seamless blend of online and onsite offerings.

It sounds simple enough, but there are a few vital points to remember.

Let’s dive in and take a look at what they are.

Safety first!

To make the most out of your hybrid training session, you obviously need to make sure that you're offering safe in-person experiences.

As you will already know, that means looking at things like extra sanitation, making sure that you have enough social distancing going on, and ensuring that you take temperature checks and clean equipment thoroughly between uses.

You can also encourage the use of masks if that's something that you feel is appropriate for your classes.

Yeah, duh, but what about digital?

At the same time, there are going to be members out there that don’t feel confident coming back to the gym (and may not for a while).

That means that they need to be able to experience your epic offering digitally. You need to look at tailoring your offering so that clients feel like they have the same support as they would do in person.

If you have a brick and mortar studio space, it makes sense that you're going to want to get people back in there as soon as possible, but with shielding, potential new C-19 clusters and possible future lockdowns, there are no guarantees any more. Digital is one way to navigate that risk.

Man tracking data about his gym.
Data helps gyms meet their members' needs better than ever before.

Hybrid model rules: data is king, quality is queen.

Covid’s here to stay, guys. If you aren’t seriously thinking about offering a professional and polished online alternative, you’re in for a rocky ride.

Gym members, studio customers and personal clients have high standards – that’s why they chose to engage with your business in the first place.

If you want to offer a digital version of your physical space, you’d better make sure that the quality of that offering matches their expectations.

This is one area where it pays to invest time and thought into choosing a tech partner or platform that’s easy to use (for you and the client!), looks professional, and works like a dream.

Not sure an affordable, high-quality, easy-to-use platform exists?

We can promise you it does…because we built it.

Who is the hybrid model for? A tale of two tribes.

A recent survey from WellToDo actually reveals there are two kinds of broad categories that people fall into, post-lockdown.


The first group of people are called ‘reborners’. They’ve had enough of life under lockdown, and they’re ready to get back out there and make the most of their newfound freedom. They want to catch up on and soak up all the activities they’ve missed out on whilst staying home. Ready to live life to the max, these folk are going to get out and seize the proverbial day, despite potential risks.


The other group of people are called ‘cocooners’. For a variety of reasons, they are going to be a little bit more nervous about engaging with the world outside their own four walls.

To support both these groups and to make sure that you maximize your offering for everyone, it’s obvious that gyms need to offer online classes as well as something in person.

A black and white image of an empty gym
Oh look! It's a gym full of cocooners...

That sounds like a lot of work though…what’s the reward?

The perks for you include more financial gain, potentially, and a much higher rate of client retention.

Number one, you get to engage with your clients in a new and exciting way. If you’re a PT, for example – there’s only one of you to go around. Everybody wants 100% of their personal trainer 100% of the time, but there's obviously only one of you!

Now you get to tailor an online service just to them, and they feel like they're getting the best experience from you all the time, even if you’re not with them in person.

Added bonus? Happy clients = better retention levels = more consistent income for your business.


Other perks include having a better control of your schedule.

Remember the days when you had to engage with people between six and eight in the morning, between twelve and two in the afternoon, and from six until eight in the evening, because those were the only windows people had to train around work?


Now that people can work from home and train at any time of the day, you no longer have to shoehorn your day into those six hours.

Added bonus? Say hello to flexible workouts! Clients can maximize or minimize the time they spend working out – whether they choose to do three ten-minute workouts or one half-hour session.

It just depends on what your client wants and needs. Going digital gives you the flexibility to meet those needs better than ever before.

Social distancing at the gym
Social distancing guidance at its finest!

Dollar dollar bills, y’all!

Moving your business online from a hybrid perspective also means that you have more reliable revenue.

Rather than risking people not coming back to your class if someone does a particularly nasty cough mid-sesh, you're able to capture people online – vital for the cocooners who don’t want to leave the nest.

As long as someone has an internet connection, they can work out with you. That's awesome.

Added bonus? No more excuses. Clients have greater accountability – making it more likely that you’ll help them smash their wellness goals.

It saves you time.

Seems innocuous, but this one’s a biggie.

You no longer have to wait for clients who have forgotten about your sweat sesh together. You no longer have to kick your heels hanging out in the gym, playing Candy Crush on your phone for twenty minutes between sets whilst curling in the squat rack.

If you offer video on demand, you can also unlock the greatest of all revenue perks – passive income! That means you can earn money, even when you’re not working.

Added bonus? Potentially, no more touting for clients! If you have a great online offering and you do your marketing well, people will come to you.

Image of a fitbit
Time. The ultimate finite resource.

Selling the goods.

So how do you sell the benefits of hybrid training to your customers? Well, focus on the perks from their perspective.

  • Easier access to you/the gym/a trainer than ever before
  • They’re safe in the gym, and they’re safe at home too, if the gym feels too risky right now
  • They’ll find it easier to be more accountable for their habits
  • They can work out whenever they want to

And ultimately?

They’re going to achieve those goals, or adapt to a new, better lifestyle sooner rather than later, making them feel fantastic in mind and body alike.

The takeaway? The hybrid model is here to stay.

Health and Fitness app usage has grown 330% in the last 3 years. You can’t ignore stats like that!

According to Global Newswire, the fitness app market will reach $14.64 Billion by 2027. If you want a slice of that pie, Fettle is here to help. Get in touch for your demo now.

If you just want to say hi, you can mosey over to our Facebook, and Instagram pages, or ping us an email here! Otherwise, check out our post on Online Coaching Success, to help you really nail the digital game.