Scientists at the American Council on Exercise found that by making people move in sync with sound, feel more energized, and distract from discomfort, music can drive exercise intensity. If you’ve ever gotten to the gym ready for your workout only to find yourself wishing you could rewind to the weekend and play the mix you were dancing to, this research may ring a bell.
Russell Greene, a former nightclub partner, founded his successfully-bootstrapped startup Fit Radio to meet demands from staff, clients, and partygoers asking for the tunes played in the club to work out to. Equipped with relationships with hundreds of DJs, and in tune with the market of club music, Greene was sitting on a smash hit and launched the fitness music app in 2011.
Today, the app is the No. 1 music fitness app in the App Store and has expanded to 10 virtual fitness coaches with 100+ DJs. Over 2 million registered users use it to maintain energy from warm up to cool down.
The basic product allows users to plug into popular playlists, matching the pace with the desired intensity of the workout. Over 200 new hour-long mixes are added to the platform each month, providing tracks tailored to various workout types and intensities such as cross training and weight lifting. Fit Radio’s technology detects users’ pace and plays a mix with a BPM to match their heart rate.
The company also recently launched a new feature, Cardio Coaching, which brings personal trainers to users’ headphones. The coach’s unique instructions are paired with bursts of motivating music that push trainees through especially strenuous sections of the workout.
Fit Radio’s Vice President Lexi Bellassai says their success comes largely from their community — “the real people who pour passion into our music, our coaching, and our product.” Social sharing is a large part of the app, where users can share their running distance, favorite workouts and recommended mixes with friends — which may be key to sticking with an exercise regime. One study found that 95 percent of those who started a weight-loss program with friends finished the program, compared to 76 percent who started by themselves.
Before recording the workouts, Bellassai says the trainers undergo weeks of vocal conditioning to fine-tune their content and delivery. They’re also highly selective with the DJs they let onto the platform — they’re seeking only the highest-quality, well-produced mixes.
So, if you’re looking to get on track before the holidays (or keep up during them!), this Atlanta-based startup might be your best move.