The iPhone and other smartphones have been the focus of many fitness apps created for clubs such as 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym and Crunch, and equipment manufacturers such as Life Fitness, which recently launched its virtual trainer app. A new company has created software for the Apple iPad that helps fitness professionals train their clients.
FitView, San Jose, CA, provides tools geared for fitness coaches in personal training, boot camp and CrossFit environments. Although it has an iPhone application for members, what makes FitView unique is its functionality on the iPad.
“The professionals love having a tool like this that is optimized for the iPad,” says FitView CEO Calin Pacurariu (pronounced “pac-u-rar-e-u”).
In his days working at Apple, Pacurariu led the product management, marketing and business development efforts for a number of projects that included software for the iPhone, iTunes Mobile and Apple TV. He worked directly with Apple CEO Steve Jobs on several product launches.
As he did for those projects, Pacurariu wanted to test his new FitView software program enough times to make him feel confident before its anticipated launch next month. FitView’s first beta testing started last December with select personal trainers around the country. Another round came in March prior to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association show in San Francisco, where Pacurariu introduced FitView.
“We’ve gotten consistently great feedback in terms of the direction of the progress we’ve made,” Pacurariu says.
FitView offers something different from other software companies that concentrate on tools to help club owners and operators with back-office applications such as billing.
“Our focus really is primarily on the trainer or the coach and their engagement with their client’s members,” Pacurariu says. “Because of that different focus, our software isn’t tied necessarily to a gym environment. We do work in a gym environment, but the way [trainers and coaches] look at it, it’s really not tied to their specific facilities, and that’s the way we designed it from day one. If you really look at most fitness trainers and most coaches, they often work in multiple environments.”
One of those trainers is Paige Nutt, owner of Studio 831 in Santa Cruz, CA, who was one of the early beta testers of FitView. In many ways, Nutt is the model trainer for a program such as FitView. Not only does she grace the home page of the company’s website, but her daily routines include working with personal training clients in the morning, CrossFit clients later in the day and high school athletes in the afternoon.
Using FitView, Nutt can log into her program and see all sorts of information—the types of classes her clients are taking, injuries they may have or other issues with her sessions.
“It’s essentially your portfolio on what’s gone on all week and what each client has done at what date,” Nutt says. “It’s exciting for people to track their progression in relation to their results. They can feel it physically, but to show them visually keeps them engaged and keeps them involved. It adds accountability and keeps people on track. For trainers, it keeps us organized and excited.”
The program can be set up for individual clients as well as groups. If a client wants to keep his or her information private from the group, they can do so, Nutt says.
Although FitView was created with iPad and iPhone users in mind, the program is accessible to a wider audience. Exercisers can still use FitView to follow their workout progression, and fitness professionals can use it to track their clients, even if they do not have either of these devices, Pacurariu says.
“As long as they have modern browsers, they’ll be able to access our system,” he says.
Pacurariu co-founded FitView with Rainer Brodersen, FitView’s chief technology officer, and Steven Cervi-Skinner, the chief medical officer at Phoenix-based Apogee Physicians.
“That brings a unique view of how fitness is an integral part of health for the people that the coaches and trainers are impacting,” Pacurariu says of his executive team. “We really see that as a strategic long-term aspect of what we’re doing as a company.”
When Pacurariu searched for his next challenge after leaving Apple, he got inspiration from his college-age daughters, both of whom have aspirations in the health care field.
“They just really love taking care of people and helping people out,” Pacurariu says. “I think they see fitness as the front end to solving some of the bigger medical problems in the country. It would be kind of cool in five or 10 years to say, ‘At about the time you landed in college, we started this thing called FitView, and now it’s a global company that’s helping millions of people.’”