“Myzone relies on connected users to build communities”
myzone broke into sport more than a decade ago with the challenge of measuring health parameters during training and rewarding physical activity. monitor and gamify to connect and retain sports practitioners. To do this, their devices, which measure heart rate, are already present in gym chains such as Anytime Fitness, Énergie Fitness, David Lloyd or Snap Fitness. In addition to integrating its technology into Garmin, Life Fitness, Matrix, Technogym, Zwift, Polar or Apple Watch equipment, it has entered the virtual world thanks to OliveX Fitness Metaverse. Now, the North American company seeks to reinforce its position in Spain with the launch of a subsidiary that will see the light of day this spring and that will be directed by Guillermo Aldasoro.
The company was born in 2011, but it already has a long history and notoriety. The way how it has evolved?
Our goal is for everyone to know Myzone, not as it was when it was born, but what it is now and the technological and community building solutions that it now offers. Myzone is capable of entering any platform and environment, whether physical or virtual, where you can interact in a social way and create a community. The metaverse is an example.
What advantages does the current version offer?
It is a unique device that offers very high accuracy even when compared to a hospital medical electrocardiogram: 99.4% accurate if it is placed on the chest and 95% on the arm. It has an LED that lights up and it will not only measure your activity, but you will also see what level of intensity you are at at all times. This is so that, if you have programmed a cycling or running workout, you can spend a few minutes in blue, others in green and then go up to yellow depending on the intensity. You do not need to take your mobile because it is compatible with other devices such as Apple Watch, Garmin or Samsung.
What plans does Myzone have for Spain?
We want to give more visibility to the brand. Our plan is to launch, in the second quarter of 2023, the Spanish subsidiary. We will allocate resources from the head office to be able to formalize a structure that allows us to have staff here. Establishing the activity in Spain will open more doors for us because it will allow us to have a warehouse and stock here, with which the shipments will be even faster than they are. Now the product comes from the Netherlands, so there is a transit period. On the other hand, we will be able to deal with clients who prefer to trade with a Spanish interlocutor so that bureaucratic procedures are reduced.
“Spain is a different market from other European countries: the outdoor and the social component have a great weight”
What particularities does the Spanish market have with others in which you already operate?
Traditionally it has different aspects from the rest. starting with him outdoors, which is very strong because the weather allows it. Compared to other northern European countries, there is also a very important social component, which can be seen in higher attendance in the directed classes. In Spain there are certain differential aspects that have caused some foreign chains to have to readapt their business model to include aspects that are absolutely necessary in our market.
What are your target markets?
Fitness centers are our main market because it is where we have the most experience. We have closed an agreement with Énergie Fitness to be in all their centers in Spain, because we already accompany them in the United Kingdom. We also work with Anytime Fitness: we started in their four own clubs and we are already in three franchised centers. We will show the rest of the franchisees the results that corporate clubs have obtained with this technology. We also have agreements with Inacua, in Torrejón, and with David Lloyd, where we will soon hold some test classes where the use of Myzone is necessary because the whole class is focused on color coding. Other of our collaborators are Fitness Park, Supera or Inacua.
Beyond gyms, in what other areas do you want to grow?
We are simultaneously exploring other avenues such as the market corporate or the schools. We want to change habits from the base: if we can get children to have healthy habits from the age of six, it is something that will help them for the rest of their lives. The sooner we can start, the better. Hand in hand with the University of Valencia, we will carry out a pilot test that we hope to later extrapolate to other educational centers. We will analyze how the feedback in real time has a positive impact on the motivation to continue training and on the perception of your own effort. It is not the same to train without more than to do it and that the effort you are making is being reflected.
In what way can the data help to promote training and, therefore, to fight against a sedentary lifestyle?
We want to reward the effort, but we are aware that physical activity does not give immediate rewards. After training you go home happier, but if while you train you have a feedback in real time of what you are doing and you have the positive reinforcement of the instructor or your classmates, who are also watching it, that helps to motivate. On the other hand, you get what we call Myzone Effort Points (MEPs), points that are awarded based on the intensity at which you work. This system, which works in a ranking format, allows you to maintain a record. The WHO recommends healthy habits equivalent to about 1,300 MEPs. If you are constant and achieve them, you can evolve. Otherwise, you can go back.
“We analyzed how the feedback in real time has a positive impact on the motivation to continue training and on the perception of your own effort”
Does this ranking act as a gamification element?
Yes. Each center or company can offer the prizes that each one is interested in: from personal training classes to beauty services. At our company, for example, Amazon vouchers or Disney+ and Netflix subscriptions are raffled. Those who reach 2,000 MEPs at the end of each month receive four hours of paid vacation. Six full days of vacation per year. There are people who don’t need rewards or seeing themselves first on a list to be motivated and train, but we recommend setting rewards that are affordable and don’t always reward the one who gets the most MEPs. One option is to hold a raffle with everyone who meets the minimums recommended by the WHO.
How does this proposal marry those users who do not want to compete?
We cannot deny what is happening, that we are moving towards the digital and towards the social within the digital. The user does not necessarily have to compare himself with anyone, but he does have to compete with himself. Why won’t he record everything he does and monitor his activity whenever he trains? He doesn’t have to share it. This, however, is a small percentage of users. Myzone is about building communities, and for that you need connected individuals. If one of you struggles a bit one day, maybe someone else pulls you and doesn’t stay at home, and vice versa.
It’s a different approach to the corporate market. Is the approach that is made to companies that a healthier employee is more productive?
Exactly. In the end, we look for a win-win. If you invest in employees and their health, they will generate less cost to the company and produce more. It is an interested decision, but it benefits everyone.
Does the use of this data also have a medical component?
We have participated in a university study on the effect of physical activity on cancer patients and it was shown that moderate or high intensity training helped to eliminate residual cardiotoxicity in patients who had undergone breast cancer treatment. That is, high-intensity physical activity helped to eliminate this cardiotoxicity faster and more efficiently than moderate exercise or no exercise at all.