Virtuagym Launches AI-Powered Fitness Coach


Artificial intelligence is reshaping fitness training.

The latest: Health and fitness software developer Virtuagym debuted AI Coach, an automated chatbot providing exercisers with personalised workouts and support.

Although the new tool is initially limited to Virtuagym’s fitness app, a service available to 20M consumers, the Dutch company signalled its forthcoming commercial expansion to its network of 9K fitness businesses and 45K trainers worldwide (including fit20 and Fitness Park).

How it works: Through a chat-like conversation, users communicate their demographics and preferences like age, fitness goals, level, equipment, muscle groups and workout duration.

Based on the inputs, AI Coach designs a workout from Virtuagym’s library of 6K exercises, and to track progress, each workout is integrated with biometrics from wearables and app features like body composition and nutrition.

Hugo Braam, CEO and co-founder of Virtuagym, believes the product will impact both at-home fitness and in-gym personal training market:

“This new solution is a real game-changer for individual exercise, but, in the near future, also for our business clients who are interested in making personalised coaching more efficient either through self-management or by empowering trainers to use AI.”

Generating Gains

AI-powered solutions in the fitness space are breaking out globally. While it ups access to more in-tune workouts for everyday users, some question if it is taking the “personal” out of personal training.

While the EU pushes guide rails in the form of human intervention, the AI fitness market is looking more and more automated.

  • Germany’s Freeletics has pioneered AI-generated health coaching since 2013, while newer startups like Another Round pairs AI with human oversight to boost a PT’s client case.
  • UK run coaching app Coopah uses AI to create customised training plans with 24/7 support, while competitor Runna uses a mix of coach-led programming and AI to complement training, adding personalised strength workouts and nutrition advice to the equation.
  • Portugal’s BHOUT uses AI to map strikes and gamify training on its smart punching bag, while over in strength Canadian startups Train AI and Eigen Fitness use it for form and progress tracking.

Elsewhere, health and wellness companies are using AI on holistic super apps, with India’s HealthifyMe and London’s ZOE tackling metabolic health via nutritional analysis, Onvy and Biolytica puzzling out longevity and Apple plotting a data-aggregating health coach of its own.

Even the NHS could revolutionise the space, bringing personalised preventative healthcare into the hands of the masses.

Punchline: AI will put a health and fitness coach in your pocket. But while some consumers will embrace the smart automations, there will always be a segment of the market that believes there is no replacing a human touch.

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