Launching ClassPass Live, the first live-streamed interactive at-home workout.
Originally posted on Medium.
In December 2017, ClassPass announced that we had been working on a new really exciting product and planned to release it in early 2018. After months of hard work, relentless user testing, diligent QAing, and launch preparation, the ClassPass team was ready to introduce the world to ClassPass Live. ClassPass Live is an interactive, live-streaming high-intensity workout that uses a heart rate monitor and real-time tracking to keep you motivated, accountable and engaged no matter where you’re working out.
The problem we set out to solve.
Our goal of this product is to inspire everyone to live their fullest life by making encouraging and motivating workouts accessible and affordable to everyone. We strive to accomplish this goal through an immersive interactive at-home fitness experience unlike anything else on the market. That’s a mouthful so let’s breakdown what that really means. At-home fitness has been around for as long as I can remember with 80s personalities like Richard Simmons, Suzanne Somers, Tony Little, and Jane Fonda. Fast forward to 2018 and doing a quick YouTube search will render over 62 million videos tagged as ‘workout videos’. Despite that, the user research we conducted showed that existing at-home or on-the-go fitness alternatives failed to truly capture the magic experienced by taking an in-person studio class. In fact, there’s a few key elements missing — and that’s what we tried to recreate with ClassPass Live.
Accountability: Current at-home programs lack the accountability factor that get you jumping out of bed and sweating through an entire class. It’s too easy to not hit play on your device or pause mid-way through only to never come back to completing your workout. ClassPass Live solves this by offering fitness classes streamed LIVE from our Brooklyn studio. The act of ‘booking a class’ with ClassPass Live is equivalent to signing up for that first 5k run or that 7am yoga class. The mental hurdle of signing up is sometimes the most difficult part. The live aspect of these classes creates a real sense of camaraderie similar to when taking a studio fitness class. Once the class begins the instructor sees the class leaderboard and will call out and encourage class attendees. Our users have found this alone to be incredibly encouraging, motivating, and a true differentiator to existing products available.
Interactive: Watching a YouTube video or working out to a mobile fitness app isn’t entirely an interactive experience. Even if you have a fitness wearable like Apple Watch or Fitbit, you really don’t know how your body is responding to the exercise that you’re watching/listening to. You can slow down or stop altogether with little recourse. Here’s where ClassPass Live really begins to shine. First, our users are prompted to enter information such as gender, age, weight during setup — which allows us to display active calories burned and personalize the heart rates zones for the class. Secondly, our user’s connect a provided heart rate monitor to the app. Each class is carefully crafted by our fitness experts and personalized target heart rate zones are set for each corresponding exercise of the class. This allows our users to see their performance against the target heart rate. The goal = stay in the target heart rate zone as long as you can. The longer you’re in the zone the more points you’ll accumulate in class. Last (but certainly not least) a class leaderboard is present showing all active people taking the class and the scoreboard. I’ve found myself multiple times wanting to slow down or rest for a few minutes (out of pure exhaustion) but then was motivated by someone closing in on my points — or someone above me with just a few more points than I had.
Immersive: To fully capture the in-studio experience one needs to feel as if they’re in a physical class. That means looking around and seeing different points of view of the workout, room, and other people in class working out. This differs greatly than the traditional stationary camera angle we see on so many current workout programs. To obtain this feeling we decided to custom design a fitness studio that allows for full 360 view without any camera crew or production staff interruption. It’s hard to describe but awesome to experience. Our production team has nailed this feeling as demonstrated by our users telling us they completely forgot they were working out in their family room.
It’s hard to capture all of the learnings, improvements, and iterations made on this product into one post — but hope that by experiencing this firsthand you’ll see this is truly a special product unlike anything else available. The team is determined to continue to push the envelope of innovation and deliver experiences that inspire everyone to live their fullest life.
In the meantime I’ll leave you with some early product reviews.