Gym Owner Monthly

At this gym, customers can choose an AI best friend or drill sergeant…..

Workout classes at Lumin Fitness are programmed by human professionals, but trainers generated by AI models lead the classes.
 
In a market flooded with new cycling and boot-camp concepts, Brandon Bean, former CEO of Gold’s Gym, knew he wanted to build his next fitness venture around something that couldn’t easily be replicated.
 
“I didn’t want to invest a lot of time and energy and money into something a competitor could open across the street,” Bean said. “That’s when we started using technology to build a smart movement platform that enables our franchise system to have something nobody else has.”
 
Billed as ”the world’s smartest fitness studio,” the first Lumin Fitness location opened last year in Irving–Las Colinas, Texas. Bean’s Lumin offers the same great workout people would expect from a boutique studio, but with a high-tech twist: AI is integrated every step of the way. 
 
While the workout classes are programmed by human professionals, trainers generated by AI models lead the classes. Just as at a typical gym, the trainers have different personalities and offer something for everyone. There’s Emma, who is like a best friend. Rex is a drill sergeant who wants to help people push their limits. Chloe has a bubbly personality. And Ethan is the veteran trainer who offers expertise and encouragement.
 
“I fell in love with it after my first class,” said Carolyn Macduff Levanaway, who has been taking classes at Lumin Fitness for the past two months. “I work out with Rex, and one of my favorite things he says is, ‘The best day you could’ve started was yesterday. The next best is today.’ It’s like, ‘Okay, fine. I will participate.’ It gets me in the right mindset.”
 
In addition to choosing the trainer who is most likely to motivate them that day, members can also choose between six different genres of music to further customize their experience. 
 
“Even though everybody is doing the same workout, someone might like to work out to country [music] and a have a drill-sergeant-like coach, while someone next to them might be doing the same thing and working out to rap with a cheerleader-type coach, so everyone’s experience is really personalized,” Bean said.
 
Lumin also uses artificial intelligence to help members track their progress and earn rewards, called Lumin Coin, that can be exchanged for incentives like merchandise and booking a preferred station in class. Using digital displays and motion tracking, the AI trainers can help their clients make sure they’re getting the most out of their workouts, such as by encouraging them to squat an inch lower. 
 
“I love that it will not count your rep unless you do the correct form,” Macduff Levanaway said. “It holds you accountable throughout the workout.”
 
While the workouts are constantly changing to challenge members, so is the environment. Lumin Fitness offers themed “seasons,” using generative AI to create the vibrant imagery displayed on its wall-to-wall LED screens. For example, the current season, outer space, is designed to make people feel as if they’re working out on a spaceship as they tour the solar system. (Bean declined to say which generative AI models the company uses.)
 
Lumin Fitness’s entry into the market comes at a time when boutique fitness continues to grow. The category, anchored by brand names like Barry’s Bootcamp and SoulCycle, was worth an estimated $48 billion in 2022. By 2029, it is expected to reach nearly $80 billion, according to an analysis by ResearchandMarkets.com.
 
While the first studio is still less than a year old, there are already plans to expand Lumin Fitness and its technology to reach more people. Bean said the company has sold its first franchises and also has its sights set on helping people become more active at work. 
 
“We have a solution with our existing operating system to place this inside of existing brick-and-mortar locations, whether it’s the company location or working with gyms in creating these AI, on-demand fitness experiences,” he said. “The platform we’ve built it on enables us to do some incredible things. We leverage tech to create an intelligent, interactive fitness experience unlike any other.”