A letter to the CEO of Freeletics

I’m a 40 year old man living in London and I have been using Freeletics for almost 3 years. I used to go to the gym and lift weights fairly regularly, but I was crap at it. Over time I knew I would never be the muscle man I wanted to be in my twenties. I hated protein shakes, I got loads of injuries trying to do dead lifts — weights were not for me.

I joined Freeletics in February 2016. I liked the idea that I could train anywhere, anytime. No more queueing for weight machines. I also bought into the idea of having a coach, who wouldn’t want a personal trainer for £12 a month? Freeletics meant there were no more excuses for not going to the gym because the whole programme uses free weights. There is also something beneficially controlling about having an app time you, it makes you want to work harder and beat your personal bests. I love it.

However, I feel Freeletics are missing many tricks. Here are ways I think they can improve their service, acquire more customers, and make more money.

1. Show me how I’m progressing

I have no sense of progress, how I’m doing, or how fit I am. There need to be trackers in the app which show me how I am progressing for different categories. Am I doing more burpees per minute than I used to? What exercises am I still weak at? How am I doing for my age? Tell me.

2. Compare my progress to other athletes

Freeletics haven’t ‘socialised’ the product well. I would love to see how I compare to other 39 year olds, how fast my Aphrodite is compared with people in my area or demographic. Again, tell me.

3. Connect me with people

The biggest opportunity for Freeletics is to make connecting with other ‘free athletes’ much easier. I think all profiles should be public and the app should recommend people to follow on a regular basis. This would encourage people to post their progress more and motivate others. Instagram allows you to follow anyone, Freeletics should do the same. I feel completely disconnected from a network of 12 million people, I find this very odd.

4. Segment your market and target better

I have a lot of friends who are parents. They really struggle to find time to do any exercise. Freeletics is a perfect tool for this. There are also a whole load of people that want a personal trainer but can’t afford one. There are also a lot of people like me who hate weight training and drinking protein shakes. Your marketing seems to target young males in their twenties who are body builders. This is all fine because I’m assuming this is your core market, but my feeling is that there are other more valuable segments you’re missing out on. Where are your case studies for each of these segments? There aren’t any. (as an aside I think your case studies / testimonials could be significantly better).

5. Improve your tech

I know you can get Freeletics on the iWatch but it’s crap. Connecting the watch should at the very least monitor your heartbeat and tell you how your fitness is improving. Since joining Freeletics my resting heart rate has dropped. This is a great achievement, but I only know this because I use a different app on my watch to tell me this.

6. Introduce flexibility training

A lot of your exercises require a degree of flexibility to improve in. Most men have very tight hamstrings. This can lead to injuries if do the exercises incorrectly. You should introduce a flexibility programme to help your customers improve their flexibility over time. This will reduce injuries from doing 150 burpees in a routine and make things like handstand push ups more achievable. Without great flexibility most of the tougher exercises are a no-go. This would be so much more valuable than your running or weights programmes which you can get anywhere. YouTubers like Tom Merrick are massive advocates of flexibility training — you should tap him up.

7. Joint accounts / premium accounts

I do Freeletics with my partner every day. I have the app, he doesn’t. When we can’t work out together I screenshot our programme for the day so that he can do this on his own. I’m pretty sure a lot of other people work out together too. Enabling joint accounts would encourage this behaviour more. I also think people would pay more for a premium account where you could add a partner or get access to better insights about your health.

8. Celebrity workouts

Wouldn’t it be great if once a month you featured a workout which was demoed to you by someone famous? Ok, this is a marketing idea — but if you want to get Freeletics used all over the world this would be a great way to do it.

Marketer, Londoner, Fitness lover, Gay