AVON — Feel like taking a Latin dance class at 3 a.m.? Work a schedule not conducive to taking a class at your local gym?
When it comes to Avon and Mei Fitness, those problems are suddenly nonexistent as the club is rolling out Mei Virtual Trainer, a program that is so unique that it’s the only in the state.
The virtual program is an on demand, touch screen enabled technology that allows members of the 24-hour club to take classes whenever they want, with a real instructor or for spinning and cycling, real paths to navigate with a coach.
“The first thing I want to get out there is the fact that now at Mei Fitness, members will have the option to do classes 24/7 and that’s going to be a first in this market,” said Mei Fitness owner Mel Rivera, who took the leap to have the program installed when he realized the desire for classes around a less regular schedule.
The program offers more than 50 types of classes to choose from, including new classes that Rivera will get by the month with his subscription. He will have a set class schedule all day featuring both live Mei Fitness instructors or virtual ones, with windows for reservation between slower hours of noon to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“Members can purchase select classes on demand, like they’re sitting at home in the living room,” Rivera said. “The concept works just like that. They walk up to the kiosk, select it, and the class begins. If they get started and it’s not their cup of tea, they can stop it and start another one. No more of the ‘all these gyms don’t fit my schedule’ talk. The closest gym to us that has this is Chicago.”
Rivera plans to add classes every month so members don’t get bored with the same options.
The virtual programming also eases the work of the live trainers that his gym employs.
“For an instructor to come up with a new routine, that’s a lot of work,” Rivera said. “It’s weeks of preparation. No longer also do you have to worry if an instructor gets sick or is on vacation. Your class is going to start on time, and that’s a nice little piece of mind there.”
So far, he said, the program is off to a popular start. The Latin dance class tries to mirror Zumba and there are mixed martial arts classes, and then one extremely popular class thus far called FB30X which is designed to take participants through a similar workout as the famed P90X routine.
Rivera also said the program is designed to be interactive and informative before the member chooses their class. When a member is interested in a class, they can tap the button and get a short tutorial of what that class will be.
“The individuals can look right inside the kiosk and it’ll show exactly what class is taking place inside,” he said. “The customer is also going to be able to go online to our website or Facebook page and click on it and look exactly at what the schedule is for that day. Down the road, they’ll be able to book a class and know exactly that they have a class reserved, say, for 9 p.m. And eventually members will be able to rate the classes and give reviews for virtual classes and live instructors so I know what members want. There’s a reporting system in place that keeps track of what’s being picked on demand most frequently. Those are nice little features for a gym owner to know exactly what they’re liking and not liking.”
Mei Fitness is at 9166 E. U.S. 36, Avon. For more information, visit the website at meifitness.com or call 273-8940.