In Success Stories we interview visionary fitness leaders as well as club and boutique brand owners about how their backgrounds and ideas help them achieve true success for their businesses and customers. This month we caught up with Jennifer Maanavi, founder and CEO of Physique 57 in sight of the first anniversary with Fitness On Demand.
FOD: Jennifer, what’s new with Physique 57?
So much. We’ve always had very active social media followers around our brand, but we just launched a new community feature within our app. It’s like Instagram but enables instructors and members of the Physique 57 community to share ideas, inspirations and build connections. I’m also excited to report that we’re making progress on our plans for physical locations. We opened a new studio in New York City, one in Dubai in September and have more plans for 2024 and beyond. It’s been nonstop for our team.
FOD: tell us a little, if you would, about the trends you’re seeing with your classes, brands and fitness in general?
We’re definitely witnessing a lot of interest in strength – which we’ve always championed because of our roots in barre. Weights are increasing from say 8 to 10lbs in classes and our customers are looking for all over flexibility, balance and overall strength. This is becoming particularly popular with older clientele who want to stay active and healthy. It’s really a more intelligent way to workout than the weekend warrior trend over ten years ago. We’re also seeing, I think, a shift in when people exercise with less emphasis on early morning pre-work gym workouts in favor of stretch and programmed exercise being integrated into other times of the day when it’s convenient. Just today a friend told me, she drops her kids at school and then finds some time for herself to put her phone down and stretch. In other words, we’re integrating exercise more thoughtfully and consciously into our days.
FOD: Physique 57 is obviously very successful – what’s helping you achieve that?
As I said earlier creating welcoming, supportive communities for people is essential. I’d like to think part of our success is also about inclusiveness and ability to cater to all ages of clientele. A lot of the fitness industry focuses too much attention on 20 and 30 year-olds but we believe fitness, wellness and balance in life should be for everyone. We like to build relationships with our customers for life. Beyond the way you think and your fitness offerings, success also comes down to the environment you create – the lighting, the setting and a feeling that every time a customer sets foot in a studio they’re at their second home. Or every time they take a virtual class with your brand, they feel a familiarity and a true connection.
FOD: We are coming up on our partnership anniversary. What role is Fitness On Demand playing in the success of your brand?
We’re thrilled with our partnership. Our goal is to bring our unique approach, classes, workouts and strength training to as many new participants as possible. Fitness On Demand’s reach with boutiques, national and international club networks and specialty fitness centers in hospitality, corporate and multi-family industries is really helping us grow awareness and our community.
FOD: what’s next for Physique 57 – will you always be focused on barre?
In a way I think barre was a limiting term when it was first adopted. Obviously it came from a reference to the techniques of ballet but our version is so much more than that. Physique 57 is about cardio and strength and flexibility all integrated together. We’ll continue to evolve our classes, content library and of course our growing physical presence with studios but our mission is what it has always been help our customers feel their very best and give them the tools, environments and motivation they need to live long, healthy and enriched lives.