Megan Hotson


Different brands are trying to intermingle training with entertainment to create engaging, feel-good fitness concepts. From gamified workout apps to celebrity coached live-streams… there are already a huge range of ‘enter(train)ment’ options that exist for fitness fanatics.

This trend was catalysed by long periods of lockdown during the pandemic. Spending more time at home, people looked to daily walks, and 5K runs to fill their empty time and to avoid being stuck indoors. Making exercise more fun was key for people looking to motivate themselves and keep busy.

Though over, consumers are still keen to maintain their healthy habits adopted during this global crisis. However, with less time to dedicate to exercise, staying motivated has been made harder for the majority. 

Making fitness fun, engaging, and motivational is one-way brands are re-invigorating a consumer’s desire to stay fit and healthy with a busier schedule. 
Networked Training

Approaching exercise through social connection allows people to extend their community through fitness apps or challenges. 

Peloton for example has created a range of different party powered workouts inspired by iconic musicians’ greatest hits. Fans, and fitness enthusiasts can unite to celebrate movement and music, all while feeling the benefits of a fast-paced and high-energy workout.

Snapchat is another brand who has capitalised on a networked approach to training to make it more engaging for participants. Introducing ‘Peer to Peer’ challenges through their mini-series they dubbed ‘Gym heroes’, which encouraged people to create more shareable training, or fitness content.

From bitesize workout routines to more instructional videos on form for example – users could train and record themselves as they completed the workout, recording and challenging friends to beat their number of repetitions, or pace. 

Not only does this form of training make fitness feel more connected, but it fosters competition, helping those that might feel less motivated working out alone, to train and challenge peers. 

Popular culture 

During the pandemic, people have invested more than ever in content streaming subscriptions, or platforms. However, as the cost of living crisis begins to tighten consumers’ purse strings, users must be convinced to retain or renew their entertainment subscriptions.    

Integrating fitness focused content, platform Netflix for example has paired their TV-style entertainment with fitness and training guidance. You can access a range of Nike workouts through Netflix, alongside all the popular shows and series, which has become an important selling point for the brand.


Another way in which popular culture is interacting with fitness content is through celebrity coaching. The hype and personality cult around different celebrities makes them ideal fitness role models for people to follow and feel inspired by. 

Take Disney’s Marvel star Thor - aka Chris Hemsworth, who has used his status in popular culture to share his training secrets, or hacks through his lifestyle app ‘Centr’. 

By subscribing, users can follow his workouts, alongside his nutrition and mindfulness tips. As well as this, users can listen to his podcast, accessing more content to engage with and enjoy while completing a series of gruelling workouts. 

Tapping into figures that consumers know and admire in popular culture is a great way to make training entertaining, and more engaging. 

Key Takeaways

-    People enjoy exercise concepts that facilitate connection. Through gamifying fitness through peer challenges, people not only feel more motivated to work out, but take more enjoyment in the process – seeing training as a form of entertainment, not a chore.  

-    TV platforms, or subscription services should consider integrating a fitness offer to remain relevant, as well as to justify their worth as an investment as consumers weigh up their personal spending habits in a cost-of living crisis. 

-    In a modern society that is easily influenced by figures with social cachet, fitness brands that combine their offering with a figure who is prominent in popular culture, will be able to create a training concept which is more entertaining as well as enticing to engage with. 

Read Next