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World Gym Uses Tech To Grow Beyond Bodybuilding Roots

World Gym Uses Tech To Grow Beyond Bodybuilding Roots

World Gym VP/Marketing Tom Dievart shares how the global gym chain is leveraging technology to enhance the member experience, and talks what’s next for the iconic brand 

In 2024, standing out in a competitive fitness industry requires expertise, the integration of modern athletic performance-tracking technologies and a commitment to remaining true to a brand’s core identity—three elements that Tom Dievart, World Gym International’s vice president of marketing, has mastered. 

World Gym has become a fitness brand known across the globe, hitting the scene in the 1970s when Joe Gold (who also founded Gold’s Gym) opened the first World Gym in Santa Monica, California, and quickly gained loyal celebrity bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, solidifying World Gym as the ultimate strength training gym.

Over the years, World Gym has grown to over 200 franchised gym locations on six continents, and now, under Dievart, the brand has embarked on a tech-forward strategic refocus that World Gym says has enhanced its profitability and enhanced the member experience.

Members Want Personalization

Ultra-passionate and with 20 years of experience in sports and fitness, Dievart is a triathlete who has played as a European professional soccer player. His dedication to sports has been reflected in his journey with World Gym, having laid the groundwork for new standards in training optimization and performance using AI-driven analytics and in using technology to elevate marketing initiatives.

It’s an approach that has served World Gym — and its members — well; the gym brand can now send tailored workout recommendations, nutrition tips, and promotional offers to members based on their specific fitness goals and progress, along with access to digital fitness and body composition tracking and interactive workout apps.

“At World Gym, we believe that technology should enhance and enrich the member experience by providing convenience, accessibility, personalization and innovation,” Dievart told Athletech News. “Our approach to technology is centered around leveraging innovative tools to empower our members in their fitness journey while maintaining a human-centered approach to customer service.”

Tom Dievart (credit: World Gym International)

In the post-pandemic era, Dievart highlights one simple area that fitness consumers greatly appreciate: the flexibility to reach their health and fitness goals in the gym, at home or wherever they may be.

“We offer flexible solutions such as online training plans, on-demand virtual classes and mobile apps that allow members to access fitness resources anytime, anywhere,” he said. “Our goal is to provide accessibility and flexibility to accommodate the busy lives of our members without compromising the quality of their fitness journey.”

With years of experience behind him and witnessing the transformative power of tech in sports and fitness, Dievart predicts the industry will become increasingly technologically connected, especially as consumers prefer a personalized experience.

“The demand for personalized and flexible fitness solutions will continue to grow, driving further innovation in IoT (Internet of Things) devices and AI applications,” he said. “We’ll see more advanced wearables that provide deeper insights into health metrics, and AI will become even more sophisticated in delivering customized training programs.”

credit: World Gym International

VR Fitness Show Promise

Dievart forecasts that virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will play a significant role in the future of fitness, which he says will likely drive engagement. 

“Imagine immersive workout experiences where members can participate in virtual classes or simulate outdoor activities from anywhere in the world,” he said. “This will not only make workouts more engaging but also provide new ways for people to stay motivated and connected. The endurance world has already been using systems allowing you to race versus your friend in a VR environment in the comfort of your home.”

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As for what’s ahead for World Gym, Dievart says the famed gym brand plans to continue integrating the latest technologies, expanding its IoT and AI capabilities to provide even more personalized and effective training programs. 

“The growth of wearables since 2003 has shown us how crucial these tools are for monitoring and improving performance, and we will continue to lead in this area,” he said, adding that World Gym is investing in its virtual training platforms for the best possible experience.

Tech & Community

Even with all of the bells and whistles, Dievart says World Gym’s commitment to community building will truly differentiate it from its competitors.

“We believe in creating a supportive and motivating environment, both online and in our gyms,” he said. “Through social features on our virtual platforms and community events at our physical locations, we strive to foster a sense of belonging and encourage members to achieve their fitness goals together.”

credit: World Gym International

“By staying at the forefront of technological advancements, maintaining a strong community focus, and committing to sustainability, World Gym will continue to lead the industry and provide unmatched value to our members,” he added.

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