Fitmotivation now looks like a proper video streaming site. Yes indeed. It’s now the Netflix of water fitness! With 300+ videos, the site needed better categorizing and filtering. We expanded from 14 categories to 40 categories and subcategories. Some of the categories, such as Muscle Conditioning, have subcategories which break it down further into lower body, upper body, core and total body. The biggest thing you will notice is that the categories and subcategories are not presented in “sliders,” which is common for streaming sites. The sliders provide a much better mobile viewing experience for those who access the site on their phones. In addition to browsing the categories in a slider on the video page, you can also access the categories via a drop box located in the banner at the bottom of the video page.
Not interested in browsing categories and videos in a slider, just use the all new fast search feature. Yeah...we are acutely aware that the previous search function was archaic and quite wretched. You literally had to type in the exact video title for it to work. Not anymore. Just type in a keyword and you can search categories, videos, quizzes, instructors, audio workouts, blogs and more. The Search feature is currently in the navigation bar at the top of the page. It is a teeny tiny icon – a magnifying glass. It is easy to miss. We will be making that more prominent in the days immediately following the phase 1 launch.
The Favorites feature is being rebranded as Watch List. Videos that you add to your favorites will now appear in a slider at the top of the video page. Videos that you have already to favorites should migrate and be showing in your Watch List. (We hope…) Going forward, if you want to add a video to your Watch List, just click on the green button below the video in the video viewer.
In addition to the Watch List button, there are other changes in the video viewer. The featured blog is still accessible from the viewer. The notes have a new appearance, but pretty much the same print, download and edit features. If you edit notes and save them to the Notes Studio, you now access your Notes Studio through the video viewer rather than the account settings. All videos going forward will now have video chapters that correspond with the segments of each video. That will help you quickly access a portion of a video that you want to access. A few people have requested the ability to forward 15 seconds and reverse 15 seconds. If you view the videos on your phone, you already have this ability. However, Vimeo, the third party that houses our videos, does not have this feature embedded in their viewers and so it is not available on desktop. Vimeo keeps promising us that they will offer this feature soon.
If you utilize the free monthly Premium audio workout, those audio downloads are now found in a slider at the bottom of the video page. And good news, we now have the capability to make the most recent three audio downloads available for free, since we are now averaging 2-3 audio downloads posted per month. Keep in mind, while most videos include an audio download file, not all do.
I would be remiss in not mentioning that much of the time and work that went into phase 1 was in improvements that you cannot see. This was a reason why the phase 1 launch kept getting delayed. The tech team had to take a deep dive under the hood to make a lot of improvements to the API and code for optimal performance, such as page loading, speed, SEO and more. This was literally the biggest change we have made to Fitmotivation since the site’s launch in 2014. And that meant there was a lot of work to get the site updated to current standards.
PHASE 2 - Online Education Revamp
The next phase is scheduled for later this fall and will involve the Online Education, which badly needs an update and new look. The online education allows instructors certified with the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) to take an online education course that includes an extended education handout and 20-question quiz, worth 2.0 AEA CECs each. In 2014, we launched with a custom designed quiz infrastructure that was designed by the lead web tech. Among many flaws, this custom design did not allow instructors to see what questions they missed. In Phase 2, Fitmotivation will be integrating with a third-party quiz software provider. And that means there will be fancier bells and whistles with the quizzes. The Online Education page will also be redesigned to include Teaching Tip videos, along with information detailing how to get certified with AEA, the industry’s Gold Standard for aquatic fitness certification.
PHASE 3 - Notes Revamp
Tentatively scheduled for winter 2023, the Notes will get a big revamp. The survey we did in Winter 2022 clearly shows that the notes feature is a subscriber favorite. The tech team will be exploring ways to make the notes more interactive, such as allowing the user to edit notes while watching the video in a side by side screen.
PHASE 4 - App Integration
The new site improvements, notably the videos presented in sliders will definitely make mobile viewing much better. However, the goal of phase 4 is to integrate the Poolfit App into Fitmotivation plans. Poolfit is Fitmotivation’s sister site and is intended for fitness consumers who want to exercise in their pool. The app allows them to download videos and simply prop up their mobile device or tablet poolside and exercise along with the workouts. Instructors may appreciate having an app because it would provide a better viewing experience and they may enjoy the benefit of downloading the videos in the app. This would allow them to watch the videos anywhere without the need of Wi-Fi. They would also be able to get in the pool and practice the routines in real time.
On behalf of the Fitmotivation team, I want to thank each and every subscriber for your support. Without your subscription dollars, we could have never made it to 300 videos. And nor would we have been able to invest back into the business to make it bigger, better and bolder. Fitmotivation has come a long way over the years as detailed in this site history timeline. And we are so glad that you joined us on this journey. The best is yet to come.
Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.