Fitness has long been a key part of our lives, but much more common than hearing individuals boast about their achievements, is hearing about the struggles of maintaining a workout routine. More often than not, fitness is the first item on the to-do list to be scrapped, whether due to time constraints, loss of motivation or even a lack of knowledge on how to design an effective workout.
Sweat, a platform-based app launched in November 2015, has sought to remove some of the friction around fitness, and in doing so has created huge amounts of value.  In fact, with the 6th highest revenue of health and fitness apps in June 2020, Sweat generates annual sales of about $100 million with 1 million active users per month, myself included. 
Figure 1 Top grossing health and fitness apps worldwide in June 2020 
Sweat creates value by providing easy access to effective workouts and simulating the accountability of a personal trainer. The Sweat app has curated several qualified and motivational trainers, including its well-known founder Kayla Itsines, who serve as the platform’s backbone. These trainers design programs and workouts to fit the heterogenous needs and preferences of app users. For example, users can choose workouts based on the type of training (e.g. cardio, strength, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and pilates), the timing of the workout (ranging from 10 minutes and up), the length of the fitness program (e.g. several weeks or on demand), and the type of equipment available to the user.
Figure 2: Sweat app layout with user’s workout and tabs for food tracker, planner with scheduled workouts, progress and community engagement 
With the Sweat app available globally, these workouts can be started and completed at any time of the day since they are all accompanied with videos to follow along as well as timers and audio cues to transition to different exercises. Additionally, the Sweat app provides the users with a calendar schedule based on the program selected which helps to create routine and accountability for users so that they don’t skip workouts. There are also options to log other workouts completed outside the app for a full view of the user’s fitness journey, track meals and calories and connect with the community of Sweat users.
Overall, these features of the app make it significantly easier for individuals to workout no matter the circumstances because they always have their phones with them. Gone are the days where individuals have to find a gym, hire a personal trainer that meets their needs, align on scheduling and physically travel to the gym whenever they wanted to work out. The Sweat app has made it possible for users to complete tough training sessions without being a member of a gym or having a personal trainer.
Figure 3: Sweat app exercise instructions, videos and audio cues simulate the experience of having a personal trainer with the advantage of being available anytime and anywhere
While workout apps are common, there are few that deliver the value that Sweat does through high-quality, influential trainers, priming and standardizing of videos, and a wide range of workouts and programs. Sweat has therefore created a competitive advantage that has raised customers willingness to pay and the app captures this value by charging $19.99 for a monthly subscription.  This is higher than other health and fitness apps including Peloton, which charges $12.99 for a monthly digital membership and MyFitnessPal which charges $9.99 per month. , 
Sweat has shown remarkable growth, with revenue up about $23 million since 2018 . The pandemic also resulted in fitness apps downloads growing by 46% with a 24% increase in daily active users.  These staggering figures would no doubt have contributed to Sweat’s growth. But beyond the pandemic, the Sweat app is extremely scalable since it leverages mobile app and platform technology making it accessible to trainers and users anywhere in the world. Also, the Sweat app requires no other equipment, unlike competitors such as Peloton who have made a brand out of physical bikes and are now trying to break into the equipment-free segment. Although there are currently only ten female trainers, there is the option to expand this platform to include even more trainers and perhaps onboard male trainers to appeal to men who are looking for more structure to their fitness regimes.
Figure 4: Sweat App’s trainers and workout options cater to the female segment but there are opportunities to scale and expand to other segments
While it may at first seem easy to copy Sweat’s strategy, I think it will be very difficult for a new entrant or competitor to achieve the same success. This is because Sweat has already penetrated the market and built a brand. Multi-homing in the fitness app industry is less common since there is a relatively high cost associated with each app and there is limited time each day for workouts. In addition to these barriers to entry, Sweat has the advantage of growing by word of mouth from its 1 million active monthly users and can secure its leading position by leveraging the data it has collected to innovate and expand to new segments of the market. Amidst a growing number of apps in the fitness arena, Sweat has already proven its sustainability because it makes a difference in users’ lives and in the metric of health that is priceless.