You need to be everywhere with studio guests. Samira Mustafayeva and her husband launch a fitness app
Fitness during the pandemic has undergone a lot of changes. Online training in various variations has never been so in demand. Today you can find anything your soul and body want. The innovators in fitness areas are often not large clubs, but small fitness studios, the format forces us to rebuild to new restrictions much more actively.
One of such pioneers in Russia - the family couple of founders of the SMSTRETCHING fitness studio network - is a champion Russia and the medalist of the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships Samira Mustafayeva and her husband Nikolai Kondratyuk . We contacted the guys to find out how they are doing in quarantine and to ask about a new application that will be released in the near future.
- The situation in the world is not so simple. Now everyone froze in anticipation of the opening of clubs. How were your affairs in quarantine?
Nikolay: We felt the arrival of this period the day before, because everything in America closed a week earlier than in Russia. All our clubs were closed on March 20. For the third month now we have been sitting at home, have transported all the sports equipment and are fighting quarantine. Offline is one hundred percent closed, we work online.
- When we talked a couple of years ago, the barre direction was just emerging in the studio. Today you can try yourself in a huge number of activities. Why did you decide to retrain from a stretching studio to a fitness studio?
Samira: I came from rhythmic gymnastics, and the first thing I could do was stretching. But I understand that when people start walking regularly, they want some more activity. Therefore, over time, we have appeared halls where you can work with weights. There are also group programs. We wanted our people to cover all their sports needs.
When we started add some third-party programs, did it with TRX, which was already quite popular. Soon we began to travel more, were in America and entered a slightly different circle. For example, I met American coaches who have methods and approaches that are simply not there. We really wanted to become not just a fitness studio, but to become a place where people will come to have fun. The gap is not found in every discipline. Stretching is about calmness, but the new ones are about breaking away.
We hope that after the opening of the studio we will have another new direction called cardio dance workout. If you are not very fond of dancing or are embarrassed to do it, discipline will help you to relax.
Nikolay: We position ourselves as innovators and try to surprise the audience forever. OutInitially, we focused only on women, but after we opened Project (a project with training in a nightclub atmosphere - ed.), the studio began to work for men too. In addition, also of different ages. For example, an older audience began to engage in hot workouts, and the guys began to sign up for boxing. Russia on the world stage is rather in the role of catch-up, in the fitness industry. We would very much like to see our country as a leader and set some of our own trends. We bring ideas from abroad, adapt, add our own notes and get something new.
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- But not all offline formats have moved to online.
Samira: Basically, those areas work online that you can do without additional equipment: stretching, boxing. Besides them - Pilates, meditation.
Nikolay: By the way, meditations, on the contrary, are not available offline. We are constantly learning something new and not talking about everything. We are discussing something in the studio, testing something. It also happens that we put it off in order to bring it in later. We looked closely at meditation for a long time, but we didn't even have a place to teach in the studios. Online allowed us to get to that too.
- As you think What direction did it turn out most successfully online?
Samira: Probably with barre. Just two years ago, we were the first to bring him here, pulled this direction, showed, explained, it was difficult. But over the past six months, many studios have included it in their program. We are very happy about this, because it is difficult to pull the promotion of an entire direction alone. It has become popular online.
- What self-isolation training opportunities do you offer? You have marathons, courses, and lessons on Skype, how can users make the right choice?
Nikolay: We have four main formats: individual training on Skype and zoom, weekly live training, complex marathons and courses. Individual training is suitable both for those who have practiced in this format in our studio, and for those who wanted to try this format - they can do it cheaper online. Live training is held in our closed group throughout the week. Marathons are programs that are completely scheduled, starting with meals. For example, the one that is running now has a very high intensity - 24 workouts and three meditations, only one day off. The courses came out in our main direction - stretching. All of them are aimed at something more specific, this is for people who do not want to do everything. Plus, we are developing a mobile application. Unfortunately, not withcould have completed it by the beginning of the pandemic, but tremendous work is being done. We plan to launch it in the next week or two.
- Tell What is this application and what will it contain?
Samira: The application is suitable for absolutely everyone. We want everyone to be able to download the app and practice with us anywhere in the world. We wanted to collect as much information as possible so that it would be available for a monthly subscription. We did different workouts: target-oriented, express trainings, and there will be courses. It was a very difficult job - we were recording GIF images for the application for six months, about five to six hours a day.
Nikolay: We want to pack and provide our knowledge for little money that is available to everyone. A lot of functionality is planned inside, we will issue it in parts. The application will be updated every two weeks. But the first version is already quite rich. One of the chips is that you can throw a challenge to your friend and compete. All your results can be seen in a general table with all parameters and prizes. Prizes are another motivation.
- Will you need any additional gadgets and equipment for practicing with the application?
Nikolay: Not yet, the first version only includes bodyweight training. We are working to add classes for the gym. The choice will be for everyone.
- How will the access be made?
Nikolay: By subscription. You will be able to install the application and, if you liked the demo of the first workouts from the sections, choose one of the models and practice. Soon we will prepare an app for Apple Watch. This will make it more convenient to listen to the audio workouts, and you don't have to look at the screen.
- Exercising with the app is so easy and cool. Isn't it scary that everyone will go online and then don't want to come back?
Nikolay: No. I would say that now the online indicators are falling actively and everyone has to admit it. All this is a consequence of the fact that the business starts to open, the quarantine is weakened and people go out into the street. Everyone is already tired, many have social deficiencies. This quarantine benefited those who had never used online and were afraid of it. Now, for many, this is a working tool that can be used.
- But in terms of the degree of load, online training can replace classes in the gym?
Nikolay: I think yes, this is a question of execution technique. But, if you need to adjust it, you can combine offline and online. Walk a little in the studio, fix everything and then calmly study at home. Online is developing very quickly and soon it will be possible even to track how a person moves and the technique is performedexercises.
Samira: Everyone will not go online anyway. There are billions of people on the planet, and not everyone will make a choice in favor of online. Everything will be fine and in harmony.
Nikolai: The situation in the world is complicated, and I don't want to talk about any grandiose plans yet. Now we are talking about preserving what we have: the team, the studio and the business. We are also looking at further development online. I hope that soon everything will return, we will exhale and everything will pass like a bad dream.