About 10 years ago, Arch Fuston started organizing lunchtime workouts outside the ACTIVE Network offices.
He started the tradition as a way to get to know people he was working with, and the workouts quickly became contagious. More and more employees and community members began joining him.
The relationships among this impromptu community were constantly reinforced each time they showed up to a workout session. Soon afterward, ACTIVEx was born.
ACTIVEx, now a formal wellness program at the ACTIVE Network, was and is an opportunity for employees to join a community of people who help one another find and live their best lives.
And now, ACTIVEx is expanding to anyone with an iPhone.
"We've taken a decade worth of learning and practical application and built technology that promotes and encourages positive change," Fuston says. "It's to help you go out and do the things you love to do, to connect with and be supported by packs of like-minded people."
Community-Based Activity App
Described as the world's first community-based activity app, the ACTIVEx app provides customized, Tabata-based interval workouts and a community of participants that encourage users of all levels to begin and stay with an active way of life.
Premium users get access to as many workouts as they want, as well as other training plans, such as the "Business Traveler's 10-Minute Tabata." Users can purchase premium for $3.99 per month; ACTIVE Advantage members automatically have premium access at no cost after logging in.
While other apps with Tabata only provide a timer, the ACTIVEx app takes it up a notch. Not only does it give you a timer, but it also builds a customized workout based on your fitness level, your available fitness equipment, and your available time to train.
It breaks down each exercise with how-to videos and thorough written explanations. Premium users will see a different workout each time they revisit the app.
By design, all videos and photos are of "real" people: no models here, just regular folks providing instruction and motivation. As Fuston puts it, "We purposefully didn't feature shirtless fitness models that only 1 percent of the population can relate to."
"It allows large groups of people at all different levels of fitness and ability to be in the same community, be in the same environment, doing something positive together," he says. "So, whether you're an accomplished IRONMAN or CrossFitter, or just getting off the couch, the Tabata workout allows you to train side-by-side and receive the same benefit as well as some you didn't expect.
"One of my favorite outcomes is that people tend to get as much benefit from giving their support as the training itself. Finding yourself in an environment that radiates positivity is incredibly effective, whatever challenge you're taking on. You start to believe you can accomplish things you never thought possible...and then you do it."