The Rise of Fitr: From Start-up to Upping the Standard

When Mat Fraser retired and started dipping his toe into coaching anyone who had followed his career knew this wasn’t going to be a casual engagement, he was going to go all-in and, so, we welcomed HWPO to the market. Fraser, a man who doesn’t take standards lightly and demands the maximum wasn’t going to use just any app or website to host his programming either. Enter Fitr.

Fitr’s founder, Leon Cassidy, was prepping for The Great North Run in 2014 when he heard about CrossFit. The next week he joined CrossFit Tyneside and slowly found himself among the common hoard that gradually find themselves becoming obsessed with the sport and methodology. Once he started taking on extra programming in his own training he noticed that the programming he was getting was lacking in its presentation and accessibility. Off the shelf, cookie cutter style programming was the norm and Leon sensed a double edged opportunity, improve the customer experience and improve the scalability for coaches who want to sell their best work “I saw that there was a better way to do it for the community and the coaches”.

Fitr took on its first paying coach in 2019 when Emma McQuaid, founder of The Daily Grind and, now, multi-year Games athlete, joined. Later that summer Steven Fawcett, who had been running his own coaching software and was endeavoring to raise the standard of what was available having become frustrated with what was on offer, came on board. Fawcett had seen Emma’s promotion of the system and his nerdy senses started tingling. “I needed better user interface, the ability to communicate with clients. I was running too many different sites for different jobs and it was becoming difficult to manage, I needed an all in one solution,” commented Fawcett. Together, he and Leon set about building the leading remote coaching platform.

The next two years saw Fitr mop up a vast number of coaches who wanted to offer their clients the best service they could. Phil Hesketh’s Prepared Programming, Turf Games, Andre Houdet’s No Shortcuts, Kristin Holte’s Kriger Training and The Progrm all joined The Daily Grind and JST Compete in being powered by the software while Gymshark use Fitr to distribute their employee offerings and WIT Fitness, Eleiko and GymBox all added their names to the list.

Once you start making waves by attracting coaches, people tend to notice. In early 2022 the company launched a fundraising initiative and raised £1million to further the software development and potential future offerings. Among those investors were Mat Fraser and Matt O’Keefe. Two men who know a good thing when they see it and, perhaps more importantly, have proven themselves as expert judges of character. In March 2022 it was announced that the HWPO app would be launching and that Fitr would be powering the back end, developing and running the software. “We left the meeting with O’Keefe and Fraser it felt like Dragon’s Den (Shark Tank) when they get back in the lift after signing a dragon,” Fawcett remembers the watershed moment for Fitr fondly. O’Keefe remembers the vindication in their decision on the day the app was launching, “Leon came over from a plane from the UK and sat in a room with us, he doesn’t have to do that. He could do that from anywhere. He was getting his hands dirty with us. Those are our kinds of people”.

Now, Fitr has added Underdogs Athletics, QHP training, The Training Plan, The Athlete Program and Invictus Fitness to it’s ranks and the coaches using the system have made cumulative earnings of over £7million to date.

White labeling will allow coaches to easily customize the Fitr web platform, iOS and Android apps with their own brand colors and logo. This means that, as a client, from start to finish, I can have an experience synonymous with the community that I am a part of. There will be launch discounts available to anyone who preregisters interest on Fitr’s website. All new coach trials will include White Label in their 14 day-trial too. “We want coaches to understand how easy it is to have a branded platform and app rather than it being a daunting admin experience,” explained Cassidy. White Label is launching in December, further pushing the boundaries on what is possible for coaches who want to offer their clients the best packaging for their programming, communicate effectively and build their brand.

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