If you’ve joined any of the WorkoutParty! sessions on the Rovo App since 1 May, you might have heard these two friendly voices that host these sessions. Yes, we are talking about the two voices that “hide” behind the WorkoutParty! image, the guys behind the scenes that make sure everything is running smoothly so you can enjoy your workouts without any fuss! Say hi to Ritesh and Mark from Rovo.
We talk to the two avid sportsmen who aside from hosting, also hold prominent day jobs in Rovo and don’t exactly have what they call, faces for radio.
Ananth: Hi guys! We often hear you but seldom actually see you. Tell us about yourselves and your role in WorkoutParty!
Ritesh: Hi Everyone! I’m Ritesh and I’m the CEO and co-founder of Rovo!
(Wait! What?! The CEO is also the host?)
Ritesh: Haha. Yes. We are a small start-up and everyone has to play their part. I’m no exception plus it gives me a chance to really get to know our customers and get real feedback about the product. I’ve been hosting the workout sessions since we kicked off the campaign on 1 May. I used to host all 6 sessions per day until Mark finally joined in (*rolls his eyes at Mark).
Mark: Yes yes. I started hosting a couple of days late. I call technical issues. I couldn't get my ancient IPad to sync with my MacBook. Thanks, Ritesh for covering for me. Now Ritesh and I share the hosting workload and it’s been a lot more manageable. I’m fairly new to Rovo. I joined the team in March 2020 as a Digital Sales and Partnerships Manager, just a couple of weeks before the Covid-19 situation got worse and Circuit Breaker was implemented.
Ananth: Is this your first time hosting or getting behind a mic?
Ritesh: It’s probably my first time doing something like this. But I’ve given presentations before on stage in front of big crowds so compared to those, this is not too bad. You don’t have hundreds of eyes looking at you.
Mark: In my previous job, I was lucky enough to be the emcee for several top named tennis players when they were in town for the WTA Finals. The most memorable one would have to be a Q&A with Martina Hingis, former WTA No.1 in the world. That was pretty cool. She was really nice.
Ananth: What does a WorkoutParty! host have to do?
Ritesh: Well, for starters, we schedule the workout sessions each day in the Rovo App. We also engage the trainers and brief them about their roles. The unique part about the WorkoutParty! experience is you get two trainers instead of one. One digital trainer who will demonstrate the exercises while the live trainer provides commentary encourages the participants and provides them with feedback such as checking on their form and making sure they do the exercises safely.
Mark: In the lead up to the session, we do some publicity to get the word out about the sessions. We also discuss the session with the live trainers about what they would like to do in those sessions. It can range from HITT workouts to workouts targeting specific body parts. For yoga, it can go from balanced workouts to flow ones. Trainers can also create their own workouts on the app and we would upload them for use during the actual session. When the session starts, we ensure that everything from setting up the Zoom room, loading the digital trainer and music and troubleshooting any issues during the session is done right so the live trainers and participants can focus fully on the workouts.
Ananth: What has been the most challenging part of hosting the sessions so far?
Ritesh: I have to say waking up for the morning sessions has been tough. We used to have 7am sessions, that would mean waking up almost an hour early to get everything set up. We try our best to send the links to the workout sessions as early as possible to the participants too so they can join in earlier. We also have to do our best to sound energetic in the morning when really we are so tired. A coffee really helps with this though.
Mark: I agree. The morning sessions are the toughest. Your voice is hoarse, your eyes are barely open and your body is still in zombie mode but you want to ensure that everyone gets a good experience. We’re doing it for the participants and the trainers who made the effort to wake up to join our workouts. That’s the most rewarding part!
Ananth: What has been the most rewarding part of this journey for you?
Ritesh: Seeing the shag but satisfied faces of the participants at the end of each workout. As hosts, we can see everyone and you can tell everyone is giving their all in the workouts regardless of their fitness levels. It’s really inspirational. They have also been providing us with positive and constructive feedback on how we can improve the quality of our workouts. That has been a great driver for us to keep updating and improving the product. Ultimately, through the WorkoutParty! App which will launch later this month, we hope to make it the go-to app for anyone who is looking for a great workout, something you can do alone or invite your friends to join you and really just have fun and a great experience doing so.
Mark: It’s never easy starting a home workout routine. Sometimes, you’re unsure of what to follow with the tons of material out there. I think the 2 trainer method has really helped. With the digital trainer demonstrating the workouts, the live trainer can spend time providing live feedback to the participants. That has been something to really make it easy for the participants to enjoy the workout and know that they are doing it right. Both Ritesh and I have been very motivated to get off our asses and workout with the participants as well. We generally take turns to do so when the other one is hosting so we both get to enjoy the workout.
Ananth: Has WorkoutParty! inspired you guys to kick off your own fitness journeys?
Ritesh: Definitely! With circuit breaker, it is no longer possible to play the sports I used to enjoy such as football and tennis. However, I know that staying fit has many health benefits, especially in these trying times. As the head of the company, I also want to lead by example and walk the walk. I’ve joined in as many sessions as I can. I’ve managed to get my family to join in as well and I’m really glad to see that the other Rovo staff have joined in as well. It’s turned out to be a form of team bonding that has helped strengthen our relationships. I’m glad to say I’ve dropped 3 kg so far.
Mark: By my own admission, it hasn’t been the easiest transition. I’m a serial snacker. Yes, when I’m working, snacks fuel my day. Now that I’m working from home, it’s been easier than ever to make that trip to the fridge. I actually put on a bit of weight in the first couple of weeks. After watching the participants and trainers go at it and hearing their stories, I’ve decided that I need to take a stand literally. It's really all about the small steps. You just have to take action, get going and trust me, it gets easier over time. I started with just standing at my desk instead of sitting down. When I take calls, I walk around the house and instead of snacks, I top up my water every time I head to the kitchen. Like the rest of the team, I’ve started doing workouts as well and just two days ago, I started intermittent fasting. I haven’t weighed myself yet but I already feel stronger.
Ananth: What can we see next from you guys?
Ritesh: We hope to get the actual WorkoutParty! app up and running as soon as possible. That’s the goal! We want to provide the best possible experience for our users and WorkoutParty! would do that. The team has been working tirelessly on all facets of the app and I’m happy with the progress. However, I’m sure we haven’t thought of everything and we will strive to continue to update and make it better. We also hope that the COVID-19 situation improves so we can start filming more exercise demos and increase the number of exercises and variations available on the app. Until then, the most important thing we wish for everyone is to stay safe, stay well and stay healthy.
Mark: My first wish is for the COVID-19 situation to get better. It’s been very trying times for a lot of people and the sooner we get back to normalcy, the better especially for those whose incomes have been affected by the crises. It’s times like these where you see heroes rise up and for me, our WorkoutParty! trainers are our heroes. Some of them have been affected too but the energy, enthusiasm and passion they bring to their craft is truly inspirational. We believe with people now more open to working out from home, there is a market for yoga and fitness trainers to conduct lessons online and be paid for it and one of WorkoutParty!’s function is to make it easy for trainers to do that.
Ananth: Any last words from you guys?
Ritesh: Stay safe, stay connected and do support our trainers and continue to join our workouts if you can. It is free till then end of Circuit breaker!
Mark: Like Ritesh said, do join our workouts and if you like them, invite your friends and family to join in as well as working out is always more fun when you’re doing it together. Take care, everyone!
Thanks guys! Join Mark and Ritesh daily as they host WorkoutParty! Sessions on the Rovo App. Check out WorkoutParty! to join our daily sessions!