Attract & Engage

“Cohort-based programs are the future of online fitness and wellbeing” – Strydal

They’re goal-focused, time-specific and community-based. We're rolling out now, as a better way of training
March 4, 2021
Strydal Team

UPDATE 4.3.21: Another batch of cohort-based programs are now live:


UPDATE 22.02.21: We've already featured on and WellToDo Global Wellness News, and in the Blissful Biz podcast.

And we're very excited to say that our first 3 cohort-based programs are now live:

More to come!


(Original article, published 03.02.2021)

Hard to believe it’s been just 6 months since launched. Almost 2,000 talented creators have joined the platform and built thriving businesses by giving people a better way to work out from home.

Now, we’ve got something new and very exciting we’d like to share: cohort-based programs 🔥

Based on our own surveys and lots of conversations with creators and consumers, it became clear that consumers are looking for a more structured experience. 

They want to set clear goals and intentions and have someone who holds them accountable. Our research shows that a “strong sense of commitment” is the main incentive for more than 70% of people who sign up to live online classes.

Cohort-based programs take that sense of commitment, and strap on some rocket boosters.

Jump to:

What are cohort-based programs?

Key takeaway: With better outcomes and an easier sell, these are a win-win for participants and creators alike

A cohort is a group of people who progress through a program together. Cohort-based programs are goal-focused, time-specific and typically involve a group of five to 100 like-minded participants. 

Cohort-based programs mix live and asynchronous elements to deliver better results for participants, with much higher completion rates (around 90% in some cases) compared to regular on-demand online courses (under 5%, according to MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab).

Plus, they’re easier for creators to sell: we call that a win-win.

For participants, cohort-based programs offer a structured way to achieve specific goals and build healthy habits within a defined timeframe, together with a group of like-minded folks. Along the way, program participants complete assignments and get feedback from the creator.

For creators, it’s a more effective way to market and sell their passion. Cohort-based programs are unique, goal-focused and highly effective. They address a specific need, and clearly define your market niche.

Simply put, these are an evolution of existing online courses. They’re the opposite of ‘Massive Online Open Courses’ – rather, they’re best described as ‘Small Private Online Courses’ (SPOCs, for all you acronym fans).

Forbes Magazine says SPOCs are the “Global Education of Tomorrow”.

But the concept of cohort-based programs is nothing new, of course: fitness brands like Tough Mudder and Crossfit have been incorporating elements of them for years.

And you probably enrolled in a cohort-based program called “school” for most of your childhood.

Before we tell you more about why we believe these are the future of online fitness and wellbeing, let’s jump into the time machine and go back a bit…

The story behind Strydal

Key takeaway: Strydal is the creator platform for the fitness & wellbeing industry

Back in mid-2019, Strydal’s founders Alex and Gui met by chance at the FitTech Summit in Munich, Germany.

Gui, who previously worked at Google and Freeletics, was working on the idea of a live streaming platform for fitness, and Alex was at booking platform Eversports.

They stayed in touch, and in the autumn of that year the two of them decided to join forces to make home workouts better. Much better.

“[At that time] home training was always done alone, and the community and communication with the instructor was missing,” says Alex. This focus on personal connection continues with Strydal to this day, and will also be a key element of cohort-based programs.

“When we pitched the idea of live classes (pre-Covid 19), most instructors and studios were not convinced by the concept, and preferred in-person classes,” says Alex.

“Then Covid-19 hit the market, and suddenly everyone jumped online and patched together repurposed tools like WhatsApp, Zoom and Paypal.”

The Strydal team (Clockwise from top right): Kendall Thornton (🇺🇸 ); João Borges (🇵🇹 ) ; Pablo Paciello (🇦🇷 ); Joseph Ehikioya (🇳🇬 ); Tirell Grahlman (🇨🇦 ); Jamie Beach (🇬🇧 ) ; Andrea Sanz de Juan (🇪🇸 ); Guilherme Coelho (🇵🇹 ); Kostas Papageorgiou (🇬🇷 ); Alexander Estner (🇩🇪 ), Alberto Diaz (🇪🇸 )

Strydal launched a closed beta in March 2020, and after testing the platform with a select group of creators, we opened it up to everyone in July 2020. Investor funding followed (details here).

Fast-forward to today, and Strydal helps close to 2,000 creators with knowledge and energy to get paid for their efforts. Live classes, on-demand videos and more are available to members.

“We enable independent creators to make a living with a thriving digital business and compete with large industry leaders like Peloton, Mirror or Alomoves” says Gui. 

This follows a larger shift in society best described as passion economy and ‘arming the rebels’.

Why the addition of programs?

Key takeaways:

- 84% of survey respondents (see references) say cohort-based programs are the best way to meet their fitness and wellbeing goals
- Weekly or daily activities prescribed by an expert are the most wished-for feature

The people using our platform tell us time and again that they want programs: some way of working toward a specific goal. ‘Learn to do a handstand’, ‘Build a meditation habit’, and so on.

These concepts are easier for creators to sell compared to single classes, and they deliver a better return for participants in terms of time spent vs. results attained.

And what we frequently heard was that consumers wanted to do these programs with other like-minded people. Maybe even the same ones, who they’d do the journey alongside.

So we started working on how we might deliver this. As it turns out, this cohort-based model is already being done by innovative companies in other verticals, like the altMBA and Flockjay.

We used our industry knowledge and software expertise to make something that truly rocks, combining community features, weekly activities and accountability.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to share it with you: cohort-based programs from Strydal.

We’ve built the tech platform, and enrolled the first creators. We’ll have the first cohort-based programs going live by end-February.

Are you interested in being one of the early creators launching their own program? Join our waiting list for early creators – details below.

More information and contacts

If you’d like to find out more about it all, or register interest in creating your own cohort-based program, please use the following links.

Creators: Want to launch your own program? More info and apply here

Media & investors: contact co-founder Guilherme Coelho for more info:


  1. Surveys conducted in 2020
  2. Other examples include: Lambda School; Creator School; On Delta; Monthly
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