Showcasing the Best Thrive Theme Builder Websites in the Fitness Industry

David Lindop   15

Updated on May 7, 2021

Are you ready for some inspiration? Education? Perspiration?

Well, adjust your sweatband and get ready to explore a selection of fantastic fitness websites built using Thrive Theme Builder.

You’ll learn:

  • How Running Directions uses online courses and workshops to scale his business from 1-to-1 to 1-to-many coaching.
  • How Bell Coaching encourages their customers to define ‘value’, and not the other way around.
  • How Stretch Therapy makes the most of text, video and audio blog posts with customized post templates.

But today’s post is even more special. You’ll get to hear from these businesses in their own words: their story, approach to business, favorite Thrive tools, and their no-nonsense advice for building a successful online business.

On your marks, get set, go!


Introducing the Thrive Theme Builder Fitness Websites

There’s so many amazing websites built using Thrive Theme Builder, that we decided to dedicate today’s post to just showcasing websites in the fitness niche.

Not diet, health, body positivity or general wellbeing, but actual moving-your-body fitness. The fitness industry is great because it focuses on delivering a customer transformation in a very real, personal and visual way. There’s also so many sub-niches and business models to choose from.

Today you’ll explore 3 very different fitness websites that leverage the power of Thrive Theme Builder to build a successful online business.

For each website, you’ll hear about how they grew their businesses in their own words so you can learn from their advice and experiences. Then we’ll explore some of the impressive web design elements they use to deliver content, grow leads, and convert paying customers.

Meet the Fitness Websites

Bell Coaching

Vincent Huisman

(Marketing Manager)

Bell Coaching is an online platform geared towards personalized online fitness coaching and science-based education.

Running Directions

David Sollis, aka Coach D


Running Directions offers advice, resources and coaching to help amatuer runners improve their fitness and performance.

Tony Lewis Verdú

(Online Marketing Agency)

Stretch Therapy features a wealth of information and support to help people improve their fitness and flexibility using a unique program of stretching exercises.

Bell Coaching

Vincent Huisman
(Business Owner)
Bell Coaching

What’s your business story?

Our main service is highly individualized online coaching – we help people reach their physical and mental goals by applying evidence-based methods to their lives.

We also offer E-books, free and paid content, a membership platform, and a small shop where we sell event tickets and merchandise. We also offer offline services like personal training, meet-ups & seminars for fitness professionals, like the Human Performance Conference.

Our goal is to provide consumers and fitness professionals with online coaching, content and education, so they can reach their fitness goals.

Richard Bell personally started out as a fitness professional focusing on coaching clients full time. Over the last 5 years, the company has evolved into a 13-person company, consisting of 10 online coaches, a marketeer, a videographer and an SEO-content creator. Even with the fitness market being in crises due to COVID-19, we will probably surpass 300 online coaching clients this year.

What is your favourite part of your Thrive Theme Builder website?

It’s hard to mention just one thing.

My favorite part of our site is probably not a certain page or specific feature, but how all the Thrive products work together in synergy to support our business.

We really appreciate the continuous useful updates and improvements that Thrive brings. It helps us build a better business and improve the experience for our users.

Global Elements & Speed of Customization

The ease of use saves time, money and offers us the freedom to focus on what matters most: our customers and our business goals. Making changes and improvements is really cost efficient. We save hours a week compared to previous themes. We can easily save and reuse elements, and we don’t need a ton of plug-ins anymore. Just making a pricing table used to be such a hassle.

We provide value with our content and most customers flow to our service page through one of the CTA’s or lead elements. Global elements – for example, Symbols – make this a breeze. Where we had to adjust each page individually in the past, we can now change the global element or lead element and it changes across the entire website.

Making new pages is also very easy with global settings, colors, fonts and the fact we can save and copy elements.

Automation & Integration

API connections connect our site with our email client and automations. This offers the people who apply for our online coaching with a smooth customer journey. And it allows us to automate funnels & campaigns based on customer behavior.

Thrive Apprentice

We also love our membership website – currently our biggest focus. With Thrive Apprentice we built our membership page last year. After a test with our customers we now offer access to the membership platform for a monthly fee.

It’s really helping us generate extra income and help more people in a more scalable way. We also see interaction between the membership platform and our other services, increasing the customer lifetime value. When our online coaching clients stop coaching, they often still want to stay a member on our membership platform. This helps us get recurring revenue and helps us stay in touch with them, increasing the potential for cross-sells.

What advice would you give people who are starting their own journey building a successful online business?

Prioritize the quality of your service and focus on creating a good value proposition.

You can have the biggest social reach, but you can never compensate for a lack of experienced quality or value. Quality products that lead to satisfied customers – that turns them into fans of you and your brand – will always be your best marketing strategy long-term.

Don’t just sit in a room and fantasize about what your customers want. They decide what “value” is.

Include your target audience and customers in your marketing and business development. Marketing without involving your customers is often lackluster. We made spectacular strides by putting ourselves out there and being truly customer focused. This helped us grow from 30 to almost 300 customers in about 3 years.

When we started out, we didn’t have much quantitative data, so we focused mostly on gathering qualitative data. Which is pretty much just listening to your customers and prospects. Keep asking them about:

  • their motivations
  • what they see as valuable about your product or service
  • their pain points, potential doubts and barriers.

Be present, provide quality content often and be patient.

Long term focused brand-building will always outperform short-term financial gain and opportunity. Especially when you’re just starting out; pay attention to setting expectations and seek to surpass them. Excel at your craft, provide quality customer service and be patient.

Let’s look at the Bell Coaching website

The first thing you’ll probably notice – aside from the gleaming Olympians in the hero image – is that the Bell Coaching website is written in Dutch! I love discovering and sharing non-English websites built with our tools.

Dat is geweldig!

The second thing you’ll notice is how gorgeously designed everything is... The branding, layout, typography, and use of imagery is top tier design work.

Bell Coaching's homepage

Bell Coaching's homeage is confident, vibrant and full of great content.

I won’t take you page by page, but wow – the confident, vibrant aesthetic just looks impressively professional throughout.

Even the footer shows serious planning and design skill. You can see Bell Coaching is using a 3-column footer layout featuring handpicked links, categories, social media badges, an opt-in form, contact form, and a freeform text block.

You can achieve this too, using Thrive Theme Builder’s footer templates and customization.

3 column WordPress footer

Bell Coaching's footer is like a helpful microsite on its own.

The next element that really caught my eye was the brilliant presentation of the coaching team, on the Online Coaching page.

The most valuable asset of most coaching businesses is of course the coaching staff, so it’s great to see friendly images and smiles.

If your business has an integral team, this is a great way to show you’re more than just a faceless brand.

WordPress team page design

Team pages help readers to connect on a personal level to your brand.

Next up, I was very interested to discover that Bell Coaching uses Thrive Theme Builder’s Symbol functionality to control calls-to-action across the website.

What’s a Symbol?

Glad you asked! A Symbol is a global element that automatically updates across your entire website whenever you make a change to it. It’s a great way to guarantee consistency without worrying about updating every single instance.

You could achieve a similar thing using Thrive Leads, but using Symbols is also a good approach if you prefer simplicity.

The Bell Coaching website is definitely making me want to hit the gym!

Using Symbols to control CTAs across the whole website.

Next I came across Bell Coaching’s tiered pricing table element, showing 3 levels of coaching available:

  1. Online
  2. Premium
  3. Premium with a Personal Trainer

I’ve chosen to show this pricing table, not because it’s some amazing feat of advanced design, but because it just works so well. It presents all the necessary information a visitor needs to make an initial decision, and it does so without asking the visitor to scroll through pages of content.

It looks like they’re using a customized Pricing Table template from Thrive Theme Builder as a convenient starting point.

Again, this is a great demonstration of how tight Bell Coaching’s design and value proposition are.

Pricing tables are a tried and true way of helping your customers make a decision about your products or services. Click to see a translated version.

So it’s clear that Bell Coaching has the fundamentals nailed – design, layout, branding – but they’re also making good use of the more advanced and fancier features offered by Thrive Theme Builder...

Such as the Reading Progress Indicator element.

This is a wonderful user experience enhancement for longer blog posts. The Reading Progress Indicator shows how far along the post a visitor has read, and sets their expectations on how long is left.

It’s a little interactive element that makes the whole reading experience feel more professional.

Finally, it’s great to see the Bell Coaching use the Table of Contents element to help readers navigate long-form blog posts.

This Table of Contents element dynamically updates, based on the headings featured in each blog post. This means readers, and potentially search engines, can jump directly to specific sections.

A dynamic Table of Contents element can be a huge help when reading longer content. Click if you’d like to see a translated version.

Running Directions

Dave Sollis, aka Coach D
(Business Owner)

What’s your business story?

As a UKA licensed running coach, I coach people to run endurance events from 5km up to ultra-marathon distance. I’m also a certified running technique coach.

I’m passionate about helping people get started with running, to get healthier and happier, and to stay injury-free, so they can realise their true running potential. I particularly enjoy working with novice runners in the 40+ age range. As the difference I’ve witnessed running make to their lives is truly inspirational.

I specialise in helping non-elite runners that are busy people with limited time to train, by creating tailored, effective, time efficient training plans to fit around their work/family commitments.

What is your favourite part of your Thrive Theme Builder website?

For me there are so many positive aspects to working with Thrive plugins, it’s hard to choose a single favourite.

Thrive Visual Editor

I love the Thrive Theme Builder style editor.

Being able to set site-wide colour schemes and fonts is fantastic. As are the ready-made templates. They make it so easy to get a decent looking page built really quickly. I couldn’t believe how fast I was able to create my homepage – complete with blog post grid and newsletter sign-ups.

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice is also great and has been a real lifesaver for me too.

I had to move away from the platform that I was previously using, due to sudden price changes which made it unaffordable. Luckily by then I had Thrive Apprentice and was already considering swapping over. They made the decision very easy for me, and forced me to take action sooner rather than later.

Thrive Apprentice is actually much better, far more flexible and is now completely in my control. I’m no longer at the mercy of a course platform.

What advice would you give people who are starting their own journey building a successful online business?

Take action before you’re ready.

I initially spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make sure everything was perfect before I hit the publish button. Whether that was on a simple blog post, a lead capture page or a sales page. The truth is, most site visitors are not as concerned about the aesthetics of your website as you are.

It’s much more important to be functional than pretty. You can’t attract potential clients or sell services if your site isn’t live.

You can always come back to it and tweak things to your heart's content later. Thrive Architect and other Thrive tools make it so simple, quick and easy to do.

Never let procrastination or lack of confidence stop you. Get things done – make mistakes and learn from them. Very few things are ever final and permanent – especially online.

Let’s look at Coach D’s website

Running Directions is essentially the natural evolution of a successful personal brand.

What started out as just Dave Sollis (Coach D from this point on) with a one-to-one coaching model, has now grown into a scalable business using a one-to-many model.

But thankfully, the website retains so much of the personality and warmth of Coach D, that it takes the best of both worlds.

I love that the Running Directions website knows exactly what it is and who it’s for. There’s no fluff and padding. No corporate aspirations to be a ‘brand’. Just a laser-focused message in a defined niche.

We can see this in Running Direction’s use of a modified Thrive Theme Builder personal branding template...

Running Directions homepage

Coach D's website is the next level of a friendly and authentic personal brand.

Take note of who the messaging is aimed at: Coach D isn’t talking about himself, except in passing... he is speaking to the visitor’s needs:

  • “I help Runners be the Best they can be”
  • “... you’re in the right place.”
  • “How Running Directions can help YOU”

You’ll notice this transformation-focused messaging across his entire website, as he taps into the feelings and desires he knows his audience are experiencing:

“Imagine the pride you'll feel on finishing your target race”

So what kind of design hardware is Coach D rocking on his Thrive Theme Builder website?

Let’s start with testimonials...

WordPress testimonials

Almost ALL business websites should feature customer testimonials.

Again, I’m struck by the authenticity of these testimonials. The images are real photos, probably taken on a mobile or a running events photographer. There’s no gloss or lighting, just real people achieving exactly what Coach D’s visitors want to achieve. It’s brilliant!

Next up, let’s take a look at how Running Directions features calls-to-action across blog posts.

Here Running Directions is using Thrive Leads to build, place, track, and maybe even A/B test, a compelling opt-in offer lead magnet at the end of each blog post. It’s very likely the website is also using Thrive Lead’s asset delivery feature so new subscribers can download the promised report.

Lead generation is a vital skill when building an online business. Lead magnets are a great tool to use when growing your email list.

Coach D understands that the real relationship begins on his email list, so it’s a great idea to incentivize visitors to subscribe whenever possible.

This could also be achieved using either Thrive Theme Builder’s post template bottom section, or the Symbols functionality, but since Thrive Leads is included as part of Thrive Suite, why not use the fully featured lead generation features that it offers?

Speaking of lead magnets, here’s another important call-to-action: a free 7-day Mindful Running Challenge. (In case you’re curious, challenges are a fantastic lead magnet to grow your email list.)

7 Day Mindfull Running Challenge call to action

Free challenges are super easy to subscribe to, especially if they promise a mini transformation.

Not only does this help Running Directions to grow its email list, but it’s also a way to showcase the free and paid online courses using a combination of Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Apprentice.

I couldn’t resist, so I signed up to see exactly how Coach D uses Thrive Apprentice.

I’m really impressed...

Thrive Apprentice online courses.

Notice the 2 premium courses displayed next to the free "Subscribers Only" course? So does everyone who enters Coach D's marketing funnel!

So anyone who signs up for the free 7-day Mindful Running Challenge sees just how much more is available with the paid, premium courses. And since they’ve already activated their login details, it takes far less effort to make the jump to paying customers.

In case you’re wondering (I was), the premium Thrive Apprentice courses are integrated with ThriveCart to allow Running Directions to receive online payments without using an external payment platform.

Running Directions also makes good use of Thrive Apprentice’s Dynamic Labels feature, showing both premium courses and subscriber only courses.

Having signed up, now I have to complete the 7-day challenge of course!

Stretch Therapy

Tony Lewis Verdú
(Green Light Digital Agency)
Stretch Therapy fitness website

What’s your business story?

I'm a partner with Kit & Olivia, the owners of Stretch Therapy. I don't actually own the business itself – I'm their tech guy and COO at our agency Green Light Digital.

Stretch Therapy is one of our best case studies.

They're currently about to break 5-figures a month using a combination of Thrive Apprentice + ThriveCart. After only 2 months since we launched... Not bad.

Green Light Digital were responsible for designing and building the awesome website for Stretch Therapy. It’s important to point out that hundreds of designers and agencies use Thrive tools to help their clients achieve their business goals.

- David

What is your favourite part of your Thrive Theme Builder website?


Thrive Theme Builder & Tool Synergy

I love being able to customize every little aspect of websites.

Our agency has been using Thrive since 2014 and I've personally been working with it since 2016, ever since it was called Thrive Content Builder.

Thrive Theme Builder was something that we've been waiting for a very long time!

The Stretch Therapy website uses a combination of Thrive Theme Builder, Thrive Architect, Thrive Leads (for the main homepage lead magnet) and Thrive Apprentice.

What advice would you give people who are starting their own journey building a successful online business?

Mmmmhmm... DON'T RUN ADS. Invest in well optimized content that really helps people and work on building your audience organically.

Running ads can certainly be a distraction from other, more effective strategies, especially when you're trying to start an online business. When faced with disappointing sales, many businesses try to throw money at the problem, using ads to replace quality of leads and poorly optimized conversion rates.

However, it’s worth mentioning that ads can be an effective way of driving more leads, once you have a solid core product and way of delivering orders. Of course, relying on ads completely isn’t a sustainable business strategy; Tony is spot on that you’ll need optimized, valuable content is essential for any long-term business success.

- David

Let’s look at the website Tony built for Stretch Therapy

Stretch Therapy successfully manages to fit a LOT of different content types under one roof:

  • Standard, video and audio blog posts
  • Online courses and workshops
  • A teacher directory
  • A book “store”

... and they do so by using Thrive Theme Builder to offer a consistent, branded and professional experience.

Green Light Digital designed the Stretch Therapy website using a customized Service Based Business homepage template, but they took it much further to guarantee that Stretch Therapy has a successful website they can be proud of.

Rather than simply talking through their homepage, I want to start by highlighting an impressive design choice that shows that Green Light Digital understands the WordPress ecosystem and what’s possible with Thrive Theme Builder...

... Blog post formats.

Like most blogs, Stretch Therapy features standard text-and-image posts, but they also feature different layouts for their video posts, and their audio posts.

Here’s their standard blog post design:

Standard text post format

And here’s Stretch Therapy’s video blog post design:

WordPress Video post format

And finally, here’s their audio blog post design:

WordPress Audio Post format

You’ll notice the different media blog post formats are customized to offer the best experience for each medium.

Standard posts look impressive with a featured image.

Video posts feature an embedded video, and further down the page more resources such as a transcription and audio download.

Audio posts feature an interactive, embedded media player, so visitors can listen to the podcast without downloading it to their computers.

This is made possible by Thrive Theme Builder, which offers complete customization across the range of different blog post media format templates.

It’s rare to find a website that features all 3 formats, and rarer still to discover great website design to enhance the user experience of each format. Well done Green Light and Stretch Therapy!

And this brings us neatly to those transcriptions and audio download resources I mentioned above...

Offering resources with expandable toggle elements

Toggles are a great way to offer more resources and keep the design looking clean.

Stretch Therapy uses the Toggle Element to offer enhanced resources like written video transcriptions, and downloadable audio files, to give visitors the option of how they want to consume the content.

Not only is this great UX design, but it also demonstrates how audience-focused they are, even before readers become customers.

Let’s see those Toggle Elements in action over at Stretch Therapy’s teacher directory...

WordPress expandable toggle elements in action

Here you can see a great use of the expandable Toggle Element to show Stretch Therapy Teachers and Practitioners by region, without overwhelming the reader with a long list of irrelevant results.

A lot of web designers relegate Toggle Elements to just hiding away FAQs, but they’re a valuable tool for any structured content that doesn’t need to be always on show.

Two more things before we wrap up – and these got me super excited to see in the wild!

Scroll down the Stretch Therapy website, and you’ll notice the main header navigation follows along with you. This is the Thrive Theme Builder Sticky Header in action, and is perfect for ensuring your important links are always visible on longer pages.

WordPress sticky header with menu

Finally, keep scrolling on down to the Stretch Therapy website footer to discover an Off-screen Sidebar featuring a custom navigation menu!

WordPress off-screen sidebar

A custom menu inside a slide-in Off-Screen Sidebar... a great alternative navigation for your visitors. 

Green Light Digital has absolutely packed professional features into the Stretch Therapy website, using Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Architect.

In the past, each of these features would have required either super expensive custom coding, or a monstrously long list of bloated WordPress plugins waiting to break and conflict. Now they’re all available within Thrive Suite.

Green Light Digital has taken the tools within Thrive Suite, infused them with expert design skills, and used them to build a professional, successful website for Stretch Therapy.

Inspiration for Your Website

Well this post has certainly inspired me to get fitter... and hopefully, it also inspires you to build your online business.

All 3 of these amazing websites have enabled their owners to break free of the unscalable trap of exchanging their time for money. With the tools available in Thrive Suite, they’ve grown their business beyond what’s possible with a standard 9 to 5 job.

Are you ready to do the same?

As Coach D says, “Take action before you’re ready. Get things done – make mistakes and learn from them.

by David Lindop  April 16, 2021


Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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Leave a Comment

  • A lot of inspiration, also to go on with my running schedule. 😉

    One question about the subscription system from Running Directions. Do you have an article to lead me to, where I could find the pros and cons of such subscription system?

    I have a library full of content for subscribed people (via ActiveCampaign) but it’s just a private page for which I give a password. I think I would like to change to a subscription system, as I am planning to develop several online courses in Thrive Apprentice. But it’s a big change, so I want to be sure beforehand that it’s worth it.

    Thanks David!

  • Hey David – good article. Did you complete the 7-day Mindful Running Challenge? If you did, and you’re a glutton for punishment, you might fancy the Ultimate Virtual Race of New Zealand (it’s only 2,099km!). Site built on Thrive of course.

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