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The fitness world has seen a massive shift in how exercisers reach their fitness goals. With online streaming video, calorie tracker mobile apps and online exercise programs available for any level of fitness, exercisers have a multitude of options literally at their fingertips to track their fitness progress. Gym owners may wonder how they can join in on the trends while also motivating their exercisers to keep working out in their gyms. Networked fitness is the answer.
What Networked Fitness Is and Why It Matters
Networked fitness is more than offering exercisers with the ability to connect to a gym’s Wi-Fi. Rather, it’s providing opportunities for members to stay motivated and connected throughout their workout—both inside and outside the gym. This includes Internet connectivity, on-demand TV and customized workouts, as well as wearable devices, fitness trackers and mobile apps.
Offering state-of-the-art equipment with networked capabilities is a proven way to increase member retention in small and large gyms. Retention is a huge factor for gym owners as they continually seek ways to keep their members coming back. Since implementing networked fitness, some facilities have seen a 25 percent reduction in membership cancellations. Other gyms boast members working out two times more often than facilities that don’t have network capabilities. In fact, studies also show that the features of networked fitness can lead to a minimum of 5 percent growth in retention.
Keep Members Engaged Inside and Outside the Gym
Exercisers don’t just work out inside the gym. Many have made fitness a part of their overall lifestyle. Networked fitness allows gym members to track their fitness efforts outside the gym as well. With this ability, members are more inclined to make fitness a bigger part of their everyday life and be motivated to visit the gym more often to reach their goals.
With mobile apps such as My Fitness Pal, Map My Run, Movescount and more available to track calories, activities and fitness goals, exercisers are continually finding ways to stay motivated. Networked fitness gives them the ability to see their progress right at their fingertips, where they can record reps on strength equipment, log a run off the treadmill, and feel empowered to make health and fitness a bigger aspect of their lives.
One of the most important things that gym owners can do is to encourage their members to personalize their workouts through these apps, devices and even individualized interval programs. Fitness manufacturers are beginning to partner with companies that provide individualized athletic programs for everyday athletes to provide even more personalized engagement to exercisers.
These partnerships will create supercharged workouts and be a unique selling point for new and veteran members alike. They will be encouraged to reach bigger and better goals while using state-of-the-art technology. Gym owners can help their members get tailor-made workouts for their current abilities and get accurate results.
What Networked Fitness Offers Club Owners
Networked fitness isn’t just for the benefit of exercisers. Gym owners also have a new suite of tools to help them manage their business better. To run their gyms as efficiently as possible, gym managers need to know when their equipment is used, when it is sitting idle and when their equipment needs to be serviced.
Finding a networked fitness suite that includes business insights, such as equipment usage, downtime reports, communication tools and monitoring, can be invaluable to gym owners to assess their business and help grow and retain their memberships.
Best Practices When Implementing Networked Fitness
Not all networked fitness systems are created equal. Gym owners should educate themselves on the options available for their facilities. Being knowledgeable about these best practices will provide a solid start as they begin their research:
- Get the right equipment with the right console. Networked fitness begins with the equipment. Due diligence is required to make the decision to purchase or lease equipment fitted with networked capabilities.
- Partner with the manufacturer. When installing a new system or program, support is essential. Before installation, gym owners should feel confident they are getting a partner who will be available for questions, training and expansion.
- Be connected correctly. For a solid connection to every piece of equipment, connecting via Wi-Fi may not be the best option for every gym; often, hardwiring a facility is the better solution. Analyzing the needs of the gym and the exercisers is essential prior to implementation.
- Make it personal. Installing networked fitness allows exercisers to make their fitness programs personal to help them reach their goals and track their progress wherever they workout.
- Have it work for the gym, not just the exercisers. Networked fitness is as important for the gym owners as the exercisers. The right system can help save money and help facilities run more efficiently.
- Utilize the tools. Networked fitness equipment often offers a variety of ways to communicate with members. From personalized news feeds to messaging directly to exercisers, gym owners can find creative ways to market all of their services to their members.
Networked fitness is the future of fitness. As the world becomes more connected, gym managers can utilize the capabilities of the technology to build stronger relationships with their members while also helping their businesses reach new levels.
Precor develops and manufactures premium fitness equipment, software and service solutions that help fitness facility operators grow their business and create a personalized fitness experience for their customers. Precor has been a pioneer in the fitness industry for more than three decades and has introduced the world to industry-changing products including the Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer™ (EFX®) with Converging CrossRamp® and Active Status Light™, Adaptive Motion Trainer® (AMT®) with Open Stride™, Queenax™ functional fitness, and Spinning® indoor cycling.