Many health club operators feel the need to offer a cycling studio complete with programming but are uncertain about how to best utilize this popular—and potentially powerful—program.
The panel behind Club Industry’s latest webinar, “Real World Experience: How to Get the Most Out of Your Spinning Program,” sponsored by Precor, explored this topic and offered tips for maximizing the benefits of your current and how to create an aspirational cycling program.
"We already had the lights, we already had the sound system and we had great bikes," panelist Connie Cook Saunders, who is the area group fitness director for San-Diego-based Fit Athletic Clubs, said during the webinar. "When you've got all that, what do you do? You have to find the best instructors."
Only the right instructors can turn a cycling class into a success for a club's members and, financially, for the club itself, Saunders said. Her hiring process for cycling instructors is a careful one. First, she requires three years of instructing experience. Second, she requests a five-minute video of the applicant leading a cycling class. If she likes the video, she requests an in-person interview. If that goes well, she requests that the applicant attend one week of cycling classes at Fit Club, so they become more familiar with the vibe and culture of the club.
During the presentation, Saunders and the other panelists—Skip Wilson of Precor, Danielle Foster of Ohio-based Fitness Blueprint and Tom Wingert of Philadelphia-based City Fitness—spoke about how people and culture are the two biggest drivers behind cycling program success.
Several key highlights from the webinar:
- Carefully vet your instructors to guarantee they mesh with your club's culture and members.
- Ensure your cycling studio is versatile. (Consider day classes versus night classes. Can you fluctuate between a bright, airy vibe and more of a dim, club-like environment?)
- Consider creatively relocating bikes into other areas of your facility, such as a pool or balcony area, for special classes.
- Successful cycling programs will fuel retention and ultimately pay for bike and studio expenses.
- Consider throwing parties in cycling studio spaces with food and music.