(Editors' Note: This sponsored article is part of Club Industry's report, " Cardio and Strength Equipment Trends, Technology, Purchasing and Maintenance." To download this free report, click here.)
When your members walk through your doors, what is their experience? Do they enter into a dynamic environment with a sense of community and connection? Further, are there defined spaces designed for high-trending modalities and workouts, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and functional training in addition to traditional cardio and strength training? Does your space facilitate varied and robust programming for all?
Providing a stimulating and results-driven experience is largely credited as the heart of the success of boutique studios. Membership of boutique fitness facilities grew by 121 percent during the last five years, while industry-wide the increase was 15 percent. Boutiques also attract a significantly larger percentage of millennials and Generation Zers because they create and exemplify best practices in client experience and engagement.
So the issue has become: How do clubs deliver high-touch, varied and shared workouts in a space that’s largely been dedicated to bulky stationary equipment and individual exercise for so long?
Create a Functional Training Zone
Functional training is one of the hottest trending modalities today, and functional training zones inherently facilitate varied and social workouts. So it may be time to rethink how your floor space is used and revamp it.
Several considerations must be taken into account when creating an experiential functional training environment to ensure the maximum return on investment, including the type of programming best suited for your members, the right accessories and equipment, appropriate allocation of space and more.
Embarking on the planning and design process requires time, creative strategy and resources. But experts can assist you, and it can be surprisingly affordable and scalable.
Offer Programming Your Members Covet
Another important ingredient is the program format. CrossFit got it right when it introduced the simple Workout of the Day. This formula is social on so many levels. It promotes friendly competition while layering in a “we are all in this together” mentality. It also fosters post-workout discussion and the comparison of measurables. And most importantly, it drives the desire to come back the next day to try the next workout.
Statistically, the fastest-growing style of exercise is HIIT and circuit-based training. This, too, stimulates interaction as participants share equipment and move from one station to the next.
Ask yourself if the programming that’s being activated is interesting, fun, unique, varied and dynamic. Do you feel confident that your team can deliver on safety for every individual and every workout? Are you maximizing your space to its absolute fullest potential? Are new members seeking the facility to take advantage of increasingly experiential space and variety in training methods?
Another aspect that some boutiques deliver well on is digital guidance — captive visual platforms that offer master coaching in support of their live instructors during the in-facility session. Digital guidance and connectivity are now high on the list of format options that fitness enthusiasts covet and that commercial facilities as well as boutiques need to solve for.
Several digital guidance platforms exist, so choose wisely. You’ll want to ensure that you can support multiple participants concurrently even while they train at their own pace or in sequence of the exercise program to be performed. This establishes a limitless flexibility in the way that operators can deliver quality exercise guidance at just the right time and in exactly the right amount based upon the various programming types of scheduling requirements of the facility.
You’ll also want to choose a program that guides one-on-one, small group or large group formats to get the most out of your space.
Today’s clubs and studios are largely graded on the experience they provide, and traditional stationary equipment alone is not going to measure up. Achieving the right balance of cardio, strength and functional training space is critical to keeping your club relevant and to attracting and retaining members.
Bryan Green is the founder and CEO of Aktiv Solutions. Aktiv designs dynamic training areas for health clubs and specialty studios alike. From high-touch digital products offering results-driven guided personal or group workouts, to a unique line of functional training tools and thoughtfully crafted storage and suspension training systems, the Aktiv mission is to establish safe, functional and revenue-generating spaces, while clients deliver extraordinary exercise experiences. For a complimentary consultation, contact [email protected] or call 888.895.0547.