(Editors' Note: This sponsored article by Aktiv Solutions is part of Club Industry's report, "Fitness Trends: Spotlight on 2020.")
As we move into a new decade, fitness trends continue to shift. But one thing is clear: in order to remain competitive, clubs must offer flexible training spaces designed and outfitted to facilitate dynamic and functional movements and multiple training modalities, accessible to individuals and groups alike.
Member expectations are shifting drastically. They want and expect their workout space to feel communal. They want to move and exercise in different, creative and dynamic ways, and they want to vary it daily. They want to be connected. Clubs must also compete with the diversity in programming that’s available at a moment’s notice through phones or computers.
To remain relevant today, facilities must offer the three Ds: dynamic movement, diversity in programming, and digital solutions.
Dynamic, Movement Based Training
Movement-based and functional training have been around for years, but the boom of CrossFit and boutique studios has brought it to the forefront and altered the landscape of the fitness industry.
This paradigm shift changes the strategy and thinking in the use of space and resources for clubs. Do you have the floor space, instructors and equipment for these different functional modalities and training concepts? If not, how do you become nimble and versatile enough to do so?
There’s also the storage issue. Functional training uses a lot of small form equipment that’s not bolted down. Equipment haphazardly strewn about is a safety issue and disturbs the appeal of an engaging environment.
Many club operators don’t have the design expertise to create a user-friendly and profitable space that can serve up a variety of training modalities—and do it well. You can’t just throw a few floor mats, kettlebells and medicine balls into a space and call it a day. To truly create the right space for movement-based training and make it experiential—and profitable—you need fitness design expertise.
Diversity in Programming
When looking to implement and program an effective training space, you must remember that the criteria for an optimal experience and an optimal workout within that space can vary from member to member. Given the diversity in trending modalities, one member may want to do a circuit-driven HIIT workout while another may be working on balance training.
Another critical space allocation component involves recovery. Fitness enthusiasts are understanding the need for active warmup and recovery more and more. Experts agree that recovery is no longer optional for health clubs. Consider this article on the rise of recovery in health clubs.
Recovery requires space and guidance. Members may understand that they should foam roll, and they may have heard of myofascial release, but they may have no idea how to do it correctly. This needs to be accounted for and addressed.
Does your club have a plan for space that’s versatile enough to facilitate all of the above and more? Does it provide flexibility for future growth and program evolution? Will this space provide powerful moments that retain current members and trainers?
Creating this space to facilitate movement-based, dynamic and varied training is only part of the equation. Now, you must program and activate the space in order to keep members satisfied and gain the best possible returns on your space allocation and equipment investment.
Programming needs to be interesting, fun, unique, varied and dynamic. It needs to deliver on safety for every individual and every workout. It needs to make the best use of equipment and balance the needs of both individual and group training.
But allocating trainers to the space 24/7 is impractical if not impossible. Integrating a self-guided digital training platform is a terrific solution for these things. Digital guidance can enhance the fun factor and member experience, offer guidance continually when there are no trainers available and deliver unlimited dynamic workouts across all modalities—even recovery.
As we move into this new decade of ever-evolving fitness trends and increasingly demanding members, the challenges may seem overwhelming. But solutions are available that are quite feasible and lucrative. Seek experts to provide guidance that help you shape and activate an experiential space that accounts for the three Ds and delivers tenfold.
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.