CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Precor
Cardio equipment has been the staple in gyms for decades and is some of the most popular fitness equipment on the market. Between treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and others, cardio equipment takes up a large portion of gym floor space. It is important for gym owners to understand the needs of their members to determine their gym’s perfect cardio blueprint.
Fitness continues to evolve as fads and trends come and go, as technology evolves and as equipment manufacturers innovate. As group fitness studios, strength training and the like gain in popularity, health club owners may question just how much of their gym’s blueprint they should devote to cardio equipment. While treadmills, ellipticals and bikes will continually be a mainstay in health clubs, gym owners should think about how their cardio blueprint matches their users’ needs.
Here are questions that can provide insight:
1. How are exercisers using the cardio equipment?
Exercisers incorporate cardio into their workout routine for a variety of reasons, Some use it as a warm up before their strength workout, while others do cardio exclusively.
When gym owners evaluate their members’ use of cardio equipment, there are specific questions they can ask to ensure they get a clear picture:
- Where do exercisers spend the bulk of their time?
- On average, how long are the members on the equipment?
- Do they switch between cardio equipment or do they move into another area of the facility?
- What are the demographics of the members using the cardio equipment?
For owners who struggle to gain feedback, offering an incentive to fill out a survey or talking with members can help encourage them to open up with club owners.
2. How can gym owners incorporate cardio equipment more?
Once the data from surveys and observations are gathered, a good next step is for gym owners and personal trainers to determine whether their cardio section is fulfilling the needs of their members. Gym owners can encourage their members to utilize the cardio space to the fullest by:
- Teaching new members how to use the machines. People tend to stay away from equipment they are not comfortable with. Introducing members to equipment and providing a short demonstration during a new member tour are great ways to speed adoption and help members reach their fitness goals.
- Creating treadmill and elliptical group classes that build community and introduce members to different ways of using the equipment. Bikes are often associated with cardio group fitness classes, but treadmills and ellipticals also can be used in the group setting.
- Encouraging personal trainers to build cardio equipment into their client sessions, warm-ups or on the days they aren’t working with their trainer. When members have familiarity with how the equipment will individually help them reach their goals, they will feel much more comfortable using it outside of their personal training sessions.
3. Does the type of cardio equipment matter?
Equipment that is reliable and high quality is key to a gym owner’s efforts in perfecting their cardio blueprint. If members see that equipment is in disrepair, old or not offering the amenities they are looking for in entertainment and proper storage, they may be turned off from using them.
Regardless of the amenities, exercisers also want equipment that will provide them with the ability to reach their goals. Investing in (or leasing) top-of-the-line equipment will allow gym owners to offer their members the latest innovation and technology.
Fitness equipment manufacturers are innovating their equipment and adding features that never existed before, such as an elliptical that matches the natural gait of exercisers when they run or walk.
Manufacturers aren’t just improving the equipment for the exercisers; they also are improving it for the service technicians. More and more they are seeking to decrease the amount of time equipment is offline in order to get them back to functioning as soon as possible. One of the latest innovations is the ability to get into the mechanical components of a machine in less than two minutes with only a Philips screwdriver or with a light that indicates when service is needed.
The cardio floor is often the biggest area in a health club because of the rows of equipment. Another improvement fitness manufacturers are striving toward is making their equipment more sleek and streamlined. The smaller the size, the more equipment that can fit in a dedicated area and the more approachable the equipment becomes.
Gym owners can do a lot to make sure their cardio equipment is being utilized as best as possible. With the help of research, observation and upgrading to the best technology, they will soon find their members fall in love with their cardio equipment all over again.
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®.