In today’s connected world, we have fitness at our fingertips 24/7. The ability to download an app on a phone and choose any workout, anywhere, at any time, has created a population of people who feel they are successfully checking off their fitness box for the day. However, this may not be the most effective use of their time. When using an app, who is there to give these individuals feedback? Who is there to help make sure they open the app and check the box again tomorrow? For club owners and operators, the question becomes how do you thrive despite the increasing convenience of fitness apps, digital fitness libraries and social media influencers? The answer is through customization and community.
Fitness is not one-size-fits-all when it comes to successful programming. Helping members achieve success comes only through understanding a member’s goals and implementing intentional, goal-oriented programming. Although an app can provide some level of customization based on user Q&As, intentional customization requires an additional level of knowledge and interaction. When it comes to fitness, education will always be a valuable asset. Educated members and instructors alike will be able to better communicate the true value of coming into the club.
Additionally, a club needs a well-conceived group fitness schedule in order to deliver on customized solutions for members. Clubs need to offer multiple class options in various time slots with clear and concise descriptions. This ensures members know exactly what they are going to be doing and how it is going to help them on their fitness journey. To take this concept one step further, customization within a class requires group fitness instructors to have cueing skills as well as coaching skills.
“In order to reach the majority of class-goers, instructors have evolved their cueing skills to add an additional layer of coaching in order to help each person be more successful,” Barbara Brodowsky, senior director of fitness for Beachbody LIVE, said.
The worlds of personal training and group exercise are merging, and the bar is set increasingly higher and higher for instructors. In order to meet this new demand—without unduly burdening your instructors with education requirements—smartly programmed, pre-designed workouts are key.
Companies such as Beachbody LIVE deliver more than just choreography and cueing tips; they deliver the science and the “why” to instructors, who can then make adjustments based on the needs of their class participants. With pre-choreographed classes, the instructor is trained on a tried-and-tested workout, allowing them to focus their limited, valuable time on how to best adjust the moves in that specific workout for a diverse population set.
Attention needs to be paid to the correlation between personal support and member results. Relationships and accountability increase the return on any fitness investment. Members will see results while also feeling like a member of the local community—something most people are actively seeking as more and more interaction moves online.
Instructors are the natural connection point within a club, but community-building doesn’t just happen automatically. It requires thought and planning. Virtual connections can serve as a good proxy when in-person connections are not possible, but they will never be a perfect replacement.
Community is also key when it comes to member retention. This means designing your facility to be a place for health and fitness as well as accountability, well-being and encouragement. Operators must consider engagement opportunities. Does your space offer a place to connect? Does your group fitness schedule offer a buffer between classes to allow some time for human connection? By investing in your instructors, you will improve the culture at your facility and increase your bottom line.
It is a challenge to compete in an ever-growing digital marketplace, but clubs can continue to thrive by focusing on the elements that an app cannot deliver. True customization is difficult to program into an algorithm, and digital solutions frequently lack the necessary feedback loop that is often critical to helping someone achieve their goals. Regardless of digital trends, customization and community can keep clubs attracting and retaining members. And while connections can be forged online, there remains a real desire to belong to a local, in-person community.
Beachbody LIVE offers a variety of pre-designed group fitness formats based on some of the world’s best workouts. Thriving on results-oriented, innovative, inclusive and inspiring workouts, our group fitness formats are carefully designed, tested, and proven to work for people of every age and fitness level.