Customers walk into your gym every day armed with high hopes and motivation. They have conquered the snooze button and braved the elements to walk through your door. We greet them with smiles and high-fives for their efforts. We mix up the workouts, train perky instructors and try new equipment trends.
But is it enough? What is the ultimate indicator that customers will keep coming? I will venture to say it is success. If a customer can see, feel or measure a successful outcome for their efforts, they will keep coming back for more.
The tools that clubs can offer through personal training services are better than ever. High-tech equipment is now affordable and customers have a greater expectation of what to assess and track. In what has been termed the “Biomarker Boom,” clubs can improve client satisfaction and profit financially. But with everything out there, how do you decide where to invest? What will lead to lasting success and what is just a passing trend? Because the truth is, we can track almost anything. But just because we can track it doesn’t make it useful.
Let me suggest three ways clients measure success and how you can capitalize on scientific methods as you help them achieve that success.
Can I do more than I used to? Training clients to have increased endurance will improve their quality of life in meaningful ways. The most scientific method for improving endurance is heart rate based training using Anaerobic Threshold (AT). AT is the point in exercise when your body can no longer keep using oxygen efficiently and lactic acid begins to accumulate in your muscles. It is a measurement acquired during a VO2 Max test. The progress a client can make using a measured AT versus standardized workout zones is phenomenal.
Am I burning fat? The commitment to spin, pump or step is significant. Today’s clientele is not simply satisfied to know the number of calories burned, but wants to know whether they burned fat or carbs for their effort. This can only be determined by measuring Respiratory Exchange Rate (RER). This metric is determined during a VO2 Max test. It will allow you to determine the carb/fat ratio of fuel used at each heart rate during exercise and personalize the workout to meet specific goals.
Do I look better? Let’s face it — using a scale to monitor weight loss is akin to dial-up internet. How much is lost is simply nothing compared to what is being lost. Body composition is quickly becoming the measurement standard. Although the methods range from calipers to dunk tanks, Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) is well validated and practical for the gym setting. It allows you to set goals for weight loss, fat loss and lean muscle gain.
Each day, our clients are motivated to overcome the odds and get to the gym. As fitness professionals, it is up to us to turn that motivation into success. By focusing on meaningful biomarkers that are scientifically sound and purposeful, your fitness plans will give them data that can lead to real and lasting improvement.
Julie Kofoed is the vice president of marketing for KORR Medical Technologies. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.