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When it comes to technology, many personal trainers fear technology is either going to replace them or make them irrelevant.
That is why when Gretchen Ritter was first introduced to TRX MAPS, she became excited, knowing the technology would validate and support The Bay Club Company’s personal trainers — not replace them.
Here, Ritter shares more about the pilot test they’ve done with TRX MAPS at The Bay Club Company’s Southern California locations.
CS: How were you introduced to TRX MAPS and why did you decide to offer it at the gym?
GR: TRX asked us if we were willing to pilot the technology, and we were more than excited to do that. We’ve had it in clubs for about a month and it’s gaining traction — it’s really popular with the trainers. I haven’t been this excited about a technology product in a long time. Normally technology products try to eliminate the personal trainer, and this product validates and supports the personal trainer, so from a revenue generating standpoint, it’s amazing.
CS: Is the TRX MAPS easy for members to use?
GR: It takes around 30 seconds. You do three squats, and then it gives you a score. It has a QR code, so it will immediately transfer your score into the app on your phone. For the trainers, you can take the client out on the floor, do the exercises that are recommended, come back and get a better score.
What’s also great is that it takes up almost no space at all. We actually have it in a stretching area. It literally sits up against the wall, and when you do the squat is when you need to have that space, but other than that it doesn’t take up any room — which is also really nice.
CS: As the director of fitness, what other things do you like about TRX MAPS?
GR: From a member service standpoint, for members that don’t work with personal trainers, it gives them direction and gets them thinking along the lines of the type of exercises they need to do to improve their overall strength, posture, mobility — those kinds of things. Rather than trying to get exercises out of a magazine or from the internet, these are exercises specifically tailored to their issues.
CS: What should other club operators know about TRX MAPS?
GR: It’s plug and play. It’s a touch screen so there’s no printers, it’s all contained in a kiosk. From a support standpoint, there’s nothing really that they need to do — they just get it set up and it’s always working. All you have to do to get the machine to activate is stand in front of it. It’s really a no-brainer. As far as I’m concerned it’s just a really easy tool to help members think about what type of exercises they should be doing. There are even videos that pop up on a member’s phone, that give them exercises that help them correct their form.
CS: Would you say there are lot of members who have poor form?
GR: Yes. Basically everybody. Even with personal trainers, there’s always things you can improve and work on. The scores range from 0 to 100, with the median score being 50, and we haven’t found too many members who score over the 60 range. Some of our personal trainers are in the high 70s, but even those personal trainers have things they could be working on — so it’s a tool everyone will get something out of, which is fantastic. There’s no specific fitness level you need to be in order to do it. As long as you can basically sit down and stand up and do a squat, then you can use this machine.
CS: What did your trainers think about it when they found out you’d be able to pilot the technology?
GR: At first they weren’t sure. They were afraid, as most trainers are, that it was going to replace them. With the trainers I said, this is a machine that will validate what you’ve been telling clients. You’ve been telling clients they need to work on their tight hips or their tight chest, for ages. Well now you have a machine that will validate it and make your clients realize that you’re not just feeding them a line. It’s objective, empirical data that they can see. And then you can start working with them. And what’s even better, is you can spend an hour with a client, and they can come back and get a better score — there’s no long delay between measuring improvement.
CS: Are you excited to see your members and trainers really engaging with the technology?
GR: Our trainers are competing with each other to see who can get the best score. And with the score — you might be tied to the measurement that’s on a scale — but no one is tied to this score. They don’t know whether it’s good or bad, they just want to improve, and they’re given very specific tasks to improve it. Then they feel empowered.
CS: Is there any other ROI you expect to see from TRX MAPS?
GR: I fully expect it will generate a lot of personal trainer revenue. We’ve already been selling packages off of the machine, just based off of our interactions with members asking what the machine is, etc. We just walk them up to the desk and they’re buying a personal training package. It’s already paid for itself.
For more information on TRX MAPS, visit https://www.trxtraining.com/trx-maps.