Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the January issue, the conversation features Greg Maurer, the vice president of fitness for WORKOUT ANYTIME.
1. What was your first job in the health and fitness industry?
My first job was working in a YMCA as a fitness center coach during college.
2. What drew you to WORKOUT ANYTIME?
I knew Steve Strickland (CEO of WORKOUT ANYTIME) and John Quattrocchi (president of WORKOUT ANYTIME) for many years, working with them as the director of education for reACT Fitness. We became friends, and when WORKOUT ANYTIME grew to the point they needed a vice president of fitness, it was a perfect fit.
3. What personal training trends are you seeing right now?
Key personal training trends I am watching include “Guided Training,” using video training platforms — such as FitMetrix, Functional Fitness or Fitness On Demand — to create and deliver programming to individual members, and to provide the benefit of a “second instructor” for group training by providing video guidance of an entire workout. This is happening and it is not a fad. It provides real benefits for members and the club and coaches that can provide extremely high-value solutions to meet any members’ needs.
I’m also watching “club within a club” boutique fitness offerings. Specialized group training is clearly exploding and one area I see growing is partnerships between boutique group training brands and full-service health clubs. This is happening now, but I think we will see more of it as operators learn best practices for how to structure these partnerships to ensure success for the boutique and gym.
4. What accomplishment in life are you most proud of?
The successful launch of Hockessin Athletic Club. I am fortunate to have had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with two great owners, Roger Ralph and Bob Carpenter, along with an incredibly talented team of managers. We were able to create a truly one-of-a-kind, community-based institution that continues to be highly successful 11 years later.
5. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
The transition from working in a full-time job for an employer to becoming an industry consultant. It was really scary for me to not have a regular paycheck coming in and knowing it was on me to sell myself and my services.
6. How did you overcome this challenge?
I focused on sharing industry information and best practices with as many people as I could through many mediums, including face-to-face interactions and heavy involvement with LinkedIn, which proved to be invaluable. I kept learning, kept asking questions and giving my time and energy to others first, and it all came back to me. As a result of spending the better part of eight years consulting, I have grown so much and would not be where I am without this experience.
7. What’s the best piece of advice you can share for how clubs can better run training departments?
It’s all about your ability to attract and retain talented service providers. Sales and marketing systems are important, but without the right horses you will never make a personal training program work.
8. What books are you currently reading?
I’m reading three right now: “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, “Fat for Fuel” by Joseph Mercola and “Big Driver” by Stephen King.
9. When did you start to see yourself as successful?
When I completed Marine Corps Boot Camp and was meritoriously promoted and sent to an Elite Airborne Marine Unit.
10. If you weren’t in the fitness industry, what job would you have?
This is an easy one — I would be a teacher. It’s the best job in the world and fortunately I get the opportunity to teach all the time as the vice president of fitness for WORKOUT ANYTIME. I could easily see myself as a college professor.