Since the Maryland Athletic Club & Wellness Center’s founding in 1996, it has been the club’s mission to help people reach their health and wellness goals. “We’ve been working towards helping members reach their goals since we first opened,” said Tim Rhode, the owner of Maryland Athletic Club (MAC). “It’s our main mission and a top priority.”
With that mission in mind, the MAC made a goal of its own — to help 1,000 new members reach their personal health and wellness goals in 2012. The club surpassed its goal, and by the end of 2012 had helped 1,200 new members see a variety of aspirations come to fruition, such as losing weight, gaining strength and improving running times.
According to Rhode, the main tool the club used to help members reach their goals was the Results Tracking System (RTS). Developed in-house by a team of MAC staff, the RTS allows the MAC to keep track of members’ progress and to keep in touch with them via phone calls and text messages.
As part of the RTS, each new member who signed up for a membership in 2012 was offered an initial coaching session with one of the MAC’s fitness specialists. The fitness specialist would evaluate the member and discuss their goals in detail. Using this information, the specialist drew out a plan and set milestones leading to the member’s goal(s), which were documented and entered into the RTS. MAC hoped to help each member reach their goal within 12 weeks. “The Results Tracking System is a convenient way for us to keep track of what people’s goals are and to notify them of their progress,” explained Rhode.
The goals were completely member subjective, and ranged from “looking better in the mirror,” to “losing 50 pounds,” said Rhode. “Our approach was to try and operate on our members’ terms as much as possible,” he explained. “The goal is purely theirs, and in the end, it’s up to them to decide on whether or not they feel they achieved their goal.”
According to Rhode, targeting one or two goals allowed MAC’s members to better focus their energies. “If you’ve got more than two things to focus on, by definition, you’re not focused,” he said. “Being able to see their progress being tracked really motivated our members.”
With around 1,200 new members helped as a result of the RTS, the MAC has refocused its energy, and set a new goal — to help 100 new members per month in 2013, using the RTS.
“When you take a look at what obesity has done to our society — its costs — health clubs could really play a bigger role in helping fight obesity,” said Rhode. “This is our approach to the industry — to help people reach their goals in a timely manner.”
By Rachel Zabonick