Ask an Expert: Joseph Duffy

imageYou have questions, we have answers. We took some time this month to speak with Joseph Duffy, the group fitness director for Boom Fitness, about changes and trends that he sees occurring in group fitness.

“What are some major Group X trends in clubs at the moment?”

JD: It’s all about dance classes (Zumba®, Bokwa) and indoor cycling. The dance classes are great for owners for two reasons. First, dance classes can accommodate a large amount of people, which relieves congestion for cardio equipment during prime hours. Second, there is no new equipment to buy, so there is a cost savings involved.

“How can clubs find the best instructors?”

JD: Auditioning instructors on a consistent basis is critical. I recommend holding auditions at least once a month. I tend to get about 10 to 15 people. In addition, placing a “help wanted” sign on your website, as well as free places like Craigslist, works well.

“Why should a club not currently using Group X start having Group X in its facility?”

JD: Group X creates a community within the club and members become invested in the relationships they build. As a result, members become brand loyal. In addition, drawing good instructors attracts new members via word of mouth and keeps current members satisfied.

“How do you believe Group X will evolve over the next several years?”

JD: There will be new hybrid classes introduced similar to yogalates (a mix of yoga and Pilates) and Piloxing (a mix of Pilates and boxing). Indoor cycling will evolve to include interval training (in a recent blog for Club Solutions I go into more detail about this).

“What would you like to see clubs do differently in terms of Group X inside the club?”

JD:  I would like to see gyms promote classes, not just as an activity, but as a venue for learning harmony and balance. Classes such as yoga promote more than just physical well-being — they promote mental well-being.

Top Five Tips for Great Group X Programming:

1. Listen to your members and take a survey of what classes they want.

2. Look at your schedule — is it balanced? Does it offer a wide range of options?

3. Is your instructors list getting stale? Maybe it’s time to start auditioning new talent.

4. Check your equipment. Are your steps falling apart? Do your mats look and smell bad?

5. Keep your rooms clean. There is nothing like a member doing Downward Dog and seeing dust bunnies.


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