Small Group Class Increases Membership Value
Rebecca Harrington, 30, became a fan of Pilates around a year and a half ago. Recognizing that she could get a better value for her money at Mountainside Fitness versus a Pilates studio, she joined in February 2013. She hoped to reap the benefits of Pilates, along with gaining access to Mountainside Fitness’ wide array of amenities, group fitness classes and programs.
Harrington also found value in a fee-based, small group, “combination” Pilates class, an additional program offered at Mountainside Fitness. TRX® Pilates, instructed by Alison Wohlfarth at Mountainside Fitness’ Scottsdale, Ariz. location, simultaneously develops participants’ strength, balance, flexibility and core stability, and shares the core values of classic Pilates teachings.
Wohlfarth, who’s been a personal trainer at Mountainside Fitness for two years, explained that combining TRX and Pilates seemed like a natural fit. “I took the TRX [Suspension Trainer®] and combined it with my favorite Pilates moves,” she said. “It worked out very well.” The class description states: “We balance the instability of the TRX system with the grounded work of Pilates, to have the perfect complement for one another.”
Using TRX’s Suspension Trainers, Wohlfarth has members conduct moves that leverage gravity and users’ body weight. For example, members will do side planks while utilizing a TRX strap. “People are amazed at the muscles in which they feel sore,” said Wohlfarth. “It doesn’t look that intense, but when you do it correctly, it can be a killer workout.”
Like traditional Pilates, Wohlfarth explained that TRX Pilates is ideal for a wide range of demographics. “You can take a group that runs the gambit of age, size and fitness level, and they get the same benefits,” she said.
Harrington said that she has reaped the main benefit of increased strength, and agreed that the workout is “killer” in intensity. “It’s an awesome workout,” she said. “It’s an entire-body workout, but it has really strengthened my core. You’re working with your own bodyweight, so you can do the same exercise, but in a different way.”
Harrington is also a fan of the small group setting, which at Mountainside Fitness, tops out at six participants. “I think you get a great workout in a small group, because you still get that personal attention,” she said. “[Wohlfarth] is a really good trainer. She will go through every move with you.”
To be a great small group trainer, Wohlfarth said trainers must be plugged into the class and its participants. “You have to have a good amount of energy and be plugged into what you’re doing,” she said.
Although TRX Pilates got its start at Mountainside Fitness in Scottsdale, Ariz., Mountainside Fitness is looking to expand the class to other locations. This is due in part to fans such as Harrington. Do you have a unique small group class at your club, such as TRX Pilates or Yogalates? With a strong trainer’s backing, any small group class can be used to strengthen your club’s value.
By Rachel Zabonick