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Evaluate Your Readiness for New Group Exercise Programming


shutterstock_185681066Are you thinking about adding new group exercise programming to your gym? Instructor-led group workouts are in demand and could be just the push your facility needs. To optimize success, formulate an effective plan that evaluates your readiness, identifies important developmental elements and exposes any potential roadblocks. Develop a strategic plan to ensure these trending add-ons properly align with your club’s goals.


When contemplating something new, begin with your mission statement. All activities related to the organization must be a direct reflection of your objectives. Stay on target. A new class might be fun, but if it deviates from the health club’s purpose, it’s not befitting.

On the other hand, the demand for certain classes can have a dramatic effect on the company’s mission. Perhaps it’s time to rewrite your mission. Over the years your aim will expand. Update your statement to match a change in direction.


What health-related issues are affecting the industry? Are group exercises effective and healthy? What laws and regulations are relevant? Analyze the situation, business environment and social climate within the fitness industry. Develop a situational breakdown to gather and examine information relevant to both your franchise and the wellness market. To begin, take a glance at the industry trends such as popularity, group learning challenges and change management. When necessary, seek the counsel of advisors and solicitors to remain compliant.

Internal Influences

Next, acknowledge internal influences. What are your strengths and weaknesses? How is the company currently positioned compared to other health facilities across the nation? Are you fiscally stable enough for change? Is the staff ready? Lead team members and coaches are key influencers of change. They are usually the frontline for suggestions from members. However, if an instructor gets multiple requests for a belly dancing class, it will be up to you as the fundamental decision-maker to decide if the course would properly represent the brand’s focus.

Products and Services

Review your current services and product line. You may find gaps. View these voids as opportunities to offer something unique or popular. Solicit feedback from customers. Their reaction will help you sift through a sea of options to implement safe and quality programs. Many group exercise events need the support of special offerings. For instance, the addition of a physioball class may require you to add Swiss balls to your inventory. Have the appropriate items available for purchase onsite rather than sending members on a wild goose chase for large air-filled balls. Concentrate on activities that help the fitness center meet its goals.


Do you serve more seniors or late-night millennials? During the assessment, create segments. Group the members based on similar attributes. Survey more than the normal demographics such as age, gender and income. Think about their lifestyle and social interactions. Use this data to devise a strategy that will either cater to the larger segments, or work to attract more individuals in the sparser group. If most of your members are diverse urbanites, try a U-Jam cardio dance class for their satisfaction. Offer an early morning water exercise class to draw busy baby boomers.


Lastly, study your competitors. This part of the evaluation is often unfavorable, but necessary. As a challenge, expand your idea of competition. Look at any entity that draws attention away from your business. A budding martial arts school could mean bad news for your youth endeavors. The neighboring community center may offer aquatic aerobics courses in conflict with yours. Regardless, every company has a weak spot. An awareness of your competitors’ deficits will expose areas for potential group exercise programming.


Terrell McTyer is the Marketing Monster of Affiliated Acceptance Corporation.  He can be contacted at 573-374-9970, or by email at Terrell.McTyer@Affiliated.org.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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